Friday, 19 November 2010
Covers Catherine Johnson
The last school visit I did - to a lovely school in Welwyn Garden City - went off suddenly and at a most interesting tangent. I was working in the library with a group of Year 8s. It was a great school library with a huge range of fiction.
As the session drew to an end, and I can't remember how the conversation began, we started talking about covers. They were all library monitors and big readers so they knew what they were talking about.
It was exhilarating, a fiery exchange of ideas, the students pulling books off the shelves that had great covers, but had disappointed, and those that had what they thought were poor covers but good stories.
It was fascinating, I learnt so much in about half an hour of frenzied sharing. It was so interesting I hope to go back, hopefully with a publisher or a designer and have some further discussions. It's too late for my next book, and I'm not advocating cover design by committee, but I think it's worth knowing - and listening to - what our audiences are looking for in a book cover.
I know it's hard for children's book, some are pitched at parents or adults, others jump on bandwagons, some authors are definite brands.
Very soon I think covers might cease to be as much of an issue anyway. Will e-readers mean that cover art is destined to be a thing of the past?
I hope not.
The picture is my next book from Barrington Stoke, and I think it looks rather good.