Friday, July 06, 2012
Writing: Book Covers
This isn't the way it works everywhere, but here's a composite of the major steps in the process. Design begins with the author filling out an information sheet about the physical description of major characters and the important central themes of the book. Graphic artists then take this material and, often in consultation with the marketing wing of the publisher, come up with several versions of a cover. Authors may or may not have input here--I have in some instances, not in others. Eventually, a version is settled on as the final product. If the author hasn't seen it already, this is when it's revealed to them. Of course, if the author has serious misgivings, they may ask their agent to step in and talk with the editor about it. But generally the publisher gets it right.
That's the front cover. The back cover copy has to be formulated, and we probably should save that discussion for another post. But, believe me, some work goes into it, as well.
I'm proud to share with you the cover design for my next novel, Stress Test. It's my first to be published by Thomas Nelson, and I'm under contract for more. Stress Test is already available on at least one site for pre-order, for those of you who like to make sure you don't miss anything. Otherwise, it's due to be in stores by the end of March, 2013, with an official launch date of April 1. (Yes, I'm aware of the significance of the date, and wonder if my publisher thought it appropriate for a book of mine).
As for whether book covers sell books, that's a question for you. What do you think?