Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Covers and Clinches and Car Driving, Oh My!

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. ~ Gilbert Highet

I spent most of the last evening working on my cover art form and blurb stuff for my upcoming Samhain novel, "Isn't She Liv Leigh" (don't worry, eventually I'll get tired of saying that!). My wonderful editor, Eve (waves!) assures me they have a blurb wizard who will take what I give them and make it even better. And if Allie's cover is anything to judge by, they have a fabulous art department as well. So, I shouldn't be worried.

Still, I was stymied by the cover stuff (well, and the blurb, too -- as a few of writing friends know, since I sent out a call for help last night), but I'm a writer, not an artist and I think in words, not pictures. Long ago, when I was young and foolish (instead of old and foolish, as I am now), I dreamed of drawing and painting. My indulgent father bought me a ton of art supplies. And, truthfully, I ended up being pretty decent. I could draw nearly anything you put in front of me -- though my favorite thing to do was horses (I got grasshoppers down really well, too. Don't ask).

Still, something was missing. I didn't have that "spark" that made my art special. If people wanted an exact replica of a grasshopper (who wouldn't?), they could take a picture. When people buy art, they want something more.

So, now I write. I *think* I manage to give that something more to my readers.

So why (why, why, why) do I have to try to think of art now?

I do know what I don't like (though, I may be in the minority on this): clinch covers. I hate 'em. They absolutely turn me off. I don't mind the H/H on the front, and I don't mind them being all sexy in some way (Take the LASR spotlight author, Jill Monroe's book cover for "Hitting the Mark" ... HOT, HOT, HOT but not a cheesy clinch cover).

I know I want something fun for the front of "Liv", but not animated like the old Flipsides and many other romantic comedy books. "Liv" isn't yuck-yuck funny, but it is light-hearted and that needs to reflect on the cover.

So, I'm still working on it.

In my job at LASR, a truly wonderful reviews site, (yes, shameless promotion, LOL), I see A LOT of covers. Some are truly incredible, but some have been so bad I would be ashamed to promote my own book. No, I'm not naming names... but, those awful covers would influence my decision to purchase a book. I've been fortunate -- The Wild Rose Press and Samhain both seem to have truly amazing art departments, so I should love my cover for "Liv".

How do you feel about covers? Do they seriously impact your decision to purchase (or NOT purchase) a book? What kind of covers do you like to see? Do you prefer people on the front, or would you rather imagine what the H/H look like all on your own?


Your Driving Is is: 43% Male, 57% Female

According to studies, you drive both like a guy and a girl.
This means you're a pretty average driver, with typical quirks.
Occasionally you're frustrated and or a little reckless, but that's the exception - not the norm.

Of course, this doesn't explain why my DD now yells, "IDIOT!" when someone cuts me off in traffic. Ha.


Melissa said...

I don't let covers influence whether I buy a book or not because I know it's not the author's fault if the art department screws up. But as a writer, with a couple bad covers to my credit, I do know a bad cover will affects sales. Sad, but true.

Tori Lennox said...

Covers used to play a bigger part in my decision when I shopped in bricks & mortar stores. Now that I shop online, it doesn't make as much difference.

On the quiz, I got:

Your Driving is: 45% Male, 55% Female

According to studies, you drive both like a guy and a girl.
This means you're a pretty average driver, with typical quirks.
Occasionally you're frustrated and or a little reckless, but that's the exception - not the norm.

Brandy said...

We'll just say that I drive more like a girl, but the quiz said that was a good thing. *g*
Son learned the phrase "I will run over you" from hubs, when in the car. *G*
Covers sometimes affect what I will buy, ebook covers don't really affect that decision for me.

I hope you had a nice day!

Dru said...

Since I've driven a car only three times in my life I got

Your Driving Is is: 14% Male, 86% Female

According to studies, you drive like a typical female.
You value safety first, and you never let your temper get the best of you.
And while you may not think your driving skills are the best, you really are quite competent.

The cover will not play a major role in my decision to buy a book. It's the author and the story that weighs on my decision to buy a book.

I hope you had a good Tuesday.

Jen said...

I hate to say it, but covers and titles DO influence me. Not to actually read or purchase, but they might cause me to pick up the book and explore it.