Covering the Cover
A relative mentioned how in choosing a book to read, they kept on overlooking and dismissing one with a rather plain cover. Finally, they ran out of options and decided to give this book a chance. To their amazement, they thoroughly enjoyed the story—a real gem. They recommended we read the book.
Although we are taught from young to “not judge a book by its cover”, in the reality of today’s world of competition, advertising and marketing, the cover of our books is vital. Plain cover—overlooked. An eye-catching cover—a potential sale.
And so, we come to my first novel, Mission of the Unwilling. My team members at Indie Scriptorium advised that although its cover was, well, pleasant, it wasn’t up there, and well, dare I say it again, eye-catching like the covers of my successive books. They said that the covers of my war on Boris Series, The Hitch-hiker and The Lost World of the Wends, being my artwork, had more zing.
I did some research about marketing. Discovered that a book series needs to have features that set it apart and are easily recognisable to the readers who are following the story. Suggestions were: artwork that reflects the genre and story, style, typeface, colours, same size books, and of course, the blurb at the back that hooks the reader.
Back to the proverbial “drawing board” or my collection of artworks for a suitable cover for my first novel. After all, I was planning on revising it and releasing a second edition. Around the same time, a fellow artist, Liz Maxted, had painted a UFO scene. Impressed, I asked if I could use it for a cover of one of my future novels. She was thrilled and allowed me to borrow the painting to photograph.
As it has turned out, when working on the new cover for Mission of the Unwilling, Liz’s UFO fits perfectly, hovering over the Sellicks Beach cliffs of my watercolour.
I also changed the blurb to fit with contemporary issues, that being in Mission of the Unwilling’s case, the scourge of bullying and the victim rising above their identity of unworthiness to becoming a hero.
Then, on a roll, I created a cover for the sequel to Mission of the Unwilling, Diamonds in the Cave. And again, Liz Maxted’s UFO fits seamlessly in the mist and clouds of the Mount Martin range of the Pilgrim Planet. In Diamonds in the Cave, my heroine, Minna as a teenage mother, grapples with loss, her mental health, and the issue of witch-hunts plaguing the town.
I’m hoping Diamonds in the Cave will be ready for release soon. Just have to read through it once again, before handing it over to my Indie Scriptorium team to test read and edit. As I said at the beginning, in these competitive times, books are judged by their covers, but the inside needs to match up with good standards too.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2022