Welcome Wednesday – Judging Books By Their Covers

Welcome Wednesday – Judging Books By Their Covers

Welcome to a visual edition of Welcome Wednesdays.

We’ve all heard that “you can’t judge a book by its cover” but we also all know that people totally do.  So today, authors, please share one of your book covers in the comments, and tell us how it got created, what you like best about it, or anything else you’d like to say.  And be sure to include a link to the book, too!

Last week we talked about funny moments from books, and this week we’re taking a look at the reverse side of things.  Let’s delve into some more difficult emotions.  Authors, I want you to tell us about the most cruel, heartbreaking thing you’ve ever done to one of your characters.  Did you have their childhood pet run away?   Have their best friend betray them?  Kill their spouse?  Give them a fatal disease?  Blow up their home planet?  Tell us about it in the comments, and be sure to leave a link so we can read all the brutal details for ourselves…

EDITED TO ADD: if you want to embed your cover image and you have a link to it, here’s how to do it.  Use the following HTML code in your comment:

<img src=”IMAGE URL” width=”200″>

I’ll begin…

As some of my readers know, the covers that are on my books now aren’t the original ones.  When I released the first six Dream Series books, I worked with an artist to produce hand-illustrated covers, which I loved.  I gave her very specific directions, and they looked fantastic…but it turned out that they weren’t right at all for the genre and audience of the books.  The artist is Ami Low, who’s a fantastic illustrator and painter, and she gave me exactly what I asked for.  So here’s the original cover of DREAM STUDENT

Dream Student Cover

And here’s the redesigned cover, by another artist, Emma Michaels, who I turned to when I could no longer ignore the fact that while Ami did an amazing job of translating my direction and ideas into wonderful art, the direction WAS the problem!  So for the revised covers, I simply told Emma what the books were about, and let her do whatever she thought best.  And here’s the result:

Dream Student Cover (Smaller)

And now it’s your turn!

(when you’re done here, please stop by Exquisite Quills, where there are daily memes just like this one and plenty of fantastic authors you can discover!)

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16 Replies to “Welcome Wednesday – Judging Books By Their Covers”

  1. Your new cover is perfectI The white text on black is very on trend and the image of the woman is so eye catching. She definitely looks dreamy.

    I made a slight change to my covers recently as well. Call of Kythshire and Call of Sunteri are a series of Fantasy fairytale novels. I wanted the cover to invoke fairies and mystery, and I fell in love with a cursive font that everyone told me was not right for the books.

    After a few months I realized they were right. Cursive font is generally used for Romance and not as much for Fantasy, so I redesigned the typography for the cover and I think it fits the genre much better now.

    New covers:

    Example of old cover:

    All three books are available on Amazon.

  2. Hopping over here from Kboards to say hello. 🙂 Thanks for the invite, J.J. I love your current covers. 🙂

    I’m happy to share my latest cover, designed by Lou Harper on Deviant Art, which I totally love. But I have no idea how to post a cover in a comment. LOL. So here’s an attempt:

    That probably won’t work. But it’s definitely visible on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B00Y74I

    Lou designed exactly what I wanted — the cover is clearly urban fantasy, and it has details specific to the story that make it mine (like Gideon’s pendant). Before this I’d attempted to design my own covers. Never again! LOL

  3. Thanks for making this sharing possible, James!

    This Changes Everything, Volume I

    This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II

    This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III

    All available in both ebook and paperback formats: http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners Look right; scroll down.

    The Spanners Series. logo

    All logo and cover art by WillowRaven for The Spanners Series.

    1. I think it depends where the link is hosted at and permissions & stuff. I tried to link to a cover from my Dropbox, and it wouldn’t show up, so I had to put it into the Public folder, then the same htmp code worked to show it.

  4. Thanks for talking about covers and when (if) they meet our vision. Years ago I wrote my first MG/YA time-travel adventure, and I had a specific cover in mind. No idea how to make it happen–can’t find some of these images in conventional stock footage sites!–but somehow….. I did it This is the only cover I have (over 12 books written) for which I had a definite vision all along, and which turned out EXACTLY as I wanted. On one side a British soldier holding a rifle, on the other a modern teen with a cell phone (although it’s now an ‘old’ looking phone).


  5. I hired a wonderful lady named Starla Hutchson to do the new cover for Transpecial.

    The book was originally published by Musa Publishing, and they gave me a lot of say in the old cover.

    Here’s the link if that doesn’t work: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QCDQfkWqbl8/UUOWb7h6qsI/AAAAAAAAAeo/2LMDVLVgLOA/s765-Ic42/transpecial-510copy.jpeg

    I asked fro a young woman on Mars facing into a storm with a ship landing, which is a key scene from the book. This was what the artist gave me, and it was a perfectly fine cover. Then Musa went out of business – and I didn’t have the rights to the cover.

    So, I went a completely different direction. I wanted to make the two editions visually distinct. Also, I felt the orange color would not look as good on a paperback.

    I took out the girl (intended to be one of the protagonists, Suza) and put the ship in orbit above Mars instead. Starla did a wonderful job:

    (And, again, the link: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uMpkc3uqjFY/VPjl9OCcmjI/AAAAAAAABIw/w3hqjBh2MBg/s640-Ic42/Transpecial_400x640_115dpi.jpg)

    I like it much better…no offense to Musa.


  6. This is The Sheriff Meets His Match, cover made by the Killion Group, who I love!
    The Sheriff Meets his Match
    When a jaded sheriff is drawn to an exasperating woman in trouble, anything can happen

    Laurel Thomas has always experienced life from the outside looking in. She likes the warm welcome she’s received in Tidal Falls and wants to make a home in this friendly little town, far away from her egocentric family. But then her uncle arrives and she learns the past has a way of catching up to her.
    Jack Garrett is satisfied with his uncomplicated life. He has a good job as the sheriff of his hometown, a nice home, and a beautiful teenage daughter. So why is he struggling against his attraction for the disorganized new hire at the department, Laurel Thomas? She threatens everything he’s worked so hard to avoid—like falling in love.
    Can two people with enough emotional baggage to sink a ship find a way to give each other a chance, or is this match doomed to drown?

    I think this cover perfectly portrays the conflict and humor I wanted.
    Buy link: http://authl.it/B0150T696Y

  7. I hope that works. If not here’s the link:
    My first cover I tried to do myself and did a pretty horrible job using Office software. Then I learned GIMP and did a better cover, but although a lot of people commented on how beautiful it looked, not having a person on it seemed to not make as attractive. So I commissioned cover art from Ravven in the UK and ended up with my current cover. It hugely impacted sales! For the curious, you can find the second, somewhat better self-made cover here:
    It won’t be there forever! I’m updating the wyrd goat website and the cover art page will be just a few covers and a link to my kzmiller.com page (when that’s done! It’s also in transition.) I still do cover art, but not for fantasy. Fantasy takes a very special touch and sensibility that takes a long time to learn, time that I don’t have at the moment. 🙂 Same with romance, SF, etc. I’ve got my little book cover genre niche and I’ll stick with what I’m (still learning to) know.

  8. I think the worst thing I’ve done to a character is have an enemy of his use magic to force a personality change that made him like his enemy. Even though his enemy killed his best friend. Yeah. He’s hating that. He’s aware of it all, too. He just can’t stop himself from making excuses for the bad guy and tries to foist the blame on others, even though he knows the bad guy was behind it all.

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