Book covers – a visual representation of the story

The artist in me pays a lot of attention to book cover art. It’s a specific form that isn’t just about something that looks good and is eye-catching. It should also be a visual representation of what’s inside. This isn’t always the case – hence, you can’t tell a story by its cover. Nevertheless, I believe that the cover should give you a feel for the book it represents.

There’s a plethora of books around in the young adult genre that have beautiful faces on them or lovely young woman in romantic settings. They are eye-catching but many of them give you no more idea of what’s inside other than it’s about a young woman. One had a highly made up woman on the cover and inside the heroine made a point of mentioning that she never wore make-up – ah, hellooo, the designer never read the book did s/he? That’s what can happen when you hand your project over to someone else. The book still sold well, so maybe it didn’t matter, but I don’t think it’s good cover art because it didn’t represent the book.

My covers aren’t brilliant, I’m a hack artist, (feel free to disagree – visit my mask site ) but they do look okay and they do give you an idea of what is inside. If you’ve read ‘A Matter of Perception’, have a look at the covers for the individual stories and see if you can pick the elements of the story in them. If you haven’t read it then read on for a pictorial journey through the stories.

This story takes place where the main photo was taken, The Bone Yard, a bunch of wonderfully craggy rocks by the sea near Kiama. There’s a siren in the water, a ghost coming out of the rock and a man walking into the light. All the elements are there. You can download this slightly creepy story for free at Scribd.

This cover shows a woman between two worlds, an ancient temple and a modern hospital bed. This illustrates the sense in the story that we don’t know whether the cancer patient is dreaming the woman awaiting ritual sacrifice, or is it the other way around. The black bottom represents the death that both woman face and the lighter upper part, including the ripples in water and the moon above represent the larger picture, the mystical, and the goddess spoken of in the ancient world. You can get this for 99c on Amazon

This is Norris’s story. The simple cover expresses his character and the beauty of the story in the whimsical and innocent nature of the drawing. This story is also available for 99c on Amazon

The light colours express the light tone of the story. The octopus represents the alien monster, the Drorgon; the butterfly is the totem that convinces Jame’s commander that Julia should be allowed to keep her memories, the lightning is what James uses to kill the Drorgons; the city indicates the setting, and of course, the face indicates that the main character is a woman. You can pick this up from Smashwords for 99c and it’s still free, though not for much longer, on Amazon

This is the cover for the anthology. In it are elements from each story, except ‘Mistril’s Mistake’ which has a battle of light in it. The expression of the woman represents the main character in ‘The Rose Coloured Glasses.’ Put all these images together and you get a good feel for the stories. There’s some great reviews on Goodreads that help give the flavour too, but that’s another story.

If you haven’t read any of the stories yet, it’s cheaper to buy the whole anthology. It’s only $2.99 at Smashwords or Amazon

What do you think of these book covers?

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