Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cover Art From A Marketing Perspective

Every author envisions the perfect book cover with characters on the cover that the artist seemed to pluck right from your head. Mood, setting, tone—it’s going to be perfect. But wait, the cover hits your inbox and it’s nothing what you expected. Take a breath and relax.

TWRP has wonderful cover artists. With the limited information you provide on a cover request sheet, we hope you have a cover you can be proud of. What you might not know is that before it was ever sent to you, your cover has already been through an approval process. So what does marketing look for in a cover?

Every publishing company has a brand. If you look at the evolution of TWRP covers, you’ll see a progression from plain colored backgrounds with text for shorter works and side banners on every book to show the Rose Line the book is from such as Cactus Rose or Crimson Rose. To what we now have—beautiful custom cover art for every title. But now that there isn’t a banner on the side, we still want to showcase our brand of romantic fiction on our book covers. Our covers have that indefinable quality that represents the romance of a Wild Rose Press book.

But marketing also considers other qualities. Is the font easy to read? Can a reader clearly see both the title and your name? If the book is going into print, does the cover showcase well in large full sized image as well as thumb sized for digital etailers? And is the cover clean and concise enough to be recognized scaled down for some etailers? A cluttered cover, a cover that is too dark or too light won’t stand out on a website with thousands of other covers.

To go a little off topic. By the time you’re ready for a cover your book has been contracted and is probably somewhere in the editing stage and it’s a bit late for changes. So here is some advice. When you finish your story and you’re ready to submit, think about the title. A long title is going to clutter the cover. A common phrase will have dozens to hundreds of books with the same title. To give an example, I plugged Homecoming into the search bar and had 191 possibilities show. A title that begins with The, A, or An are going to be lost in the etailer catalog.

So when you get your cover, know that we don’t just consider the beautiful couple on a beach at sunset. But we also want a cover that reflects our publishing house and will be recognizable as your book. Your legible name and title and the overall cover are the best first impression you’ll have for your book.

Lisa Dawn

Marketing Director

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