Cover Me

As I write this…well, for one, it’s too damn early on a Sunday morning. I should be still asleep.

Anyway, my writer bro J.M. Aucoin posted a link to a Buzzfeed article about novel cover art cliches, and I found it entertaining, enlightening, and a bit annoying…I mean, these are (as far as I can tell) novels that were published professionally, i.e., not self-published, so why the hell do some of them have the EXACT SAME COVER IMAGE?

It's the same woman! Twice in the same background! WTF?
It’s the same woman! Twice in the same background! WTF?

This topic struck a chord with me mostly because, as I write this, I am eagerly awaiting my cover artist Tricia to finish up her roughs for the front and back cover of Action Figures. I sent her my concepts a couple weeks back, describing for the front cover something more akin to, appropriately, a comic book cover. I wanted the cover to reflect the tone of the story. I wanted something distinct and eye-catching. In other words, not some sort of vague interpretive thing that didn’t necessarily reflect the tone or content of the interior, because yeah, people sometimes still do judge books by their covers.

I don’t know why novel cover art gets such dismissive treatment. Talk about iconic album covers, movie posters, or — in the right crowd — comic book covers and you can name countless examples. Go ahead and name for me five novel covers so iconic that at least one person in the crowd will go, “Oh, yeah, that was a great cover!”

While I like throwing work at my friends, I’d love to one day hire this guy to design a cover for me. He’s a Boston-area graphic designer who, for fun, reads books and designs new covers, and some of his designs are pretty kick-ass.


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