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For a book cover artist to make a sufficiently good cover for your book, she has to know what the book is about. For example, many YWOD_Cover_3_0_Small.jpgdecades ago on another continent, a poet wrote a book of poems about knitting and other household activities. In the poem about knitting she used the words hooks and eyes, meaning the hooks and eyes of a knitting needle. The book cover artist designed a cover with eyes pierced by hooks (as in fishing hooks). Not a good match.

Many book cover artists want to know the genre of the book so they have a general idea about what the cover should look like. A mystery novel will probably have a man in the shadows; a romance will have a well-built barechested man on the cover. Swords and dragons appear on a different genre. In the 50s, a busty woman with a Martian adorned many a science fiction novel.

What kind of cover does a literary book require? Orwell’s 1984. Horror? Mystery? I believe the original cover had merely the author’s name and title. Occasionally an eye would appear. Speaking of eyes.

Here are two covers (with a church setting and minimalist) that I made for my novel The Year Without Days, an as-of-yet unfinished fifth novel in a pentology in Japan about:

  • A religious group sets out to cause panic and fear in Tokyo in order to reap the benefits of people seeking assurance from a church,
  • Two youngish people who meet and maybe or maybe not fall in love,
  • The relationships between the leader of the church, her rich lover, and her followers.

YWOD_Cover_Border_Small.jpgIt is not written in chronological order as in a Tom Clancy techno-adventure novel. It skips around between places, time, and people but they all lead to the climax which will be the result of the fake-terrorism plot by the church and whether or not the two youngish people get together.

Also, the youngish woman shows up in another as-of-now unfinished novel in the pentology ~ Botchan’s Bartender as Botchan’s bartender.

Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments and we can all be happy.

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