Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Outside Appearances: The Importance of a Cover

As I’m working on edits for BIRTHRIGHT, I’ve also been brainstorming cover ideas and thoughts on what I’d like to see on the cover for DESCENDANT’s sequel. Since DESCENDANT was released, I’ve had a few ideas in mind, including links to some photos that sparked my interest.

But this week, I had an epiphany. The photos I’ve had in mind are lovely, and would work just fine. They’d even match DESCENDANT’s cover, which is something I want. They’d even sort of go with the continuation of the story. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that none of the photos have stood out as just right because they all look so similar to the book that’s already been done. No one wants a second book that reads exactly like the first.

BIRTHRIGHT may be a continuation of DESCENDANT, but it’s another story entirely, with a completely different objective and a number of different characters. BIRTHRIGHT deserves a fitting cover, and that cover should convey the mood of the ongoing story. It deserves a cover that makes people think, “Oh hey, that book looks interesting.”

Thus begins my search for a new cover concept idea.

This same philosophy can be applied to people and real life. Keeping up outward appearances tends to be a constant battle. A daily one. And then one day, years down the road, we realize that somewhere along the line we’ve changed. We’ve grown, and evolved, and our stories are so different than they were five, ten, fifteen years ago (or months—whatever). Suddenly, the outside cover we’ve fought so hard to maintain doesn’t really fit anymore. We’ve aged. We’ve experienced life. We’ve adjusted our thoughts and beliefs.

Maybe it’s time for a new cover. (Or new hair color, skin-care regime, workout routine, whatever whatever.)

The point is, sometimes life, like a story, is far more interesting when we are able to let go of previous conceptions and think outside the box.

Out of curiosity, what are some of your very favorite book covers?


Michelle D. Argyle said...

Covers really are very important! I love how you look at it here, that it's okay to change something or go in a different direction because WE change. :)

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Also, I think it's a little easier than you might think to link two covers together as part of a series, even if they look completely different.