by Libby Malin
Sourcebooks' artists have done it again! The cover for my April release, My Own Personal Soap Opera, is in and I love, love, love, love it!
Let me count the ways:
- The cover captures the spirit of the book--humorous women's fiction where the heroine's main question is: where am I going?
- The cover plays off the word "soap" by having the woman sitting in a tub. The end of the book has the heroine in a tub, so it's a really nice overlap.
- The cover "brands" my kind of story because it has similar elements to my first Sourcebooks release, Fire Me--girl's partially obscured face in the lower left corner, blue-sky, cloudy (or bubbly!) background, a sense of impishness and wonder.
So, thank you, Sourcebooks artists for another fantastic job!
Covers are so important, and authors rarely have control over what goes on them. One of the things I've loved about Sourcebooks is how they ask authors to let them know what kinds of covers we like, what kinds of covers we'd like to have ours emulate.
I've had friends published elsewhere who've anguished over a misstep on the cover--art that doesn't communicate the tone of the book at all. Even though the book is a good one, if a reader picks it up expecting one thing, because of the cover design, and getting another, because of the actual story, disappointment is inevitable.
Readers can be pulled into picking up a book if the cover is enticing. And they can bypass perfectly wonderful novels if the cover is blah or just not the kind of images that attract that book's readers.
A couple years ago, I read a mystery novel by a talented writer who I'd "met" on an email readers/writers loop. It was a magnificent book featuring a female protagonist who solves the mystery. The protagonist had a wry sense of humor, but was no hard-boiled detective. She was an amateur sleuth, in fact. The book was so well-written that it made me think: hmm, if Raymond Chandler had been a female, this is how she would have written mysteries.
As great as that book was, if I'd come across it in a bookstore, I never would have picked it up. Its cover art was angular and abstract, communicating a sense of hardness and grit that was at odds with what was on the page.
Have you read books where the cover art doesn't jibe with the story? Or have you bypassed books you later liked. . . because the cover art didn't attract you the the first time? Or how about books that are a perfect marriage of both art and story, but it was the art that triggered your purchase?