As a reader, I pay a lot of attention to a book’s cover. I can usually tell from the image and the title’s font whether the story will be lighthearted, mysterious, funny or deep. A cover that captures my attention at first glance is often all it takes for me to click on the book’s buy link to find out more. So while we’ve all been told not to judge a book by its cover, I’ll be the first to admit that I do it all the time. I would venture to guess I’m not the only one (maybe?). This is the main reason why authors spend hours upon hours searching for the perfect photo to use for their book cover.
I actually design my book’s cover before I write the story. This “pre-work” helps me visualize my characters better and gives me the inspiration I need to keep writing on those hard days when I can’t get the words out. Seeing the couple’s photo—specifically, their expressions and poses—makes them and their relationship come to life. It might sound strange, but I feel like I “owe” it to the characters to write the happy ending that’s reflected in their picture.
There are times, however, when an image I had chosen at the start of the writing process turns out to be the wrong one. This happened recently with the second book in my Spark Brothers series which features (fictional) romance author Brandon Spark. (You may remember meeting him when he did a guest post for me back in April.) He’s a sweet guy who enjoys writing stories with alpha heroes, even though he is nothing like them in real life. (Oops, I mean fictional life since he’s not real!) As the shy one of the family, he is the brother who struggles the most with talking to women.
The photo I initially chose to portray him was of a man playfully kissing a woman on the cheek. The more I got to know Brandon though through writing his story, the more I realized this behavior didn’t fall in line with his personality. I made a tough call—gulp!—to scrap the cover and start over. But, boy, am I glad I did! The new image I found fits Brandon to a T.
I’m excited to share my cover reveal of A Sudden Spark with you!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below, and whether or not you judge a book by its cover.
P.S. If you saw the title of this post and thought you’d read it already, you’re not the only one. When I saw Alexa Verde’s post on June 6th, I thought it was my own! Turns out book covers are a popular topic (and we both have great minds, haha).
Giveaway: I’d like to give away one digital copy of A Single Spark, the first book in The Spark Brothers series. Two winners will be randomly chosen from the comments below. The giveaway will remain open until midnight on Sunday, June 17th.