As some people know, my first ever YA book is due out in the spring. It will be my fifteenth book to be published, but was in fact the first I ever wrote. And it’s very different from all the rest. But I’ll talk more about that another time.
For now, what I want to talk about is the cover.
As anyone in the publishing world will know, things usually have to be done a LONG way in advance of publication – unless you are an overnight celebrity whose publisher needs to catch the moment before you return to your relative obscurity and appearance on ‘Celebrity’ reality TV shows. Or unless, of course, you are self-published. (Quick aside: I was amazed last month when I shared a train journey with a friend who was putting the final touches to her picture book layouts, and whose book launch – for the same book – I attended a couple of weeks later! Incredible!)
Anyway, I’m not a celebrity and I’m not self publishing this book – which means that we need a cover kind of now-ish. We have nearly got one, and both my publisher and I are working hard to make sure that we get this absolutely right. With a book that’s taking such a leap away from everything else I’ve ever done, making sure we come up with the perfect cover, and achieve the impact we want, is quite a challenge.
In the course of all of this, I’ve found myself wondering, exactly how important is the cover? Is it crucial? Can it make or break a book’s fortunes? Or in this day of social media and electronic everything, are there many, many things that are way more relevant to a book’s fortunes?
With my monthly ABBA post coming up in the middle of all these thoughts, it seemed an ideal place to ask these questions. So, that’s what I’m doing, and I would love to know your thoughts. If you have a minute to answer this question, I’d be extremely grateful.
So…how important is a book cover to YOU? And in the style of a good old Jackie magazine quiz, please pick the answer that is closest to how you feel about it. (And feel free to add comments too!)
a. Massively important. An appealing cover is one of the first things you look for when buying new books and you have often bought a book purely (or mainly) because of its cover. If you didn’t like the cover, it could put you off buying the book.
b. Important but not crucial. If you’re in a bookshop, you have sometimes picked up books that have caught your eye because of their cover, but it’s not the most important factor in your book-buying decisions.
c. A nice cover helps but it’s like an added extra rather than a reason to buy a book – and if you didn’t like the cover, it certainly wouldn’t put you off buying the book.
d. In this electronic age, you don’t browse in bookshops all that much. You either read mostly on an e-reader or choose your books from online recommendations and are rarely even aware of what the book’s cover looks like. It has no influence either way on which books you buy.
Thanks so much! I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts!