Recently a google search produced a website where the writer performed a Cover Snark review. She revealed some 28 covers that someone had submitted and she gently made fun of them. The comment on my upcoming Feb 2015 release: “I really hope the construction workers who built this railway into the ocean were fired. Also, still living girl, maybe you shouldn’t follow your ghost friend into the ocean, kay?”
Not a scathing review, by any means. And all my friends rallied to vote my cover to the top of the snark list.Thank you! I actually think the Best Friends Through Eternity cover by Rachel Cooper is the best because I love the blue colours and I love the waves and letters in the sand. (Some comment claimed it was weird and creepy)
What I also enjoyed about the cover for Best Friends Through Eternity was that I was consulted along the way. Ghost girl could have been in cutoff shorts, the letters along the spine might have been in the sand as they are on the front. I think I was just one vote among several on the editorial team but still my income will be hugely impacted by this cover, I appreciate the consult.
Most importantly the image actually connects with the story, perhaps not literally point for point, which believe me some young readers may have a problem with, but thematically .
To me the worst comment Snark Reviewer made on a cover was “What the f***?” Come on, be honest, how often have you thought that about an image on a book.
Besides attracting a reader, I think that image should give some kind of hint as to what the book is about. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? And maybe you don’t get it right away. Perhaps after you’ve read a novel, you look back over the cover and say, oh yeah, I get why all those letters in crazy font are scattered everywhere or why there’s a fine arts renaissance portrait on the cover.
What I also liked about the “snark review” is that for once the writer wasn’t on the hot seat. For once one of the major marketing tools got some attention.
Canadian books have to compete with US novels that are half the price and have gazillion times the design budget. This cannot be easy. But I think some honest cover reviews might spur some better efforts and even some accountability. If no one says “What the f***?” poor sales will always be hung from the author’s neck and at this point in history, writers’ heads and shoulders are already bowed down by the weight of all the responsibilities for promotion.
So come on reviewers, tell the publishers and designers what you think of their work. Star the covers not just the writing.