Monday, 15 May 2017

Book covers – what I love and what I hate

When I choose a book to read I tend to look for an author I’ve heard of, then read the blurb and maybe the first few pages. If I’m still intrigued, I’ll go ahead and buy the book. However, I am put off by photographic representations of characters. I like to make my own mind up about how they look. Artists’ impressions are a little more palatable as they only make a suggestion and this is just about the same as the one made by the text itself. Oddly, I’m less precious about setting. 
Also, the cover shouldn’t give away too much of the story. It should be a little like the blurb and just hint at something.
I’ve included a few here from my own collection of books – ones I’ve written, ones I’ve published and ones I’ve read.    

Clara’s Story 


This is the second in my Schellberg Cycle and picks up the style of The House on Schellberg Street. The wild flowers in a jug and the pearls are really very much part of Clara. They do feature in the story.

The House on Schellberg Street

The publisher asked me to pick a selection of stock pictures. I chose some lovely doorways but these looked too much like what they’d used on another book. However, we then decided to use a sepia tinted background – after all this is an historical novel – and present the doorway as a line drawing. That the door  is open intrigues us. This fits well with the story. It sets the tone for the other books in the cycle.















Salford Stories

We used a photo of Salford here. We desperately wanted a photo of The Old Pint Pot as one of the stories is set there. However, we just couldn’t get one that would work. We needed a picture where we had room to fit the blurb and the title. We had to go for a more generic picture of Salford.



This is one of my favourites. People may have thought of Christmas tree baubles as the book came out just before Christmas. We thought more in terms of bits and pieces that are collected as people go through life. Chris Bowles’ story in the collection gives a particular take on that idea.

Something Hidden

This is the title of the first story in the collection and this was in fact the winner of a short story competition we’d held. I found a stock photo that goes very well with this story by just searching the site using the story title as search words. This often does have amazing results.


Beggarman’s Cottage

Here is an example of  an artist’s impression. It’s very watery and ghost-like and just given an impression. It’s still left to us to decide how exactly the old cottage might look.

Words and figures as pictures

Her are a couple of examples how we’ve used a series of words and numbers for the cover. One displays all of the authors. Another creates a bit of a puzzle. What happened on which day?  The third works on a pun and gives you numbers to play with.

Are you tempted by any of them? Are the pictures working?  
Click on them and find out more about the book.            

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