As a child, many a book cover I saw didn’t feature any art. Books especially written and edited for children began to appear in my part of hinterland India by the time I was a teen.
So I sneaked books from my father’s collection.
My father’s library contained four kinds of books: ones without a cover that he picked up from pavements, the pricey hardcovers he ordered where he immediately got rid of the jacket, the iconic but boring beige Penguin covers with just the title, and the rest–which he immediately covered up with brown paper (with good reason–some of those Falubert, Zola and D H Lawrence covers were considered ‘saucy’.
My idea of the beauty of books was shaped by what lay within. Covers began to make an impact as I became solvent enough to buy my own books, but even then, copies I could afford were mostly second-hand, and what I now realize were pirated versions off the pavement.
It was only when I moved to Malaysia that I began to see book cover art for what it was. That explains the mad buying spree for a few years.
When I transitioned to the author side of things, some of my stories found homes in anthologies. I had no say in the book covers, of course. The editors took care of that. Here are a few of the book covers of the anthologies I’ve been featured in:
By the time we began thinking of cover ideas for You Beneath Your Skin, I was resigned to the fact that my editor at Simon & Schuster India would make the decision, but to my surprise she consulted my former agent and I, and we got to pick the red cover, the face in the background, as well as the fade-out. The title was huge, and my name barely there, but it was a debut. I like that the bold lettering makes it legible even at very small stamp sizes on Amazon and other online retailers.
For The Blue Bar, I filled up a form even before the book contract was signed–I could make suggestions on the color scheme, the items on the cover, and even the font. They didn’t pick all the suggestions, but they did take many, and the shiny blue-jewel cover has been a reader favorite. I thought the blood and the frayed sequin threads were a nice touch.
So far my first two books have have had covers I could get behind. The sequel to The Blue Bar will be out this year, titled, The Blue Monsoon. Can’t wait to see what that would look like.
What about you? Do book covers seduce you into buying books? If you’re an author, which book cover is your favorite? Would you like to link us to books with your favorite covers?
This is the first Wednesday of the month post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The questions were: If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?
Founded by the Ninja Cap’n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share their fears and insecurities without being judged.
This is a wonderful group–if you aren’t a part of it, I urge you to join in!
The awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG are Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!
My lit crime novel, The Blue Bar is on Kindle Unlimited now. Add it to Goodreads or snag a copy to make my day.
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