My Book Baby & its Cover: Surprise! It’s a …

PatienceTodayA number of months ago I had a dream. In it, my editor sent me a copy of my cover … and it was completely blank, except for my name, which was written across the bottom in bold, black ink. When I asked her why it had no art she told me this was all the rage – a stark white, “clean” looking cover that was a blank slate for interpretation for the reader – it didn’t give “too” much away, she said, but just enough to be intriguing.

Oh, I said, thoroughly confused but trusting her nonetheless.

Then I got my actual cover art and I was tickled – it was not blank, after all. It was eye-catching and lovely and I couldn’t wait to see it on my actual book.

Well, I’ve learned two things since:

1) the publishing journey is much like life – sh*t happens, so be flexible.

2) I should pay closer attention to my dreams (why, oh why can’t I dream winning lottery ticket numbers?).

Having said that, this is currently my book’s cover.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 5.59.18 AM

It certainly is “clean” looking and doesn’t give too much away, right? Right?

Here’s what happened, and why I don’t currently have a cover to reveal this week with the rest of the Debs. My first cover, while lovely and eye-catching, turned out not to be the best cover for COME AWAY WITH ME. There are many reasons why the team went back to the proverbial drawing board with the cover, and all of them are solid. The cover is important. It matters. It should not be rushed. It should accurately reflect the book you have in hand. And that is quite a tricky thing to do, and do well.

Because trying to capture the themes of a story – whether emotional or frightening or tension-filled or hopeful or all of the above – and to evoke those with cover art is DAMN HARD. This is why it should be left to the professionals. If I had designed my cover I’m not sure what would have ended up filling that blank space, but I do know it wouldn’t have been even close to as amazing as what the art team will come up with.

And so I wait. As patiently as I can.

It all reminds me a little of seeing our daughter’s ultrasound image and the sweet torture of trying to imagine her eye color, the shape of her nose, the curve of her chin, the way her face changes when she smiles…I guess I really am having a book baby.

I’m hopeful my cover won’t have a 9-month gestation, but either way, I’m certain it will have been worth the wait.

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Karma Brown is the author of COME AWAY WITH ME (MIRA/Harlequin, September 2015), an emotional story of one woman’s discovery that life is still worth living, even if it’s not the life you planned. Karma is also a National Magazine award-winning journalist, and lives outside Toronto, Canada, with her family and their mischievous labradoodle puppy, Fred.

This article has 3 Comments

  1. Hey Karma,
    Just think of it like writing a headline for an article or other copywriting.
    I imagine that the cover for your book has the same level of significance.
    Can hardly wait to tell everyone my cousins book is in stores.
    Please share the link for those wishing to preorder.

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