Monday, August 27, 2018

In Praise of Cover Artists

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but I'm here to tell you that's a blatant lie. People do it ll the time, whether or not they should.

That's the nature of the beast., A good cover can make or break a book and so can a bad one.

My first few book covers were, well, horrid. I mean that. The publishers asked for cover ideas and it was like they took the best I could offer, tossed it aside and hired their next door neighbor's five-year-old nephew to handle it for them. They were work-for-hire books, but that didn't matter even a little to me. they managed to find the worst possible covers as if to prove something to themselves and to me. What they proved to me was exactly  how much a cover can affect sales.

The thing about being a midlist author is sometimes the publishers give you some control and sometimes they don't. In the small presses I could ask for and often receive the artist of my choice. In the big houses, it was "this is what you're getting."

Somewhere along the way I managed to run across publishers who actually consider your suggestions and, gasp, artists who actually read descriptions. The covers for the entire SEVEN FORGES series and for the TIDES OF WAR are all done by one man: Alejandro Colucci. Alejandro is an amazing talent. he also, gasp, actually reads the descriptions I send his way and then does his very best to follow them. His best, by the way, is stunning, as evidenced by the covers below.

In addition to Alejandro I want to point out the stunning talents of one Dan Brereton. Dan is a longtime friend of mine and has been kind enough to offer up several illustrations for covers of books that I am either self-publishing or doing through a small press. THIS IS HALLOWEEN. ONE BAD WEEK and SLICES are all covers created by Dan. His normal work is in illustrating fro his own NOCTURNAL Comic book, or for Marvel or DC Comics in some circumstances. frankly I don;t know how the man has time tp breathe, because if I were in charge of the hiring of artists, he would never have a moment's rest. 

Trust me: get a great cover and your book will be noticed. Get a crap cover and the book might well suffer here are a few examples of great covers from fantastic artists.

I am very, very grateful!

1 comment:

  1. Yes!! The Seven Forges series covers! I remember the unveiling for City of Wonders and thinking the artist NAILED it.