OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
My thriller novel ‘Pentecost' is back from my editor and I am in rewrite mode. I am putting together my marketing plan and am currently just over 3 months away from launch (expected to be Feb 1st 2011). I will soon be putting together the back blurb and letting you read a few chapters, but to start the marketing in earnest I need to get my front cover sorted.
In the last few weeks, I have been working together with Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer who has put together some fantastic options for my book cover.
I have included a number of iterations in this blog post for you to see and also to vote on in the survey at the bottom of the post. I am deliberately holding back detail of the book's plot as I want you to make a decision based on the cover.
Is this a book you would like to read? Does the cover attract you or turn you off? Which cover makes you want to buy the book? (If none of them, do you have any suggestions?) Please add your preferred cover number in the survey at the bottom of the page and any suggestions in the comments of this post.
The process for any kind of design is iterative so it is important to remember when you get the first lot of images that they are not the final options. I sent Joel a draft of the novel so he could get some ideas, and he had a first pass at cover options giving me 9 different covers to comment on. I sent back comments on colors I liked, wording, fonts, images and Joel went round again. We did this several more times and narrowed down the options I specifically liked.
Some of the aspects I particularly wanted to include were:
- Fire and flames, given that the book is called ‘Pentecost' and fire is an overall theme
- The words ‘a novel' or ‘a thriller' as I have noticed that the bestselling books are doing this now
- A cover that is clear when sized as a thumbnail
- My name clearly displayed as I am building a brand. It doesn't matter so much now, but in a few years time it could be more important. One of my favorite authors Matthew Reilly did this when he got started, and now he is huge in the action/adventure/thriller genre.
It's good to have some of these ideas in mind when you work with a designer, but also be open to their thoughts as well since it is their job to come up with new images.
Joel has some more great tips for book cover design here including:
- Establish a principal focus for the cover, and stay with a few images. Don't clutter.
- Avoid white backgrounds and make the text stand out with a title font that is easy to read
- Have a look around at other book covers from novels/books in your genre to see what they are doing
Pentecost was re-edited and re-published as Stone of Fire in 2015.