Posted in guest blogger, inspiration, Writing tips

The Cover Game

By Ashley Crookham

I spent a lovely afternoon with my husband at a bookstore.

When we finally found the books there the game began.

The Cover Game

What can you tell from a book cover? If you know the book, what makes sense about the cover? If you don’t know the book, what do you guess the story is about?

What clues to genre does the cover give off? Is the book meant to inform or entertain more?

Do only established authors get to put their names on top of the title? Do certain fonts express credibility?

Most interesting to me was the branding of an author. How can you tell it’s from a particular person? Do an author’s books all have something in common? I want to compliment V. E. Schwab on the use of the first letter of her first name in her book covers. It struck me and I’ve since become a reader and fan.

If you’re ever again able to browse in a bookstore, here in Indiana or elsewhere, it is a fun exercise and will give you much to think about.

What will my covers have in common?

From now on, I will always make sure my covers convey the visual arrows I want potential readers to have. As far as cohesiveness, they will all be painted by my true love.

Have you ever played the cover game? What did you learn?

Thank you, Ashley, for sharing your blog with us. That was Ashley Crookham the author of the dystopian novel, Virtue Chasm

Ashley grew up in Southern Maryland, studied in Baltimore, and had a stint in the Western part of the state. She spent half a year in New Zealand chasing hobbits. Foxes led her to Rita Mae Brown in rural Virginia. She owned too many acres in Pennsylvania then put them to use with her own hunger games. She pretended to be a Hoosier in Indiana, but was found out. So, she gathered her Vonnegut memorabilia and landed in North Carolina where she avoids alligators. Her life is currently like the backstory of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Her collection of library cards is precious to her.

I really enjoyed Ashley’s blog and I hope you enjoyed it too. Ashley is a new member of the Pamlico Writers’ Group. I recently attended Inker’s Con and one of the presenters also mentioned studying covers to help choose the best covers for your book and genre. As indie authors we have the responsibility of choosing a cover designer or designing our covers to best sell our books.

I mistakenly thought the cover was about representing the book but it’s more than that. It’s about conveying the feeling of the book, the genre. When designing the book cover it is good to study the best-selling books in your genre. A reader wants the same but different. When you decide on a cover, think of what message you want the reader to see at first glance. Play the cover game and see if your covers match up to your genre.

Other authors also have vlog posts that relate to the cover game.

Sarah Cannon Heartbreathings vlog

Lyra Parish The Courtney Project vlog