When I first started planning the cover design for Ignoring Gravity, I conducted some word-of-mouth research amongst my fiction-buying friends. When they bought a novel, what appealed to them first? The majority said the front cover design, and importantly the colour, was what attracted them to a book when browsing. If they didn’t like the cover, they rarely picked up the book. If they did like the cover, the next test was to read the first page. One friend said she goes straight to the back cover copy, and another said she is not influenced by cover design at all.
So, what to make of that? Well, I had to get the cover design right. And I hope I did, one supporter who has pre-ordered the book, described Ignoring Gravity’s cover, “It looks accessible without being chick lit; serious without being heavy.” That was pretty much what I was aiming for.
My informal review of current novel covers in my local bookshop made me determined to have a simple, stylish cover in calm colours to differentiate it from the cornucopia of colourful novels currently on sale [below]. To read about the first part of my cover design process, including my informal survey of current book covers, click here
I was keen to feature a tree on the cover, as the tree represents both family history research and the roots which Rose has to untangle in her adoption search. The tree, and a fondness for the paper-cut illustrations of Rob Ryan [out of my budget unfortunately] led me to consider illustration.Taking all that into consideration, I sent a brief to designer Paul Burrows at Nicky Stephen Marketing to consider a paper-cut approach to a tree or leaves, in a single colour, perhaps as a frame around the title. I originally favoured green: for example paint company Farrow & Ball’s Cooking Apple Green [below] or Breakfast Room Green. Another option was a single tree, perhaps with bare branches, which could represent the tree Rose climbs as a child. Along with the ‘brief’ brief, I included a selection of illustrations I liked, and also asked Paul to design something himself, completely without influence from me, having read the novel’s synopsis.
And then… I waited. To find out what happened next… read Part 2 of ‘Choosing the front cover’ tomorrow.
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Choosing the front cover for IGNORING GRAVITY #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-Vh via @SandraDanby