Who is on the plum tree?
I’ll cover you with the moon and stars so that I know you are caressed by eternity! (Niamh Clune 2013)
That’s also what I think about the task of a book cover! A writer wants their content to have the best introduction possible to something that will, hopefully, outlive him/her. The book cover is that introduction. It must entice. It must speak of possibility, of secrets within the pages just waiting to be discovered.
And it must suit the style of the writer’s voice. It must not be brash ~ unless the writer is brash. It must not be busy, unless the story is action-packed and geared up to attract an audience in search of sentence-by-sentence action. I don’t publish those sorts of books, as I have no feel for them. I prefer a story woven of mood, undercurrent, intensity, intuition and feeling. Developing a book cover that speaks to the writer’s voice takes careful thought and consideration. Whilst I love doing the art-work for a cover, I am not a specialist graphic artist. So I stick to what I can do. I create simple images and have fun with filters and fonts. Or I ask one of the fabulous artists that I have come into contact with on Facebook to paint or draw something. Don’t you just love hand-made covers ~ the ones that don’t scream at you, but are beautiful in their minimalism, textures, fonts, colours and individuality? A cover such as that makes us think of craft-fairs filled with things made with love ~ time-crafted, thought-about ~ the something-special gift that you would love if given to you. That is the beauty of being a cottage-publisher and writer. I can pour my love into all these stages of helping to develop a writer. Again, the technical side of cover-creation has been another huge learning curve. Making a cover for kindle is much simpler than having to create a print-ready one. You could, of course, use an already-made template. But these, in my humble opinion, tend to look the same. Getting the specs for the spine right, the bleeds, the minuscule measurements with all the various ring-pass-not margins, had me pondering, analysing, struggling, mistake-making…you know, the usual “why am I doing this to myself,” scenario. Hopefully, I have understood. My hands shake when I upload files and press the magic release button. Then I keep my fingers crossed that I have done it right, that there will be no mistakes, and if there are, that I have the where-with-all to remedy them. Hopefully, the covers of the two new books I shall release in the New Year will be things of beauty that speak of the writers’ voices within.