it’s the saying we all grew up with: ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.
perfectly okay if the cover is something nondescript, with a background only for the text announcing a title.
completely fine, also, if the cover offers decorative promises that are never realised by the narrative or language of the words within.
me? i think the idea of the cover is to serve the book - to add an additional layer to the words and to draw people in via the ‘teaser’ aspect of hinting at the themes and stories on the pages. it’s a creative image produced by the designer in collaboration with the publisher.
does the author have input? yes, via the words of her novel, and sometimes, if invited to make them, via initial suggestions, but ultimately the cover is the extra layer that provides a novel with its package.
this is a good thing. take me: i know nothing about design or image or colour matching and when I wrote ghost girls I didn't give a thought to the possibility the manuscript might one day have a cover. my concerns lay with finishing the book, acquiring an agent and eventually finding a publisher.
i did those things and am now in the fortunate position to learn about the book business as an author. my early observation is this: it takes a team to make a book and the designer is a key player. so while the people at echo publishing were kind and polite enough to ask for my suggestions in relation to a potential cover, the creative and technical work of it fell to renowned australian designer, sandy cull.
i feel that sandy and the echo team got it spot on. the cover perfectly evokes the tone and setting of ghost girls while also suggesting something about the story. it is visually exciting and the graphic choices reflect, at least to me, some of the themes and ideas threaded through the narrative.
i feel so privileged to have had sandy design the ghost girls cover. before i saw the design, i met and talked with her and learnt that she'd read the novel. she highlighted a scene that involves the australian bush - it is one of my favourite scenes in the book. when she told me she liked that scene, I knew my cover was in very safe hands.
as for judging a book by its cover, well, I hope you will do that for mine, at least initially. this is because i think the ghost girls cover rocks and that it truly does serve the story: I’m thrilled with it.