Friday, December 9, 2011

YA Indie Carnival - Cover Love

YA writers and bloggers unite each week to share their thoughts, hopes and dreams about what it's like going indie in today's publishing world.

Today is all about cover love. Ahhh - book covers, I really do love them. They are, after all, usually our first impression of a book. Some have been done well, some could be done better. I have had to think carefully about cover art and I'll tell you why....

For those of you who have been asking, the answer is yes... I am going to be bringing the Time Spirit Trilogy out in paperback. Wohoo!! Can you tell I'm excited?

The plan was to originally release Golden Blood in paperback in January. I used Createspace to set everything up. My proof arrived! I held my breath as I excitedly ripped it open... then my shoulders slumped and I frowned.

It was wrong.

It was just all wrong.

For one, I had formatted the book incorrectly and it was more like a pamphlet than a book - easy mistake to fix. The cover looked good, but just not quite right. I LOVED the back cover, but something wasn't working on the front.

I Skyped my friend immediately to lament and she gave me some feedback from her daughter and some of her friends. Basically my cover wasn't cutting it with teens. Now, I love my cover and I have had some great feedback on it. I had a very clear vision in my head and the graphic designer did exactly what I asked them to.

But, you know what? I think I got it wrong.

A fan did a mock up cover for me a couple weeks ago and I shared it on my Facebook page, because I thought it was so stunning. It got a great response... and rightly so. She captured the essence of Gemma and made it sexy and appealing.

I had to sit back and ask myself a few questions... What do I want my cover to say? What emotion do I want to convey? What are teens looking for in covers? Which covers are loved?

So, I checked out the Top 100 covers of 2010 and 2011 on Goodreads... I also hunted down some covers that are due out in 2012. I also spent some time specifically looking for indie covers... the people who don't have a huge publishing company behind them... people like me.

It was interesting to see which covers attracted me. I think everyone has a bit of a preference.

I love faces or close up shots of magical looking objects. Eyes attract me too. I like the title to be twirly & fancy... or at least have twirls and fanciness surrounding the letters. I also love the background to have a little depth... a few things going on.

Here are three indie covers that really jumped out at me...

I have learned so much from my browsing and have come up with some great concepts that I can't wait to make happen. I will continue with my digital series for now, because I want to release the books when I said I would, but come March, The Time Spirit Trilogy will be coming out with spiffy new covers that hopefully hit the mark a little better. 

Have you ever had to design a cover before? What questions need to be asked? Which covers do you love?

Find out what catches the eye of other indie goers here.


  1. Oooo... I'm loving the fan made cover. Your current cover is great, but with a direction like that I'm excited to see what you come up with for the finished trilogy! I hope you're able to come up with something you really love AND that resonates better with a teen audience. Can't wait to read Golden Blood :)

  2. Didn't she do a fantastic job? I just had a big chat with my graphic designer today and have found a new model for the paper back series. Am feeling uber excited :)

  3. I really love the RUN cover. Especially how it reads "every step counts". Gives me chills!

  4. I know, the RUN cover is fantastic. Even the fact he's looking down and exhausted. It's the perfect feel.