I’ve been thinking a lot about covers recently, mainly as a result of my debut novel, Lost in Static, acquiring its very own cover art (I’m so excited!):
Now, I personally love this cover, and the way it reflects what the book’s about. I do, however, have to admit that I’m one of those readers that’s rarely swayed by book covers, that is to say that I will not buy a book based on its cover (I’m all about the blurb), though I may be dissuaded from picking up a book if I don’t like the cover. Luckily, in the era of e-readers, book covers are not as important as they used to be for me. And I say luckily, because some of my favourite reads of the last few years have had covers that would have had me ignoring the book (usually those containing abs and/or semi-clad women, or bathed in pink), and what a shame that would have been.
Cover snobbery is a fault, I admit, but it’s also surprisingly useful writing inspiration. How? By following these simple steps:
- Find a cover you absolutely loathe (there are some dedicated sites, and some bloggers do regular features on them)
- Focus on what you really loathe about it (e.g. six-packs (the abs, not the beer))
- Write a sentence about why you really loathe that particular feature (e.g. What is it with six packs on covers? Are there really that many men with perfectly formed stomachs? And is it really that attractive? And yes, I realise that’s more than one sentence!)
- Now write a story starting (or ending) with the sentence composed in step 3.
This works with good covers too, of course, with a focus on the things that make that cover so absorbing or eye-catching or horrifyingly, spookily thrilling.
So grab some covers and get inspired. Oh, and when you’re done with writing, try reading what’s contained within those inspirational covers and hopefully you’ll be inspired twice over…