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  • Writer's pictureWalker Buckalew

Cover Art

What's your favorite book?
Cover Art

You may or may not know that there are artists who specialize in creating book covers. It’s what they do to earn their living.

Other artists, although not cover art specialists, let book editors know that they are interested in earning money in that way. For them, cover art income is a way to supplement income from their main creative interests, or to earn tuition money for school, or to supplement a growing family’s burgeoning income needs.

My adult novels – the Rebecca Series – have all been published in hard cover, which, in turn, means they have dust jackets. Dust jackets, as you know from reading hard cover books, can be remarkable artistic creations in themselves. They usually have art work on the front cover, quotes from readers or critics on the back cover, a summary of the book on the inside front flap, and something about the author on the inside back flap.

A graphic artist named Jeff Whitlock has done all the covers for the Rebecca Series. He actually reads some or even all of the manuscript before he decides what to fit onto the cover of the dust jacket. My editors and I are always fascinated to see what he creates for us (and for you), and we have always retained most of what he submits for our consideration. In fact, the only changes we have ever made involved subtracting one of the images, simply in the interest of keeping the cover from beginning to look cluttered.

When I wrote my first young-adult novel – the Visioners Series – my editor suggested that these books, to be produced in soft cover, should have an illustrator, rather than a graphic artist. I agreed, and she commissioned a student named Paisley Hansen to create the covers for The Visioners and Visioners2. I called Paisley’s attention to certain paragraphs in which Joanna – the fourteen-year-old girl through whom the Visioners stories are told – described herself. And I explained to Paisley that Joanna was rarely without the company of Flurry, her border collie. Paisley took it from there and created wonderful color illustrations for those young-adult books.

It has been interesting to me to realize that, when the covers of these adult and young-adult stories are reproduced on e-readers, the images are even stronger than they are on the actual books. There are details on some of the covers that are actually easier to see on my e-reader than when I hold the books in my hands.

If you have a copy of any of my novels – the actual, physical book – and also a copy in your e-reader, hold the two up together and compare.

Interesting, isn’t it?

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