Choosing Cover Art

Flowers look different to different eyes.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. How do you catch someone’s attention? Right now, I’m working on the cover art portion for my forthcoming novel. The nice thing about a small press is that they value your input, so I get to voice my opinions on what I’m looking for and collaborate with the designer. On the other hand, I have a steep learning curve to figure out how covers work.

Two websites that are helpful for viewing stock photos and getting inspired are http://www.istockphoto.com/ and http://www.dreamstime.com/.

Here are my three objectives for the cover:

1) Simplicity. A lot of covers will be seen as thumbnail images online, and they need to be uncluttered to show up well on the screen.

2) Distinctive. With so many books vying for attention, the cover art must be unique.

3) Reflective. The cover is the first impression the reader gets of the work, so the image picked needs to convey the genre, tone, and a hint of the story at one glance.

It’s both interesting and informative to research lists of the best book covers. Which would you vote for, and what’s the best cover you’ve ever seen?
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