Friday, March 5, 2010

Judging a Book by its Cover

I have a cover for my forthcoming novel! And I’m totally smitten with it. I’m also smitten with my brilliant publisher, Carrie Kania, for finding it (after looking at a bazillion and one images of women with horses).

Often readers are surprised to learn that authors don’t select or create their own cover art. Young readers, especially, are dismayed to learn this fact. They think I should be dismayed, too, but really, a cover is considered a marketing tool and HarperCollins has lots of people employed in their marketing and art departments who know LOTS more than I do about marketing tools, so why shouldn’t I trust them?

Especially since people DO indeed judge books by their covers.

The cover—rather than 100% accurately depicting a character or place from the story—should evoke a certain emotional reaction. It’s not so important that a figure of a person look exactly like your main character as it is the image makes a shopper pause, feel something, and pick up the book to explore further.

An uninteresting cover doesn’t stop me from buying a book I already knew about and was going to buy anyway…but I know from experience that breathtaking, unusual, or intriguing cover art has often led me to discover new fiction I might otherwise have missed.

What I love about this cover for The Blessings of the Animals is that not only does it suggest (rightly) that a woman and a horse will be key players, but it speaks to me of love, of trust, of comfort (which one is comforting the other, or is it mutual?), and even hope (grass that shade of green can only be springtime). Combined with the title, hopefully it will compel potential readers to want to know more. That’s always the goal…and only time will tell!

We are now six months from the publication date (August 3) and it's really beginning to feel "real."


  1. Cover art really can make a wonderful impression, not only about the book and what you might get to read, but also about the author. This looks like a perfect match! Congrats!

  2. Thank you so much! I really, really love it.