Thank you to the amazing Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord blog for hosting me with a post about the importance of a good book cover. Sally has wonderful books with smashing covers which you can find here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/
Delighted to welcome back regular contributor Roberta Eaton Cheadle with some important elements to consider when designing your book cover. It is also a chance to find out more about her forthcoming book A Ghost and his Gold.
The importance of a book cover by Roberta Eaton Cheadle
The cover of a book needs to convey certain information, namely, the title of the book, name of the author, name and logo of the publisher and the blurb. It also needs to let a potential reader know precisely what the book is about. That aspect of designing a book cover is very important as you don’t want to mislead a potential reader by using an inappropriate cover.
Certain colours and designs traditionally indicate a certain genre, for example, romances often use pink and purple in the cover designs and self-help books use blue which is intended to convey a feeling of calmness.
My forthcoming novel, A Ghost and His Gold, is a supernatural historical novel. A couple, Tom and Michelle Cleveland, move into a recently built townhouse on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, near Pretoria, in Gauteng (previously the Transvaal). A one-hundred-year-old jacaranda tree grows in their garden and Michelle discovers that it was planted by the first owner of the farm, a Burgher who died in action during the Second Anglo Boer War. It quickly becomes apparent that their new townhouse is haunted by three phantoms, one of which is a poltergeist intent on murdering Tom.
Michelle must unwind the history of the three ghosts, Piet van Zyl, a Burgher, Robert, a British soldier, and Estelle, Piet’s daughter, all of whose lives were deeply impacted by the war and all of whom need to resolve their personal conflicts and resentments in order to find redemption and move on to the next phase of their existence.
When I spoke to the cover designer, Tim Barbar from Dissect Designs, I had a couple to definite ideas about the concepts I wanted the cover to convey. Firstly, I like to use silhouette designs for my covers. I also used silhouettes for the covers of my previous books, While the Bombs Fell and Through the Nethergate. I think silhouettes convey a strong message without needing to be overly detailed. They are also clean and neat.
I wanted to feature a Burgher on his horse riding away from a scene of destruction in the form of a burning wagon. The design of the figure on the horse, and particularly the shape of his hat, was important in order to differentiate a South African Burgher from an American cowboy.