Covers That Speak to the Heart

SIMON SAYS_mckup04


I can see the cover now: a blinding storm—a blizzard, perhaps—commuters trapped in an avalanche of snow—waiting to be rescued by—a team of sled dogs and a handsome forrest ranger…

(Sounds so good,  I just may write it!!)

But, wait—we are talking about the COVER of the book.

The question is: Should the cover tell the story…or only allude to it?

Since I just finished the cover for my newest fiction book, Simon Says, I can only share my insights from the process.

I thought, I knew what I wanted. I even conveyed it to the design team at 99Designs.

However, when I made a poll of my favorite designs, it turns out that responders had something else in mind.

They wanted a somewhat vague, emotionally-driven cover.

This shouldn’t really surprise me, because when I shop for a book to read, covers that evoke emotion are at the top of my list. They speak to the heart.

The cover should be a little vague. It should allude to–but not tell the whole story. It should make the shopper curious...pick it up…turn it over…read the back copy…hunger for more…

My new cover shows a boy watching a neighborhood baseball game from afar. The reader doesn’t know it is about bullying until they read the back cover copy…but THEY SENSE THE ISOLATION and that is how they connect with Marcus, the main character.

So, when it came down to it, I had to trust my audience because

the customer is always right.


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