Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Glimpse into Book Cover Design

After interviewing hundreds of book authors for many years, you'd be surprised how frequently these authors want to tell me how much they dislike the cover of their latest book. Or they will tell me how the book title wasn't the one that they would have selected. Inside when I hear these stories I shake my head and feel like shaking the author and saying, "Get over it and move on and be excited about what you have in front of you." It doesn't make a good impression on the journalist about this part of the publishing process.

Many years ago, one of my high-profile authors strongly disliked his book cover photo. The dislike carried into his eagerness to promote this particular title. Before too many months, this book faded out of print.

On the positive side of book cover design, Roy Peter Clark wrote "Judge My Book by Its Cover" in the June 18th Publishers Weekly. The article points out a simple truth: ideally the cover designer reads the book and gets in sync with the author and publisher about the vision for the book audience. It's a good piece and I recommend you read it.

What the printed article does not show is Clark's book cover for Writing Tools. I have not read this book but I'm familiar with Clark's work at Poynter Online. Here's a list of his 50 writing tools and articles. Here's where he podcasts about these writing tools. It's a rich resource and every writer can gain something from Clark's Writing Tools.

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