I have always been a bit fussy when it comes to books. It goes without saying that I have to love the concept and in a lot of cases I'm swayed by recommendations. But what can often make me decide to pick up a book in the first place is the cover. If it is striking, if it grabs my attention - I very often want it, or at least want to know more about it.
So it goes without saying that I was delighted when Scholastic sent me the design for Seven Days. I immediately loved its bright, bold statement and the fact that words, spiteful words from my text, were plastered across it. It represents bullying so well for me. It's a big, bold statement. I was confident that this cover could have impact.
I guess I'd worried a lot about the cover. I really wanted to love it, so it was such a relief to see it. I just wanted to hug the designer behind it (in fact I did at the Scholastic party...!)
It got me thinking just how important cover design can be, and how authors could be blessed or cursed with a cover that they do not like, or do not feel reflects their story.
With this in mind, I spoke to a few authors about their favourite covers and asked what it was about them that made them stand out.
What were their cover stories?
Helen Grant - Urban Legends (Random House)
" I was very pleased this cover because it shows a female (dead?) body but in such a way that it appears almost abstract; you can only see one eye and the line of the face runs diagonally across the cover. I thought that was quite stylish."
Keren David selected Salvage (Atom Books)
" I love both the published versions of Salvage. They are very different, but still have lots of impact."
Hilary Freeman selected The Camden Town Tales (Piccadilly Press)
"I love all my Camden Town Tales covers. I think that they appeal to the readership because they are pretty and perfectly targeted."
Emma Haughton selected Now You See Me (Usbourne)
'I love this cover because it's so simple, and yet so striking, And that gorgeous zingy green!'
Sheena Wilkinson selected Still Falling (Little Island)
"What I loved was the feel of the cover. I couldn't in a million years have said what I wanted but when I saw what the designer had done I just thought, yeah, that's it. I wanted the book to have a sexy grown up feel which I think it does. My last books all featured horses and I really wanted this one to feel like a departure which it does. "
Caroline Green selected Hold Your Breath (Piccadilly Press)
"I loved the metallic look that gave it an underwater feel. And the colours are gorgeous."
It's fascinating looking at different front covers and wondering what the author felt about each one. I guess when an area such as design is taken out of their hands, it's even more important that it works, that they connect to it.
What front covers do you especially like? Have you ever picked up a book initially because of the design?
I know I have...