So, I had a great opening thought for this very first post of mine, as I sat in the movie theater earlier today watching the previews to Kick Ass 2, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what it was. Unfortunately, I am not one of those to carry around something to jot notes in because I will invariably lose said note pad and have to rewrite it again anyhow.*heaves a sigh*
So I guess I’ll begin anew and say that the first weeks offerings were….pretty but typical.
Not great, not stunning, not bad, it’s just they were the same, of the same, of the same.
The naked torso, the gleaming skin, or the two guys on the top of the cover, the location on the bottom, all with the writing superimposed over it. You know the ones of which I speak. With the way they flood the E Book market like a tidal wave, how could you not? Not all of this week’s covers were like this, obviously, but the majority carried a similar feel.
Now before you pick up the pitchforks, or start scouring the internet for my phone number, (I never answer it so it’d be a waste of time trust me), I want to say that I am VERY guilty of doing the exact same thing. Hell, I didn’t even realize I’d fallen into the blahness trap until I looked at the covers I had produced in close quarters with others and lo and behold, *shrugs* meh.
The truth is that there are reasons you see the same cover over and over again, and I’ll expand on the whys of the repetition a bit later. For now, however, I am happy to say that this first week’s pick for cover art is not dull, or boring, or even cliche. Unless a happy gay couple on a cover is cliche. Can a couple be cliche? Yeah, we won’t even go near Kanye and Kimmy dear, steering far clear of that train wreck thanks.
Anyhow, why did I pick this particular cover you ask? Well, it’s bright, it’s vibrant, and you actually can feel the affection between the two characters. And it’s an illustration! I know, shocked the hell out of me also, but that is precisely why it was chosen.
It caught my attention.
Now I want to preface this by saying that as a rule, I’m not a huge fan of the drawn E-Book cover. Don’t get me wrong, I greatly admire illustration. In fact, I often sit, pea green with envy, eyeballing the wonderful artwork that’s out there on sites like Deviant Art, and Pinterest, but I haven’t found many illustrated works in the online book arena that’s really made me say wow. I’m not speaking of the photo manipulation that’s been painted over either. I’m talking about an actual drawing that is obviously completely from the artists brain pan, and then scanned in or redone in PS or Illustrator.
Special Needs written by K.A. Merikan with artwork done by Kkohaku is eye catching, which is the whole point of a cover. TO CATCH YOUR EYE! If it doesn’t do that at a larger size, then what good is it at thumbnail size in the list of hundreds on sites like Amazon or All Romance? Not much good at all.
This, in my not really all that long list of criteria for a good cover, is the top number one thing to consider.
Does it stand out in the lists?
In this reviewer’s opinion the cover of Special Needs does.
The colors alone on this cover are so different than the masses, even if the cover were not as well drawn as it is, it would still at least make you pause for a moment, and possibly click further to check out the actual book on sale.
There are some simple facts that govern the publishing universe and the book covers that are produced. One of the biggest is that beauty attracts. Good looking men attract. Beautiful women attract. Put sex together with bold, bright colors, and you have a winning combo. Which is why, going back to my original statement that there’s a reason; you keep seeing the same models pop up again and again.
They’re pretty. Who doesn’t want to bask in the magnificence that is pretty? Not me I’ll tell you that. But if we keep using the same artwork, the same look, the same textures, faces, or fonts, aren’t we running the risk of becoming bored? Don’t you think that will eventually affect sales? Don’t you want to pop, and sizzle, and don’t you really just want people to click that damn buy button? Of course you do.
That’s why you want a cover that jumps off the page.
Special Needs achieves this with its charismatic loving couple, the bright, hippy dippy colors (which I totally love by the way), and the textures that add depth to the artwork without detracting. It gives off an overall feel of love and fun, and I don’t know about you guys, but I can always get behind that. The bottom line? It actually makes me want to check out the story.
So did the cover do its intended job? For me, it did, and that is what it’s supposed to do.
Have a great day and may the good books be with you!
A.J. – GotYouCovered
**All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.**
10 thoughts on “A.J.'s Got You Covered – This Week's Top Cover Honor Goes To Kkohaku and K.A. Merikan's "Special Needs"”
Very well said!
Thank you so much Jackie. I was worried I’d jumped around to much as I have a tendency to do.
Ha! I am such a rambler, lol. You should read some of my reviews, I am like that dog on “UP”. I will have a thought and then it’s all….squirrel!!!
Oh good…I’m so glad that someone else is in the Oooo shiny parade with me!!! grins
It is really good AJ!
Thank you Tina. I suppose this means I should read some of the books that are reviewed on here so I can give you guys kudos too huh??? laughs In the meantime hugs and dashes run by kudos!
Thanks AJ. I often wonder who makes the decision on the cover – the author or the publisher. If I were an author and had spent many hours producing the story, I would want the cover to grab attention and hopefully help sell the book.
I think it depends on the company actually. For example, DS has an artist mock up three covers (quick low res versions) and then the author has to choose. The self published author has more leeway but then I think is more timid about asking for what they want.
I do both types and honestly I’m not sure which is better because they both have advantages. Speaking for myself and ONLY myself, I often give my authors up to 20 models to select from and then make the covers based on their descriptions of the books. I ask a lot of questions though before hand because I want my authors to actually WANT to look at their covers and say, ooooooooo pretty. Cause I know if the positions were reversed I’d want that for myself.
Some sites however do the covers for you and they’re still bad. If you see a publisher that has consistently poor covers, chances are they’re one of them. I really don’t understand that mentality as your sales are often dependent on whether the cover catches the eye.
Thanks for the awesome comment!
I see AJ already answered, so I’ll just butt in about this particular cover :) It’s a selfpublished book, so I had total freedom to do what I wanted. I’m over the moon that this cover has gotten noticed as being different and standing out. The idea was for the cover to not only be a straightforward illustration of the couple. For example, standing on a beach, because the location of the story is by a beach, but for the colors and style to also give a vibe about what the story is like. And I hope the crazy colors and textures give that – love-story-on-acid vibe :D.
I chose some reference photos, described what I wanted and took that to the artist – Kkohaku. I’ve worked with her before, so I knew she is fabulously flexible and takes direction well, while coming up with her own additions too :)
And then when we went through the back and forward stages with the painting, I took the finished illustration to my sister Joanna, who runs ‘BookCoverMasterclass’ and we sat down together to work out the typography. Happy, modern, colorful with the wheelchair sign for emphasis of the theme :)
So in a way, it’s the work of three different people!
(I hope this wasn’t a ramble-fest ha ha)