Wednesday 31 October 2012

Some covers that work

Some covers that work

It goes without saying that we like our own covers: we would never have accepted them if we didn’t. So, I’m not going to talk about ours. I’m picking a handful I like by other publishers.
I heard someone imply the other day that self-published books showed by their covers. I don’t completely agree with that. Sure, full-time publishers know a lot about marketing and may incorporate subtle messages into their designs. But in terms of just being aesthetically pleasing, there are actually some very good ones produced by self-published authors and some very bad ones produced by mainstream publishers.
As a reader I find an attractive cover important. It needs to reflect the style of the book and show me that the book is something I would enjoy.
I’ve used the Amazon Associates images so that you can click though and find out more about each book.

The First Night
This cover is beautifully mysterious and fits the content of the book very well. The blue night-sky background to a scene of nature is exactly fitting as this is where the action takes place. This cover symbolizes the combination of real life and another dimension that makes the book so fascinating.

The English German Girl
(Small press)
This is obviously a book set in the 1930s and 1940s. The red lettering in the title shouts out a warning and is perhaps reminiscent of how red is used in the film Schindler’s List. The cover has a sepia tint and there is an old steam train in the background, almost as a watermark. The little girl holding her suitcase symbolizes the Kindertranpsort child. It promises and delivers an exploration of this puzzling time.

I love the greenness of this cover. The pages of the book itself are edged with black and this adds to the mysterious appearance. The claws and the claw-like hand suggest some horror. Just right for this time of the year.

And not just because of the name “Michael Morpurgo” on the front cover though that of course will recommend a good read. The dog is very realistic and extremely cute. The shadowy helicopters suggest war but there is a soldier holding hands with a child. So, Morpurgo, a dog, and a gentler side of the military. Yes, worth a read. The cover did not lie.

The Mortal Instruments 2 City of Ashes
I confess I have not read this book. But I am attracted by the title. The girl in the sky intrigues me – probably because two of our books are using a similar technique on their covers. The title suggests something dystopian and although there is a lot of that around at the moment, each take on what might happen is different and some interesting futures are being developed. This cover invites me to read.

Please Mrs Butler
Now that I read most books electronically, I’m beginning to collect children’s picture books. You just cannot replicate electronically the experience of holding a picture book and sharing its pages with a child. An App on a tablet just does not deliver in the same way. I could probably include all of the books by Anthony Browne, Allan Ahlberg, Debi Gilori and a dozen nor so others here.
I’ve chosen this one because I like the busy-ness of it. It suggests the book will give us some fascinating glimpses of everyday life. It also reminds me a little of a Lowry painting.   

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