|Author Rae Rivers|
Judge A Book By Its Cover?
Do you? I know you shouldn’t but to be honest, as an avid reader, I do. Really. A cover is my first impression of a book and in an overcrowded market where choosing my next book can sometimes be overwhelming, I rely heavily on covers. An icky cover or a cover that looks rushed or unprofessional ... um, pass. (And no, I don’t use this approach to people!)
So what makes a really good cover for me?
An intriguing image is a must. It has to be eye catching, interesting and enticing. The image alone can determine whether or not I pick up a book. It also helps me determine the gist of the plot or the genre of the book at a first glance. Think romance novels! (And by the way, have you seen how gorgeous HarperImpulse’s covers are?)
One of my pet peeves about covers is when the cover on the front doesn’t match the story. If the heroine has red hair on the cover but turns out blonde in the story or there’s a symbol on the cover that seems to have relevance but doesn’t appear in the book, I’m disappointed. (Because I was waiting for the meaning behind that symbol, you know!) As for a series, if a book is part of one, I like to see a vague resemblance on the covers that carries through all the books.
Although the use of colours is subjective as everyone reacts differently, colour has a huge impact on emotions and is a great way to reveal the tone of a story. Colours like green and blue are calming and can be used to express sadness or feelings of trust and security. Red, orange and yellow evoke feelings of passion, warmth and energy. (Ah, so that’s why my publishers opted for those colours for the covers of my Keepers series! J)
This is the brief line that sums up the plot in a nutshell and hooks me to want to read more. I’ve been enticed to explore books further and buy them based on their clever tag lines. A great example is Paula Hawkin’s, The Girl on the Train: “You don’t know her but she knows you.”
If a book meets all the above, has an interesting blurb and looks professional, usually the chances are good that the writing will be too!
When I signed my Paranormal Romance book deal with HarperImpulse, I was very flexible regarding the covers they designed but insisted they had to be eye-catching, colourful and well ... perfect. My Keepers are three warrior brothers who protect a powerful, modern day witch. They fight to protect the balance of nature and innocent people. They all have magical elemental powers. Initially, I expected covers with half naked chests and glorious muscles. Warriors. I completed a cover sheet giving more information on the story and what I had in mind and this was passed on to Alex, HarperImpulse’s fab cover designer.
The final product? No warriors but lots of colour - and the right ones too! Red, orange and yellow – energy and passion that conveys the plot so well. And pentagrams which forms such a vital part of the story as it illustrates the magical bond between my Keepers and their witch. A pentagram is a symbol of goodness and depicts the five elements of nature – water, earth, fire, air and the spirit that binds them together. My Keepers and their witch are magically bound, strong as individuals but unbeatable as one. As it’s a series, I also loved the fact that there’s continuity between all the covers.
So no, the covers weren’t anything close to what I had in mind but in the end, I think they’re everything a cover should be. Love them!
Thanks for reading.
RAE RIVERS BIO
I’m an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing romance novels. I live in Cape
Town, South Africa, with my gorgeous husband, two beautiful children and a zoo of house pets.
Besides writing, I love family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and
chocolate. For more information about my books, or me, please visit www.raerivers.com
I can also be found here:
The Keepers series is published by Harper Impulse, the digital first romance imprint at Harper Collins.
Many thanks to Rae for such a fabulous post as part of the #HIFortnight celebrations!