The Truth About Book Covers

Most authors have little to do with book jackets. It's strange because a good cover can spur sales while a boring cover can kill your book, especially when it comes to teen readers. Not to mention the fear of an artist usurping power by representing a character differently than the author imagined, or adding stuff to the plot that simply isn't there.

But a novel is a collaborative process from start to finish, and authors have to trust editors, art directors, designers, and artists with book covers. While they might seek input from us, the final decision isn't in our hands.

Melissa Walker (rgz diva and author of the VIOLET series) interviewed me about the jacket of SECRET KEEPER (pictured in the sidebar) as part of her Cover Stories series. Here's an excerpt:
"My editor asked for input, and I told her that there were a glut of covers set in India with girls peeking over veils or around sarees ..."
To discover new designers and see a gallery of cover art, visit The Book Cover Archive (hat tip: Kathy Christie Hernandez). Ben Pieratt of General Projects and Eric Jacobsen of Whisky Van Gogh Go maintain the archive and an interesting blog about covers. Here's their list of other places to visit for even more about book covers: