The time has come to make my book cover vision come to life! I’ve used stock photos and other artwork in the past, but am now working with the incredibly talented photographer/graphic artist, Amy Koenig. If you aren’t familiar with her work, check out the website for Uber Optics out of California. She’s done a great job of creating unique and memorable ads, and I often check out their site just to see the new additions. To see more of Amy’s work, her portfolio is here: http://www.amykoenigdesign.wordpress.com.
Amy is also the Creative Director for my book publisher, Girl on the Write Publishing. She is wonderfully personable, and was on board with my cover vision as soon as I introduced it. She understood exactly the feel I wanted to capture, and I am confident that we will work well in our collaboration at tomorrow’s photo shoot. Besides to joy of working with Amy, I also get to wear a pink tutu, which has been a life-long dream! Okay, that’s the only teaser I’m giving you.
All this book cover activity has sparked discussion on whether to create a cover prior to writing your manuscript (or early on), or after the manuscript is written and going through the editing and finalizing process. Author friends, what route do you take? Book branding is crucial to garnering readership, so it seems that this would be a requirement to pave the way.
Before I wrote the first word to Girl on the Right: Memoir of a Life Upside Down, I knew exactly what the cover would look like. It was the cover that came to my imagination first. This presented its challenges, however. At the first writings, I found myself attempting to fit my style to the cover theme. As things go, my story didn’t like it, and chose to go in an unanticipated direction. The cover still fits, but not quite in the same way. This would be my argument against putting a cover before content. On the flip side, an author friend told me that develops her book covers first, to act as an accountability of sorts. She figures if the cover is ready, she has to get the story written.
As a career marketer, having a cover to use for promotion and pre-sales seems like a no-brainer. While I had the concept down, it is here, in the eleventh hour, that we are actually producing it. My book publishes in March, so I’m a little late to the game. It worked out for me this time, but I will change my timing up on the next book to have a comparison (and another blog post with results).
But here’s the big question that I have: Does having a ready-to-use book cover influence your storytelling? Do you write to the cover, or do you ignore it and write as the story goes? If your story takes on a new life, one outside of your initial intention, do you revamp your cover?