For those like me that shouldn't be allowed to go to book stores, or even book aisles at department stores without supervision, they will understand the power of a great book cover. It can stop you in your tracks. It can make you change the entire plan of your day simply by catching your eye. More than once I have been in the process of checking items off my to do list when a chance encounter with a book cover I couldn't resist changed my plans to hot cocoa, pjs and reading for the rest of the afternoon. I even ordered a book recently off amazon after seeing the cover pop up on an ad through Facebook. There was just something about it.
As authors we strive for a cover that can capture the imagination in that way. It should relay enough information that it ties to the story in someway but not so much as to give away any pertinent information. It can be like walking a fine line to hold a balance with your reader. Cover art may seem like an after thought but it can be one of the greatest marketing tools an author has when selling their book.
I have struggled in the past, and sadly with a few current projects as well, with coming up with cover designs that speak to me. My Syn series I have known at least elements of the covers for longer than I have been writing the books but for Breathe which I have been working on through three and a half edits, I have no idea what to do for the cover. I am still searching for that moment while writing that I can see the scene and it stays with me.
The same can be said for my Voices series. I know the genre. I can explain the premise of the books but I have no idea what to put as the cover art. However the girls of the Syn series have been whispering in my ear from the beginning. Covers move us, they are the picture worth a hundred thousand words. I am not good with graphics but I am sure that as I continue working I can improve. It is just frustrating to think how someone can be creative enough to pull an entire novel out of thin air but unable to find that picture that speaks to them about the story. It makes me wonder, when it comes to covers, what is it that captures our imagination.