Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book Covers by Joyce Lavene

Book Covers

Book covers are exciting or colorful or scary. Or something in between. They have a few seconds to catch a reader's attention before that person's eye moves to something else. Your poor little book can't jump off the shelf into a reader's hand. But a good book cover can make a reader pause, thumb through, and finally buy a book.

Berkley Prime Crime does an awesome job with their covers (which you can see from my book cover from A TIMELY VISION and Elizabeth Spann Craig (writing as Riley Adams) book cover from Delicious and Suspicious).

Readers have remarked many times about how beautiful the covers are for my Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries and that the covers of the Ren Faire Mysteries made them pick up the books because they looked like fun.

Writers don't have a lot to say about their covers. Editors ask what you think as the cover is being drawn up. They ask for suggestions about the art before the cover is started. After that, it's up to the artists who design and create the book covers. They are talented and fast workers. Like everyone else on the team that gets the book ready for stores, they're on a deadline and have to finish the product to keep up with production.

I think one thing that makes Berkley covers so good is that they tend to stay away from animals and people. I don't know why, but figures don't seem to translate well to this form. The people can be too big for their surroundings or their faces can be frightening. Animals are usually just plain weird looking.

People compliment me often on my book covers. I'm not sure what to say since I had nothing to do with it. I usually mutter politely and change the subject. I can only take credit for the writing inside.

So here's to Dan Craig (
and Lesley Worrell (
Ben Perini(

and all the other Berkley cover artists and designers. You guys rock! You make it easy for writers to get compliments they don't deserve and to sell our books!

Joyce Lavene
PS - Just for the record, I have nothing to do with the change in cover style between large print and mass market paperback either.
A Timely Vision (and another fine cover)
May 2010 from Berkley Prime Crime

1 comment:

Robyn Campbell said...

I just had to follow this one too. I am writing a mystery (in Carolina) and what fun to follow this blog. ;)

I am kinda glad that I wouldn't have complete authority to come up with the cover for my book. YIKES. That could be disastrous. Jody Hedlund has a great post today on how her cover came to be. =)