The Art of a Cover

Take a minute to pop over and see the design recently picked for Pastor Rick Warren's newest book about the Lord's Prayer. Don't read the accompanying article just yet please (go ahead, I'll wait...).

Now I've got three thoughts for you:

1. It is widely accepted that today readers take only a few seconds, like less than 10 to decide if they want to pick up or look further at a book based on its cover.

2. On first impression, what do you think of it? Did anything stand out? How about the "O" in the middle? In the article, the comment is made that by design, the "O" appears you could fall right through it. If you didn't notice before, now that you read that comment, look again. I definitely feel that and I find it intriguing how such a simple sparse design accomplishes it. So often designers/authors think the more stuff, the more info you can cram on the better. Sometimes maybe, but a good designer will not only think about the information to be conveyed, but also the tone and feel of the book. If the cover can communicate that from the get go to a potential reader, it's probably a winner.

3. The cover art design was chosen through a contest. Whether you suggest it to your publisher or do it yourself as an independent, or maybe even fee-based, holding a similar contest can help you in at least a couple of ways. First, you can get a wider variety of ideas or new resources. Sometimes the more heads on a project the better. Typically, if you work with a designer you'll only get 2 or 3 unless you pay for more. Next, you can use it to build pre-publishing buzz. I didn't happen to hear about the contest itself ahead of time, but with the ease of Twitter and Facebook, as you asked for entries, it would also alert potential readers to follow you and stay tuned.

Usually, the design for a cover is referred to as "cover art" and as you can see, the term "art" definitely applies.

How did you/will you choose your cover art?

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett

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