Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Importance of Good Cover Art

When you go check out an e-publisher, what's the first thing you look at?  How many authors they have?  What sort of genre's they're releasing?  What they seem to have the most of and what they could use more of (as in, would they be interested in your book?)?  Their submission guidelines or about the publisher?  No… chances are, like me, like my friends, the first thing you look at is the cover art.  After all, that's what's going to represent your book, should you get that much sought after contract.  If you have a bad cover, your book is suddenly tarnished and you have no desire to show that baby off or market what you worked so hard to achieve.
And that, my writing darlings, is a tragedy.
No one, and I do mean no one, should have to suffer through the tears of bad cover art.  Ever.  This is why I've spent the last two years learning how to design covers.  I've seen too many friends shed tears over bad art.  A friend of mine once had a cover so horribly bad, all you could focus on was the large yellow wooden eyeball staring back at you.  She went home and quickly drew her own cover.  While it wasn't her dream, it was way better than the eyeball…  I can't draw, so if I wanted to make sure that wasn't me, I needed to learn how to manipulate images.  No easy feat, let me tell you, and the hours I've spent learning could have written three books by now.  We won't focus on that though… shhhh…
A good cover will not only bring attention to your book, but will make it memorable.  Everyone will "ooh" and "aah" and you'll smile and feel good, just like you did when you received the news the publisher wanted to contract your baby.  At Astraea, the owners want you to love your cover art, and they've gone to great lengths to make sure you get exactly what you've envisioned for your book.  They want you to be proud and excited.   Because, let's face it, everyone judges a book by its cover, just as everyone judges an e-publisher by their covers.
I'm really excited to have been given this amazing opportunity to work with you, future authors of Astraea, and to work with the wonderful women who are running this company.  They've had offers, and still, they chose me.  I'm going to continue to work hard and strive to be one of the best cover artists out there, providing one of the greatest marketing tools the publisher, and you, the author can have:  A beautiful cover.


  1. AMEN! The cover is such a vital marketing tool, but some publishers don't seem that concerned with how their books look. It's scary when you think about it. The message it sends me is that they don't take pride in their product--not a good message to send prospective writers/readers. Romance, especially, needs to be visually appealing. The target audience is women. We like pretty!

  2. Thanks, Rhiannon! I sometimes wonder too how an e-publisher could let their authors open such horrible cover art files and then expect them to show it off... Sad, sad. Hopefully I'll never put an author through that! 'Tis my goal. :-D

  3. There is something so wonderful and special about a cover. I swear, every time an author, or one of my crit partners receives cover proofs, my blood races with excitement. When I got my first cover, I was thrilled! I think it's an important marketing tool, but also it's an important (thrilling) part of finally 'making it'. And if done properly a book cover almost feel like an award in itself.

    Great post, will be sharing it.

  4. A cover definitely makes it or breaks it. And I think it's great that you actually try and get input from people when designing them.

    I've heard horror stories about people who've gotten bad ones, and that was one of the things I worried most about.

    But then, I got the proofs and it was FABULOUS (thanks Elaina). Smiles.

  5. What if the author is also a graphic artist, would she be allowed to submit a few ideas of her own design for the cover?

  6. Robin, sure! Just keep in mind, Astraea has the final verdict on it, but we can always work together!