Often the reveal of the cover for a new book comes to us in multiple notices, or should I say hype, such as “cover reveal in one week,” “countdown to cover reveal,” or “can’t wait to show you my new cover-watch this space.” During this time, the author might post the cover with parts hidden, so it seems like a puzzle to whet our appetite.
I’m curious about how this phenomenon of the drawn-out book cover reveal started, and why someone thought people would be so excited, they would be willing to endure endless teasing before the reveal.
Now don’t get me wrong, the cover design is a very big deal. It’s the first thing a potential buyer and reader see. If it intrigues and engages, it may be the reason the book gets a first look, and the back blurb and the first few pages get a quick read. The cover should be shown with some fanfare. It’s the dragging it out that I just don’t get.
Book cover design is an art unto itself, whether the designer uses stock photos, draws free hand, or uses computer-generated artwork. Also, the colors and font for the title are an integral part of the design and contribute to the success of the book cover.
I’ve been fortunate in my personal experience to have my book covers designed by the talented Ashley Literski, Creative Manager at Immortal Works (https://www.instagram.com/strangedevotiondesigns). She asks authors for a lot of information about their book: the setting, physical descriptions of the main characters, highlights of the plot, and how the title and the story fit together. Using those details, she creates.
I love the cover for COMPLICATED CHOICES, my contemporary young adult out July 25, 2023. It captures the essence of the title showing the main character, high school senior Claire Jackson, facing a potentially life-altering decision after the unexpected arrival of a half-brother and her mother’s subsequent descent into despair.
You can’t see Claire’s face on the cover, which makes her a bit mysterious, and perhaps tantalizes a reader who wants to know more about her. The gray, stormy clouds overhead allude to the seriousness of the choices Claire has to make. And even Claire’s long hair depicted on the cover plays a role in the story, but no spoilers here about that.
So now that I have established my credentials as a cheerleader for great book cover designs, I go back to my original question. Why not just show us the cover in one social media post without all the silly teasing and hinting? Perhaps this slow-roll method of the reveal is time-tested and accomplishes something, but I remain doubtful.