I read once that the main purpose of a book cover is to attract the reader’s attention. Obviously, it should have something to do with the subject of the book too – you wouldn’t put an image of a vegetable garden on a book called How to Crochet, but the cover needn’t tell the story of the book, just be appropriate in some way. It set me thinking – what makes us pick up a book in a bookshop? Sometimes it’s the author name, but it could also be the image. Or the title, or strapline, or maybe a combination of all of these. I thought it might be fun to find out what different people think. Over the next few months I’ll be asking different people in the book world to choose two books, one simply with a cover they like, the other one of their own book covers.
This week’s victim is Helen Pryke, who writes psychological suspense novels, women’s fiction and (under her pen name Julia E Clements) children’s books. Over to Helen:
I love the monochrome simplicity of this cover, the stars and swirls adding to its promise of magic inside, while the red adds a dash of danger and mysticism. Even though the characters are white silhouettes, you can easily tell the era in which the story is set.
The tagline on the back reads “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it… It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” This, together with the cover, tells you everything you need to know, and is intriguing enough to make you want to read it.
I’ve decided to include my debut novel, Walls of Silence. It’s been through several cover changes, but this is my favourite. A couple of years ago I bought Affinity Photo, and while trying it out, thought I’d have another go at making a new cover for this book. Using various blend modes, somehow I created this cracked wall showing through a woman’s transparent face.
The book is about a woman who has been abused from childhood, and this cover sums up her life – the cracks beneath the surface, her struggle to survive, and eventually becoming stronger, despite everything that happens to her.
Thank you, Helen – I think your Walls of Silence image is very striking. I would certainly pick it up to have a closer look!
You can find out more about Helen and her books on her Amazon Author Page, where you’ll also find purchase links for the books (all of which I’ve read and can thoroughly recommend).
Next time, we’re having women’s fiction writer Amanda James with two of her favourite cover images.
I’ll leave you with the back cover of The Night Circus.
Two wonderful but very different covers…
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Yes, that’s what I thought too. 🙂