Cover me

So here’s something that came up yesterday: my husband was handing a professor of his one of my promotional bookmarks for The Trident of Merrow, which has an image of the cover on it. The professor was eyeballing it and asked, “What is this?” When Garin explained, the professor said oh, I thought it was religious literature or something. Apparently it had something to do with the font and color of the title (see the link to Amazon for what the cover looks like).

I posted about it on Facebook and got two comments, one from a person who runs a small marketing and PR business and another from someone who is a student in visual design and illustration. Both of them said while the cover is “adequate,” it could use some improvement though they couldn’t put their finger on exactly what. But for a self-designed cover it was “decent.”

I did the art myself and based the design on what I’d seen for young adult and other novels nowadays: simple, few elements, something striking that doesn’t give the whole story away or show all the characters, etc.

So maybe from a design and marketing standpoint, it’s not great. The question is: does it matter? I’ve gotten a lot of remarks from people who see it, “I love the cover. It’s so striking!” This is before they know I did it myself, so I doubt they’re empty compliments.

And while I don’t suspect my marketing and artist friends are trying to seed doubt so I’ll bring my cover-design business to them ;) I think I might just next time.

Any of you out there design your own covers for your self-published works? Do you have a background in design? Tell me about your own experiences.

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~ by Amber on September 22, 2011.

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