Saturday, March 3, 2012

First the Cover

Tea in the Afternoon

How important is a cover in your decision to pick up or click on a book if you don't know the author's work? What else do you have to go on?
For me, the cover is number one for an unknown author. If I see an interesting or attractive cover, I'm likely to go the next step and read the blurb or description. If the cover is boring or illegible, I'll probably pass. Sometimes though, a particularly intriguing title will draw me in spite of the cover.
I want the title to be clear and the genre and tone of the book to be apparent. I often see thumbnail sizes first, and I want to see something other than a blob. An amorphous rectangle doesn't inspire me to click on it.
Here are three very different styles. See what you think. 
I've just redone my cover for Tea in the Afternoon because the first one was muddy. I like the color and what the new one suggests about the stories. What does it say to you?
My friend Polly Iyer designs her own covers. InSight may be my favorite. One glance tells me a lot about the kind of story it is. Even the thumbnail is clear. 
Fortune's Fool
I've included a recent award-winning cover, Fortune'sFool by Jane Sevier. April Martinez is the designer. To me, this one perfectly depicts the story.
What do these covers tell you? What do you look for in a cover? 


Polly said...

Love the covers you picked. Okay, one of them is mine, but I think of all my covers, this one best tells the story. I LOVE Jane's cover. April is a talented designer, and because I know she designs other genres, this cover proves she can switch and still convey the flavor of the book. Tea in the Afternoon depicts another time--a genteel time long past. I love it. Since I've read all the stories, I know it is the perfect cover. Covers are definitely important. An amateurish cover puts me off, and I'm not likely to pick up the book.

Jan Romes said...

Very nice, Ellis! Your covers are definitely a draw! :-))

Ellis Vidler said...

Polly, the InSight cover fits the story beautifully. It's clean, dark, and compelling. It makes me want to see more.

Jan, I love the crossed fingers and red nails on the cover of One Small Fib. It shows the humor and genre very well.

Una Tiers said...

You new cover is more tea-esque. Where is mine? LOL I also like Polly the Prolific's cover.

Jane Sevier said...

Thanks, Ellis--and Polly! I'm crazy about the cover for Fortune's Fool and happy to be in such good-looking company here.

Ellis Vidler said...

I'm delighted that I could put myself in such good company. I've read all these books--Polly's, Jan's, Una's, and Jane's--and they're terrific! All very different in style and all good reads. If you've missed any, I suggest you try them.

Una's book is Judge vs Nuts, and it's available at Amazon

Jan's is One Small Fib, and it's on Amazon at

Una, I'm glad mine is more Tea-esque. You make me smile. The cover is from the first story, but it works for the last one too.

Thanks, y'all.

Kevin Hanrahan said...

I think the cover has to have something I'm interested in whether it be words or pictures. I'm not a fan of busy covers either...simple and straightforward with a clear message is what I look for. I can tell exactly what I’m getting with your cover Ellis….looks great.

Ellis Vidler said...

Thanks, Kevin. At least you wouldn't buy it expecting an action-adventure novel. I dislike buyer's remorse, and if the cover doesn't tell the reader what to expect, s/he is likely to be unhappy with the book--and the author.