Guest Post: the art of the book cover

Remember the gorgeous cover for The Wrong Enemy? The one we all gasped and exclaimed about two days ago? The cover artist graciously agreed to guest-post about what it takes to create such a stunning cover.

Meet C.K. Volnek, who also designed the covers for PM Griffin’s Star Commandos series. An author herself, she comes to cover design from both a writer’s and artist’s perspective, and as you can see, the results are phenomenal.

Greetings all. I was extremely honored when Jane asked me to write a guest post for her blog. I’m the cover artist for her muse novel, The Wrong Enemy and I’d like to talk a little about covers. It was such a pleasure to work with Jane on this and I’m thrilled we were able to design a cover that captures the essence of her book. It is an intricate story, but once Jane defined her plot points, the cover fell into place.

As a cover artist, I’ve been asked…do people really judge a book by its cover? The answer is most definitely, Yes! We, as a society, are judgmental. We focus and scrutinize what we see. For instance, imagine if a restaurant posted grotesque and unappealing photos of food dishes on their billboards or menus…they probably wouldn’t be in business very long.

A book cover is the first impression of the author’s story and is essentially making a promise to the reader… that the story is worthy of the reader’s time. If a buyer sees a bad book cover, they believe the book is going to bad. So, it is imperative to entice the reader with a professional looking cover worthy of the words written within. It must capture the buyer’s attention in six seconds or less (before they can move on to the next cover) and make them want to know more about your book.

It’s always been said, a picture is worth a thousand words. That is, if you have the right picture. Selecting images for a book cover to me is like choosing a dance partner. They must be able to hit the beat, capture the mood and make it come alive as well as make me feel a part of the story. And you can’t forget about the typography. Even if you have the most killer piece of artwork, if the wrong font (and/or size) is selected, the cover can lose its effectiveness. Type is a most powerful tool and needs to be used wisely.

I thoroughly enjoy designing book covers and have numerous covers completed for MuseItUp and other clients. I also know how an author feels when the cover captures the spirit of their story as I too am an author. I write tween and YA novels, having three novels published by MuseItUp Publishing. My first book, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island became available in September of 2011 followed by A Horse Called Trouble released in December and The Secret of the Stones (The Lost Diaries of Northumberland Series) in April, 2012. (P.S. A Horse Called Trouble will go free on Kindle September 7 and 8!)

Thanks for allowing me to share my views on book covers. I would love to have you visit my web page and check out my book covers as well as my stories.

Thanks again, Jane. It’s been such a pleasure working with you.

She’s too nice — I suspect there were times when if she didn’t want to kill me, she still should have wanted to. Thank you so much, Charlotte, for guest-posting, and I look forward to reading your work!