Posts tagged cover art

Judging a book by its cover…

When choosing a book at the library, does the cover art influence your selection?

BOBFrontCoverPalmerston North artist Vonnie Sterritt’s artwork features on the cover of my fantasy adventure Battle of the Birds. Already well-known for her stunning atmospheric landscape paintings, Vonnie jumped at the chance to create the cover art for Battle of the Birds. “I like fantasy and the fantastic, and that’s what appealed to me about Lee’s book. When I read the story, I wanted to find a particular part that entertained all the bird characters. I symbolised those characters, looking at each bird’s feathers and stylising them. And I thought the feathers should be bright, especially for children.” When using a story for inspiration Vonnie says she takes a particular approach: “I put everything else away so I can focus on it and just live it. With a story, it’s important to reflect the right feel, personality, and atmosphere.”

For the new book I am co-editing with Piper Mejia, Beyond This Age (to be released on March 22), the cover art is by 19-year-old Samara Kirkham. Beyond this age 300 resI feel Samara’s design beautifully captures the content of the book, a collection of fantasy and science fiction writing by intermediate school students. She has chosen an undeveloped style, using images of a mermaid, spaceship and apple to hint at the stories inside. And the dark colours, the blues and greys, indicate that the stories are not all handsome princes and happily ever after.

These days publishers choose covers, which they believe will entice you to read the book. The following image shows 8 different covers for JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel. Inside the text is the same, only the covers are different. Which one do you prefer and why?

Harry potter covers

PS: It’s the end of the week I’m nearly finished reading my first book by a New Zealand writer, which means I’m on target for my goal of reading four books by New Zealand writers this month. How are you doing? Can’t think of any New Zealand titles? Ask your friendly librarian.

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Amazing author secrets revealed

I bet that got your attention! Well, I’m not sure if I’m revealing an amazing secret here –  it’s probably more likely an interesting fact actually.

Ever wondered how books are made? Ever wondered what genius minds meet together in locked rooms with secret handshakes and talk to each other in cryptic code words to shield the prying eyes of the public from discovering their latest masterpieces about to be released? Shock, horror, book publishing is nothing like this at all. (There are absolutely no secret handshakes that I am aware of – and I have never been invited to a meeting in a locked room yet either.)

To prove how simple things are –  a humble author like myself was invited to suggest some ideas for the book cover of my third Boy Zero book. I have attached my original concept version created in Powerpoint using clip art,  and the finished version created by Faber & Faber. The only genius work involved in this project was by the amazing illustrators and design team involved. (Perhaps they share a secret handshake.)

So maybe some readers out there have the potential to create their own book covers too! If you can use Powerpoint and clip art, then you’re half way there already! I would expect you could probably do an even better job than I did. (I’m just a mere butterfingers adult computer user.)

See you for now


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