And then the jpg. of the cover arrived on Dukey's email site.

And then the jpg. of the cover arrived on Dukey's email site. The photo was a bit grainy--a definite 'no-no' and a shout to potential book shoppers that the graphics artist was an amateur (ergo--the publisher and author must be). It had a number of still shots of scenes from the book and they we're plaster all over the place. Cutesy scrawly letters looped and swirled overtop announcing all, at a first glance, that this book could be nothing less than the cheesiest of romance stories.

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Duke tried to look stoic. He tried to accept that this was the best cover possible for his story. But I can see through that salt and pepper bewiskered mug. The sucked in lips over toothless gums. The half-dropped lids that tried to hide the pained look in his bulging eyes. The raised eyebrows and tip of chin attempting to convey an 'ah well' attitude. And I didn't believe for a moment that the pooling moisture on his cheeks was due to 'something in an eye'. Duke is crushed. And I don't blame him.

A book cover is probably one of the most important parts of a book--right up there with good editing, proper flow and a stunning plot. The cover is the first glance one gets of a new book. It has to grab a potential reader and call to them in a silent voice. It has to convince them in that first look that they want toreach up, pull the book off the shelf and read the back cover comments. It is the author's one chance to stand out amidst the thousands of other books vying for the reader's attention. So what should a good cover look like?

Simplicity is a writer's best friend. If the cover is busy most people will ignore it. It should send a single message--in Duke's case--one of mystery and suspense. The loopy letters should be replaced by edgy, bold font. Covers that focus on a single colour--two at the most--are more successful than covers containing complicated pictures with a number of colours--unless they are romance novels which often have a love scene on the cover. That love scene still focuses on one idea though--romance. In Duke's case, a single colour back drop with a sillouette of a cage couldbe so effective. It screams suspense.

Many publishers spend a lot of money on the book cover. They know the importance of that first glance. Knowing that, I have made my suggestions to Duke and offered to champion the cause of his book cover on his behalf to the publisher.

And now I have the joy of staring down into the toothless, gaping smile of one very relieved canine.

Posted in Photograph Post Date 01/07/2018