Judging A Book By Its Cover

blank book cover

When my book was just a seed of an idea in my mind, I had a clear vision as to what I wanted for the cover. So once I put pen to paper and had a finished novel, I couldn’t wait to get started on the jacket art. I love the creative process and it’s a key reason why I became a marketer. One of the favorite parts of my job is seeing how a client brief manifests itself into a creative solution, and I like to think I’m a good judge as to which ideas will be effective. It’s a core part of my job and something I do on an ongoing basis. I’m always blown away by what the creative team delivers and feel fortunate to work with top caliber talent. I had thought about tapping into my art team to design the cover, but I decided that jacket art is not our area of expertise and wanted to go with a team that specializes in books.


So I purchased an art package, filled out a questionnaire with detailed information on the look/tone/feel I wanted, and had a conference call with the design team. I anxiously awaited the first round concepts. And what came back was not at all what I was expecting. My excitement quickly faded to apprehension. So I scheduled a follow up call to reiterate the cover direction and felt better that the team understood what I was looking to achieve. When the revised comp came, I realized I was mistaken. Perhaps it was to my detriment that I had such a clear idea of what I wanted, because as much as I tried to articulate it, they just couldn’t capture my vision. Panic set in.

The book cover is one of the most important tools an author has to generate interest for his/her book.

I knew I needed a new direction. I had an art director working to update my website and asked him if he could help with the book design as well. It was a bit of a gamble because I had never worked with him before, plus he worked on a male-oriented brand and I wasn’t sure if he could do romance. We met and I gave him the same brief as the previous art team. Lucky for me the outcome was very different. He not only captured my vision, but he elevated it to a level I didn’t imagine was possible. In a category where people do judge a book by its cover, I’m happy to say I am thrilled with the end result.


I thought it would be interesting for people to see the journey as to how the cover came together, so I captured the experience on the “Inside View” section of my website. Would love to hear what you think.

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