Designing the cover

Designing the cover

No matter how good your book is nobody is going to know that until they start to read it. The only things they have got to go on is the book cover and what you have written about the book on the back cover. If you are not a well-known name you have to rely on attracting potential readers through the visual medium.

An eye-catching cover, along with enticing back-cover notes, might just convince a reader to take a chance on you as a new writer.

I remember having a depressing conversation with an editor. He asked me how many Sci-Fi books an average Sci-Fi fan might read in their lifetime. I enthusiastically replied ‘thousands’. He was more sceptical but asked me how many good Sci-Fi books, by established writers, were already published and out there. We left that hanging.

He then asked me to imagine I was going on a long flight and I wanted to buy a novel for the journey. He told me to imagine I was browsing the Sci-Fi section at a book shop. Would I be more attracted to an Isaac Asimov or an Iain Banks that I had not read than taking a chance on a Ron Forsythe?

It was a tad disheartening.

All one can do is to design a cover that attracts, like a flower touting for bees. The cover can be a make or break. It has to stand out from the crowd.

A cover should say something; it should visually relate to the story. It is a statement. It tells the reader what the book is about within a scan of the eye.

The cover should also capture something of the author.

A picture says more than a thousand words.

Designing a cover is crucially important.

Here are the covers I have designed for my books:

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