Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Covers

This is Merrillee , and I've been thinking about the statement, "You can't judge a book by its cover." Do you think this is true? Does a cover influence you to pick up a book and see what it is about? Do you like covers with people or covers that feature landscapes or still life?

I think that Love Inspired does a wonderful job with the covers they put on our books. I've had people covers and landscape covers. Here are a couple of my favorite covers.






The artists did a wonderful job depicting the people who had lived in my mind and eventually came to life on the pages of a book. It is always an exciting moment to see the cover for the first time. I often wonder what images will be chosen to represent the story inside that cover. In my most recent book, the hero coaches youth baseball. The cover paints a perfect picture.



For my upcoming January 2012 book, Montana Match, I sent in a number of photos to portray characters and scenes in the book. I haven't seen the cover and probably won't for several months, but I'm eager to see which images they may use. Here are a couple.


The story takes place on a Montana ranch in the winter, and this snowy scene depicts it well.


There are identical twin girls in the story, and I thought this picture showed what I had imagined they might look like. I'll have to see what winds up on the cover of the book.

Please tell us what you like to see on the cover of a book.

22 comments:

Ausjenny said...

Interesting question. I won a book once that was a wonderful book and am so glad I read it but if I had seen the cover in the shop it would still be there no matter how good the book was in fact I doubt I would have even looked at the blurb on the back.
I do love the love inspired covers and think they do help sell the books. I have to say also that with the LIS alot of them its been the author or information about the book that have sold them for me.
With blogs and the promotion of books that have made me need to buy some I may not have but if its just on what I see the cover is the first selling point (or the author)If I like the cover and the title I then will check out the blurb on the back.
(about to read a review book with a cover again I would not have looked at cos its not very appealing)

Rick C said...

I think the cover can make a difference. Packaging does sell a product.

When vinyl records were produced, the cover would cause you to pick it up and look at it.

Are not bibles that have the same info in the same version marketed solely on the cover? Duct Tape Bible, Camo Bible, Duo Tone, pink, tooled cross, etc.

You can't judge a book by it's cover but it's cover can make it appealing. It can motivate you to pick it up and look through it.

Patt said...

Unfortunately, often the cover doesn't match the story details....and that can be frustrating to a detail-oriented reader.....like me! For example, in a book about a lab seeing eye dog, there was a German shepherd on the cover. Covers DO matter....and I often wonder if the author has a say in what goes there. Thanks for the info! Patt

Rachel said...

The covers look great. I know I have judged a book by its cover. There is this one book, The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail, that I thought looked really dark but I read what it was about anyways and it sounded really interesting. I was nervous about the dark cover but I read it and now it is one of my favorites. One of the best books I have ever read. It isn't that dark and it depicts the Christian faith really well for being by a secular author and publisher. Good luck with your new book and I hope the cover is great.

Merrillee said...

Ausjenny,
Isn't it great to have a surprise when a book is better than the cover. I always thought that Four Little Blessings was one of my best-selling books because of the cute kids on the cover.

Merrillee said...

Rick,
I've never seen a Bible with a camo cover. I've seen one that looked like it was covered in blue jeans material. I'll have to look the next time I'm in a Bible bookstore.

I think you're right about not always being able to judge a book by its cover, but the packaging is important to catch a person's eye.

Merrillee said...

Patsy,
I'm glad you like the Love Inspired covers. Me, too.

Merrillee said...

Maryrose.
I think we are all drawn to vivid colors. They are eye-catching.

Merrillee said...

Patt,
Yes, the author does have a say in the cover. We fill out what is called an Art Fact Sheet. We describe the characters and several scenes in the story. We give a short synopsis and tell them what time of year it is and the mood of the story. We give the art department a lot of information. We also send them pictures, like the ones I put in the blog. They look at all this information and come up with a cover. Once in a while the cover won't depict everything exactly, but they are usually close. And sometimes the picture is for eye appeal and not necessarily to show the exact contents of the story.

Merrillee said...

Rachel,
Thanks. I'm eager to see the new cover. I'll have to mention it when I blog the next time after I've seen it.

Nina's At My House said...

I look at the cover, and if it catches my eye, then I read the back cover, and the inside cover, and if it's good, then I read the
book,

Nina

http://ninasatmyhouse.blogspot.com/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Atmyhouse

Nina's At My House said...

every once in awhile, the cover just does not do the book justice, sometimes they are really misleading and have nothing what so ever to do with the book

Merrillee said...

Nina,
I know what you mean about the covers sometimes not doing a book justice.

Merrillee said...

Charity,
It is interesting that you mentioned so many Christian fiction covers having women on them. Looks like I have two covers with guys right here on the blog--three if you count the little boys. :)

Merrillee said...

Jackie,
The kids are cute, aren't they? If you read Four Little Blessings, you see that the cover got the kids perfect.

Ginny Jaques said...

Merrillee, I love this topic. I'm thinking about the cover I want for the book I'm self publishing. We're taking pictures of models that look like my characters so Jeff Gerke, my book cover designer, can come up with a cover. I love your book covers. I like the ones that look like photos, but on books the photos look like they've been touched up so they are almost like art instead of photos. Is that true? Do they do that? Is it just a photoshop thing? I want to learn how it's done.

Merrillee said...

Ginny, I think for the Love Inspired covers they look at photos and things the author sends but then they hire cover models and an artist actually does a painting. I had a cover with the hero and heroine and his little girl on the cover. I received a letter from the mother of the little girl who was the cover model. She sent me a photo of her daughter, and I was amazed at how much the little girl looked like the picture of a little girl I had sent with my Art Fact Sheet information. I'm not sure how other publishers do their covers.

Kathy Eberly said...

I have always enjoyed the Love Inspired covers, yet I think the last few years have a fresher look than before. I don't usually buy my books based on the cover though. I usually look for my favorite authors, then the blurb on the back and then I might really look at the cover.

Merrillee said...

Kathy,
Although a cover may catch my eye, I'm a blurb person, too. Thankfully, I don't have to write my own blurbs.

Merrillee said...

Charity,
Thanks so much.

Countrysunset said...

I have to admit that the covers usually do have alot of influence on whether I am interested in reading a book or not. Between the title and the picture, it usually has to grab my attention and then I will want to read it right away.

The covers that I have seen on here are really good. I love the ones showing family and kids.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter weekend!!

Nina's At My House said...

I think so too, but sometimes you really can't tell a book by it's cover, lol, so I read the inside and back too,