They say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I used to believe and follow that advice. I’ve read some excellent books that came “in a plain brown wrapper.”
Years ago, when most hardcover books came in plain cloth or hard paper covers, not illlustrated, a discerning reader had to look for a synopsis on the inside of the flap jacket to decide whether the book might be more interesting than its cover.
When paperbacks came out, covers of the classics and non-fiction books were still plain. Then a new kind of paperback with illustrated covers hit the market. Yes, there were a few good books among these, but many covers were associated with a lesser quality of writing or cheesier topics. Often a cheap photo or drawing attempted to lure a reader into buying.
Times have changed. Now that everyone is a writer, the market is more competitive and since most authors want to realize some sales now rather than 100 years after their death, they resort to a flashy advertising campaign. And it works!
Put a boring plain cover next to a flashy modern one, and it’s no contest. The eye, and hand, are almost always drawn to the flashier cover. Of course, in the end, the real test still lies in the text between the front and back covers of the book.
Anita B. Carroll has helped bring me into the modern age of competitive book covers. With her amazing imagination she has created a new cover for my novel, The Wind Weeps.
After reading the book, she said it had the same suspense as the movie Sleeping With the Enemy starring Julia Roberts. I was so pleased that she found it to be a page turner.
For the novel, The Wind Weeps, I had thought of book cover images with a stormy ocean, a desperate young woman, perhaps a boat … but none of these images conveyed the terror that is also a part of this love story. Andrea’s husband brings her orchids. Perhaps orchids could feature in the cover? But the cover image can’t be too rosy (sorry for the pun). It is also a dark story – the kind of darkness that makes you want to turn the page, looking for the light.
In the end, I told Anita, “Just forget my ideas and see what you come up with.”
She really came through for me. I was shocked at first because it was so different from what I expected, but she has captured all the elements of the story. The delicate orchid, the tears dripping from it into a desolate ocean; love gone wrong. The red sky symbolizing (for me) pain and fear, and the dark, rough ocean symbolizing Andrea’s remote isolation and desperation.
Anita’s contact information: