Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cover art

My editor has her first meeting with the design crew for Children of the Waters today. Seriously? Already?! Yep. We're currently scheduled for release this time next year. So now's the time to get started.

Over the weekend, I spent some time cruising book covers to see what I liked. I also looked on stock photography sites for images that could apply to my story. I emailed my ideas to my editor who will share them with design. However, as most of you probably know, they're only suggestions. The publisher gets the final say about the cover. My editor has been very good about keeping me in the loop, though, so I hope my ideas will at least give the designer a place to start. Children of the Waters is about connection, race, identity and what really makes a family. So an image like this could work.

One of the characters in my story has an ancestor altar. I made one and took a photo of it. I think a similar (professional) picture could make a compelling cover.

(The jigsaw puzzle pieces are a key element of the plot.)

This novel has spiritual and mystical aspects in it, so I'd love an image that speaks to that (and like puzzle pieces flower petals are a recurring image in the story).

Then I saw this lovely image on Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez' blog, and I'd be open to an illustration or painting too. Interestingly, her post was about an ancestor shrine and she mentions her late grandmother...readers of this blog might remember the late grandmother plays a part in my story!

I'm curious: What kinds of covers grab your attention?


Lisa said...

I'm pretty sure I'll be in the minority on this, but I typically don't care much for photos on covers (I think most people like them, so you might want to stop reading now). It's for the same reason that I am sometimes shocked at a film adaptation and the actors playing characters I'd fully imagined from the book. It's the same reason I'm in favor of less physical detail and description in the writing. A drawing, painting or graphic illustration on the cover is more alluring to me because I can then let the book's characters and setting fully blossom in my imagination with nothing coming between the author's words and me. For some reason, photos of actual things make me feel like I'm being forced to see a reality that I might not have imagined. But you know -- I'm a very weird person. :)

Larramie said...

The candles -- though not necessarily different colored ones -- on the water evoke peace for me.

Anonymous said...

I liked the image of the candles and petals in the water most. I agree with Lisa, I don't care too much for images of people on the cover because it does make me feel a bit closed in imagination wise. The candles and water would inspire me the most to pick up the book and wonder what it's about.

Josephine Damian said...

I like more space devoted to image that words.... I like a nice photo or image of an object that plays some role in the drama.

Good point about not showing people on the cover - about letting images of what characters look like form in the reader's own mind.

Alisa's painting was quite pretty. Of course her title sure garners plenty of attention :-O.

Carleen, Linnea Sinclair told me that her illustrator was fired because the illustrator dared to take a phone call from Linnea who was trying to offer imput in her book cover. I hear lots of cover horror stories. I'm so glad to hear you're able to give some input.

Shauna Roberts said...

I tend to like covers with drawings best. I'm drawn to finely detailed work, beautiful typefaces, and magpie stuff such as embossing and gold foil.

Ello said...

Oh Carleen I love that first picture with the hands!

And I can tell you covers mean alot to me. I'm very superficial that way. I need a nice pretty or dramatic cover for me to buy it.

debra said...

Chronicle Books Blog has a post called From the Design Desk: Behind the Scenes of Cover Design. Here's the link http://www.chroniclebooks.com/blog/?p=1206

Carleen Brice said...

Thanks everybody for the feedback! I'll, of course, be posting what they come up with. Cross your fingers for me!

Gina Black said...

I'm probably chiming in too late (busy day), but I liked the first picture the best. It wouldn't have to be a photo, but I like the hands because they speak of humanity, and the different colors speak of conflict and richness, and it would make the book seem to be about relationships.

I'm not so into prop pieces covers myself, although sometimes they work very well.

Sherry/Cherie said...

I like all your choices and all your ideas...I like simple, bright covers for books...and artists' renderings usually work for me...a book is a work of art...not that photography isn't art -- it is very much an art form...but I'm generally drawn to the painted picture.