Category Archives: Covers

Indie Covers That Work

So today I’m talking covers, self-published book covers to be precise. There are plenty of places on the internet where you can go to see train wreck indie covers. They’ve certainly provided me many late night, several-beers-later, guffaws. I’d personally like to focus on some of the covers that I think work well.

You’ll notice something about the covers that I’m featuring. There’s a conspicuous lack of bare male torsos. I’m sure that these covers work. They certainly sell books. But as I am a guy, and I’ve never bought a 6-pack toting, smoldering-eyed, stubbly man book, I don’t feel like I’m in a position to judge them fairly.

I also have a few opinions that go against most commonly held beliefs. I don’t necessarily need a cover to hit me over the side of the head with genre. A cover should convey the feel of the story inside, but I don’t need the Seal of the President to tell me that it’s a political thriller.  I also don’t need there to be a badge on a cop book, a space ship for science fiction, or a photo-bombing wolf for one of those wolfy books.

So without further adieu, the covers:

Clear typography, action that conveys meaning without being over the top. This one puts me right into a scene from the book. There is a lot going on, but not so much that it feels busy.

This one is great at conveying what’s inside, YA thriller with a dash of the supernatural. It also grabs you at a thumbnail size.  The rest of the books in the series match it perfectly as well.

This one is a good example of feel. It’s striking in thumbnail size and invites you to click. My only criticism is the shadowed type. I think it would be stronger without this.

The real win here is typography. The title really pops off the page. Also, by having a fairly basic background, the next books in the series can be done up without too much fuss and still look great.

This is the last one I’m going to feature. It’s actually the third book in the series, my favorite of the three. It screams YA dystopian with maybe a soupcon of romance,  and sets the mood of the story. Put together with the other books in the series, they make a compelling package.

So that’s that. Indie book covers that don’t look like fridge art for a fifth grader. I think they show the birth of a new type of author, self-publishers that are neither million copy bestsellers, nor people flinging things up on Kindle with just a prayer. These are professionals putting out a professional product; indie mid-list authors.