My Top Ten Book Covers for Historical Fiction

lastshroudbrighterCurrently, the last few tweaks are being made to the paperback cover for The Last Shroud, so covers are in my mind at the moment. Cover design is an important part of the publishing process and so – like most independent authors – I get someone else to do it!     The same designer has done the covers for all four books in the series and I’ve frequently been complimented upon them – but the credit must go to someone else. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I like to keep in house the main aspects of publishing my books and the cover design is handled by my daughter, Katie.

Her background is in art, design and photography and she was keen to help me out, so it seemed to make sense for the first book. Since then, the results have more than justified the decision!

When I was thinking about the cover for The Last Shroud, my first thought was to have a shroud on the front – as you can see I’m something of a deep thinker. Once Katie got to work, the shroud departed and we discussed other images and ways of conveying the mood of the book. It wasn’t easy and it made me appreciate all the more some of the great book covers I’ve seen in the past year or so.

I’ve read quite a lot of discussions about book covers in the past few years and the funny thing is that several people will say something along the lines: “I’m a designer so I know what a good cover should be like…” and yet they go on to disagree big time with each other about the actual cover being discussed. I’ve reached the conclusion that an individual’s reaction to a book cover is just that: individual. For example, many readers will say that a cover needs to stand out but “standing out”, whether by colour or style, rather depends on what it is sitting next to and what each person responds to.

When I try to pinpoint what I like about a particular cover, I think it amounts to the following ingredients: contrasting use of light, shade and colour, strong text and intriguing images. Here, in no particular order, are the ones that I like best.

angusdonald anguswatson benkane connigg hodgson ianross jameswilde  robharris tobyclements scarrow

See what I mean, they all look great! Of course anyone else on the planet would probably choose a different ten…

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