Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Book Cover

The book cover for Headwind is ready - almost. This morning's post covers some of the details of the process. How important is a book cover? It's important. Covers can make the difference between picking up a book or giving it a pass.  This is an area where self-publishing needs some serious guidance. I've seen some covers out there that curdle the blood - garish, off-putting, or just plain blah - some of these covers make me wonder if the book is worth the trouble of skimming the first few pages to see if the author can write. It's painfully obvious from the get-go that some of these folks are color blind and shouldn't be let loose with the clip art function.

So, what makes a good book cover? Readers have come to expect a certain type of cover for each genre (category). Here are two easily recognizable types of novels with their easily recognizable covers.


Romance novels generally feature some skin (or a lot of skin) along with bosomy females and muscular males. Thse folks can be in a liplock, serious level embrace, or she may be hoisted up in his capable arms.


Horse. Rugged cowboy on horse. Athletic woman on horse. Rugged cowboy and athletic woman on horses. Galloping. Stetsons. Crimson sunset. Rail fences. Mountains and plains in the background.

Art through Time

Pulp fiction is a great resource for studying cover art. Think gumshoes, rich women in trouble, gats, hard liquor, smokes, and danger. Some of these covers were downright lurid and often didn't have much relationship with the story or the characters in the novel. Their purpose was to grab your attention and they did it well. Nice to know they're having a resurgence.

My Cover

The cover is nearly done. We've changed Katrin's coat from dark blue to red and lightened the image. All that's left is to add the title and the wraparound information. Here's what the final version of the art looks like for Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen.

We wanted the cover to have a noir aspect and yet show determination and hope. Next time, I'll share the finished product and load the trailer. Happy reading everyone!


  1. Can't wait to see the rest of the cover, KK (I love the initial-name KK -- it really works). The picture could be Katrin speeding toward something exciting, or running away from danger. Nice.


  2. The cover is interesting. I like the water and the way the light hits her face. I'm wondering who is in the boat with her. She's not rowing and she's not steering, so someone is there. I'm also wondering where she's going.


  3. It's from the final scene in this first volume of her adventures. Thanks, ladies. Appreciate the comments.

  4. Hi KK, nice to meet you.
    I like the cover too. I also agree with you, there are a lot of really bad covers and for the self published author there are sources that will let you choose a cover, and do not restrict how many people can have the same cover. Do some research, spend a little money and have a professional cover.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  5. Thanks Nancy. I agree wholeheartedly. It takes time, patience, and often some money to get the right cover.

  6. No doubt this cover is beautiful and eye-catching. It may take a little pocket change and some looking around but an original cover is the best. Adds that professional look that really matters when readers are book shopping....on Amazon or anywhere, really.
    Good-looking cover, KK!