As some of you know, a friend of mine has been doing some artwork inspired by my first novel. I'm planning to use some of these to decorate my blog when they're done.
Yesterday I got to see the work done so far on my hero, Nathan Shepherd. I am loving this. Actually seeing my characters in this way is such a giddy rush. I'm dying to share these with people.
This got me thinking, though, about cover art. What makes a book really stand out? What are some favourites at the moment? Personally I like the title and author's name to be very clear. If the font or background image are too complex it distracts me and I have to pause for a moment to figure out what they say. That's not a great encouragement to pick up the book and check out the blurb on the back cover. Usually I also prefer abstract art, such as a logo or stylised image, over something with a model in a pose. That said, a really well done cover with a picture of characters from the book can be very evocative. I just get tired of seeing the same run of stock images that say nothing about the book itself.
I'd also be lying if I said that all this hasn't got me wondering just how much say an author gets in their cover art. Can they make reccomendations? If they see a proposed cover and just hate it, can they ask for something else? Or is it one of those things that needs to be ironed out on a case by case basis?