Do You Judge a Book by its Cover? The Guardian, by Carey Corp

The Guardian by Carey CorpA few weeks ago, writing friend Carey Corp emailed me, with the subject line “Help!”

No, her email hadn’t been hijacked by spammers. She was trying to produce the cover for the print version of her successful YA paranormal romance, The Guardian. She’d done a nice job putting together the cover for the e- version. And isn’t a cover for a print book simply a matter of adding a back and spine to the ebook cover?

Carey found out it wasn’t when she uploaded her print cover to CreateSpace, only to receive a message that it didn’t meet required specifications. After another try, and another reject, she emailed me.

Carey remembered that I worked in graphic design for over ten years before turning to web design, and later programming. And back when I was active in the field, print was still the thing. I was actually one of the first people in the Dayton area to use computer-prepared files for full-blown, four-color printing films, so all of the issues CreateSpace identified in their emails to Carey, were familiar to me.

The modifications I made were minor as far as appearance was concerned, such as adding another set of wings to the spine – I love little details like this! Reworking the rest with higher-resolution photos took a few hours in Photoshop, tweaking color density, printing to a PDF, then emailing to Carey. When I didn’t hear back within a few days, I figured no news was good news – and it was! See her take here.

I am not a big reader of Young Adult fiction, but going by the description, this is something I would have devoured when I was a teen. A lot of Carey’s readers are adults, too, and the more I read this description as I reworked the art, the more intrigued I became – I might just have to pick up a copy! The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian (Kindle version) THE HALO CHRONICLES: The Guardian (Volume 1) (Print version)

Do you enjoy YA fiction? And, do you pass on a book if the cover’s not quite professional? (I’ll admit it – it takes a lot more to get me to buy if the cover’s less than appealing.) If you’re an author, ever try doing your own cover? As a graphic design professional, I’m a big proponent of “don’t try this at home” but for some, it can work out well. What do you think?

2 Responses to \

  1. I totally judge books by the covers. The better the cover, the better chance there is I’ll read the blurb. When a cover–especially on an ebook–looks homemade, I tend to pass it up. The writing inside might be great, but if the cover doesn’t mirror that greatness, I’ll probably never know. :D
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  2. So true, Catie! I see so many amateurish covers in self-published and small-press published books. These authors/publishers must not realize that they’re doing a huge disservice to their books! If I didn’t have a graphic design background, professional cover design is something I’d definitely pay for.