Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Judging a Book by its Cover #utopya2014 @utopyacon


Hey everyone! I was having a brain fart on what to write for my utopYA post this month. Toni had an awesome post on book blurbs last month so why not talk about something equally as important....the cover! I admit, I'm the type of person that judges a book by its cover. I think it's just as important as the story, if not more so. It's the first thing you see when you go to a book store, library, or online retailer.

Here are some things you should ponder when looking to get your cover designed.

  • Does the cover honestly portray your book? (This seemed to be the biggest response from the experts)

This is incredibly important to me as a reader/blogger. It kinda sets the tone for the book....how the characters look or the background. When asked what's the most important part of designing a beautiful cover, Lori at Contagious Reads says "The cover portrays the story, and the key to that is communication between the author and cover artist."

When asked the same question, author Alivia Anders replied "In my opinion, the most important part of designing a beautiful cover is capturing the essence of the story in a single image- one that tells you everything and nothing all at once. It can be formulaic for the genre at hand, but it doesn't (and shouldn't) have to be. Take The Hunger Games for example. It's incredibly minimalistic- both a telling factor to Katniss' life, and a huge contrast to the life in the Capitol. The Mockingjay symbol is always referenced as a key symbol, and it is, but when you pair it with the entire book cover, it tells a portion of the story before you've even opened the jacket flap to read the synopsis."

Graphic artist/cover designer Victoria Faye says "I think the most important part is staying true to the imagery in the story. You don't want readers to feel misled. besides for me its always fun reading the book and then looking back at the cover and saying OH I get it."

  •  Staying true to your aesthetic (both the author and designer)

Designing a cover takes team effort. I always believed that there has to be some give and take. The author deserves a cover that fits with their book and the designers need to stay true to their craft.

Photographer and cover artist Kelsey Keeton says "Making the author happy, but making sure it represents you as the artist as well. Personal infusion as an artist is what makes the over all design yours," is important when designing.

  • Branding

Branding makes me squeal like a tween at a One Direction concert. I swear it does funny things to my insides. Not only does it look awesome on your bookshelf, it gives your books a cohesive look.

Graphic artist/cover designer Regina Wamba says "A clean easily read title. Anything over the top (which for some reason people believe needs to be done) will be hard to read as a thumbnail. And establishing a brand or consistency as a series"

  • Visibility

Along the lines of Regina's statement, the typography can make or break a cover. Sometimes fancy isn't the right look for your book. Speaking with a designer can help narrow down what would look best for your cover. Always stick with something that's easy to read and not overly done. If you have to stare at a cover for more than a couple of seconds to figure out the cover, it's not right for you.

  • Stock images

I can only imagine how expensive these can run. Some of them are relatively affordable, but guess what, other authors have the same ones. Splurging on custom stock or photo shoots can hurt your pocket initially but can pay off in the long run. Find an up and coming photographer if you can't afford the more expensive ones.

 I do have a big "don't do" when it comes to cover design

  • Don't do it yourself!

If you're a graphic designer, by all means, make your own cover. Your cover should be your second baby next to the story itself. Go with a professional or invest in a quality image editing program. You could always watch YouTube tutorials but nothing beats the quality that an expert can give you.


 utopYAawards2014logo1 I hope to see you all at UtopYA 2014! There will be plenty of panels that are helpful for everyone and you wont want to miss it! To see what UtopYA is all about, visit http://utopyacon.com/ and for tickets visit http://www.eventbrite.com/e/utopya-2014-tickets-on-oct1st-registration-7219041347

Be sure to follow the rest of the Official UtopYA Bloggers for exclusive content and news!

Delphina of Delphina Reads Too Much

Toni of My Book Addiction

Heather of SupaGurl Books

Kathryn of TSK, TSK, What to Read?

Tootles! ren