Sunday, June 27, 2021

Why are we obsessed with book covers? by Vijaya Schartz

This is the cover reveal for my October release
Angel Brave, Azura Book 3 - Visit my page at BWL

As an author, I see images in my head when I write. Like a 3D movie, with sounds and lights and special effects, and color, and smells, and heat, and cold… and all these elements end up in my story. So, I have a pretty good idea of what my characters look like, sound like… and I want my readers to see the same movie in their heads as they read the book. So I do make suggestions to the artist cover designer, here Michelle Lee, and this latest cover does reflect my vision perfectly.

Chuck Lorre, creator of The BIg Bang, Young Sheldon
Two and a half men, The US of Al, and many award-winning sitcoms.

I remember something Chuck Lorre wrote in a vanity card at the end of a show. I paraphrase: “I learned over the years, not to obsess over whether or not the actor looks like the character in my head, but rather to find a talented actor who will make the character his or hers.”

And here resides the secret of success. Learning to let go of the characters we created to let the reader re-imagine them. I’m certain authors whose stories make it to the screen struggle with the same problem. How the movie director, the screenwriter, and the producers see the characters often differs from what the original novelist had in mind.

The Archangel Twin books
Evil has many faces, not all of them human...

Sometimes, the book cover reflects my vision of the characters, and sometimes not. And who is to say which is best? My idea of Michael was very different, but I do love the new covers for the Archangel twin books.

Byzantium (Space Station) series, action, romance, and telepathic cats

Then, there is the cover without people on it, a trend which comes and goes with the seasons. It portrays adjacent scenery or an animal relevant to the story. Like in the Byzantium Space Station series, with telepathic cats as secondary characters.

Chronicles of Kassouk - Sci-fi Romance with big cats

In a series, there is also the concern for continuity. A long time ago, with another publisher, I received a cover that was unacceptable. It was book 3 in a series, and while the first two book covers featured photographs of male cover models (it was sci-fi romance) the cover of Book 3 was a comic book drawing with juvenile UFOs and little green men. It took me a while to figure out a nice way to tell the person in charge that this cover, while lovely, didn’t fit the mood of the story, and most importantly didn’t match that of the two previous books. Ooopsie!

Ancient Enemy series - Sci-fi Romance

All the book covers in a series should reflect the same palette, ambiance, font, design, etc. so the potential reader can recognize a book as belonging in a familiar series. Like The Curse of the Lost Isle, or the Chronicles of Kassouk.

Curse of the Lost Isle, Celtic Legends, Paranormal Romance

This said, I hope you’ll check out all these titles on my pages below.

Happy Reading!

Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats


  1. I may be the odd one. I never worry about the cover. My imagination isn't visual. Glad Michelle takes care of covers. Keep writing

  2. Thanks, Janet. Yes, Michelle is a treasure.

  3. So very true! Thanks for sharing, Vijaya.

  4. Yes, your bookcovers are striking! Interesting blog.


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