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What’s So Important About a Book’s Cover?

2017 February 22

Okay, I’m tooting my horn here. I have a new release coming out in March. I’m excited as excited about this story as I am about every release. The thrill of seeing your novel come to life to be held in the hands of another and read will probably never leave me.

As an author, the cover is important to me. In every way, it is the first impression for the reader, especially when said reader may have never met the author who penned the pages. The book cover has many things to say to the reader:

  • “Look. I’m here.”
  • “Psst. Want to read a good story? This is what this book is about?”
  • “Hey, let me tell you a little about the author.”
  • “Yes, the story within is as good as the cover.”

I’m picky about my covers. I think they should catch the readers’ attentions in a good and positive way. The picture on the cover must be crisp and clear, and even when the reader might not know it until they finish the book, everything on the cover should depict something important about the story.

HOPE front COVER 1 concept (2)Hope is my release coming out in March. As you can see, the cover depicts an artist, a smiling artist, who reached out to me and said, “Not only is my name Hope, but I am filled with hope.” The carousel … well, it’s very important to the story, and I’ll let you figure out why.

The cover with Hope’s smiling face and the carousel also hides a bit of sadness, because the picture only captures, as is said in the book, “What God sees about Hope.” And when I look at the brilliant design, emotions flood through me because I know … I just know … that Hope’s happy ending comes at the end of a very long journey I want the reader to take with her.

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. I do judge a book by its cover. I was asked to do some work in our church library a while back. I tossed out book after book after book. When asked why I would get rid of a story or a non-fiction work that still had value, I had to explain that no one has picked up the book and why no one has picked up the book. The reason for most of my decisions: the cover was off-putting; it screamed antiquated or amateurish or just plain not interesting. The dust on the covers and the lack of any checkout card proved that I was right. Oh, there was some old tried and true classics that kids and adults will always pick up, and I was sure to leave them. Those stories have transcended the ages and have won a place in the hearts of generations of readers. Yet, a so-so book with a cover that looks as if someone threw it together speaks to the reader as well. It says:

  • “Yeah, I’m here. You might want to have a look.”
  • “I’m not too interesting on the outside, but you might like what I have on the inside.”
  • “The author? They might have cared about the story, but my cover doesn’t really relay that, does it?”

I’m so fortunate to have an editor and a cover artist at Write Integrity Press who care about what’s on the outside of a book because they want the outside to reflect what they know is on the inside. To those individuals, I say, “Thank you. This is a favorite part of my writer’s journey.”


Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories that remind the reader that God is always in the details. Three of the four books in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series, are available: Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, and Everybody’s Broken. Hope is the third book in The Ties that Bind Series, which also includes Charisse and Libby. Fay’s adventurous spirit has also taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Future releases from Fay will be: Frozen Notes, Book 4 of the Amazing Grace series, and Delilah, Book 4 from The Ties that Bind.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor, and Goodreads.

4 Responses Post a comment
  1. February 22, 2017

    I, too, judge a book by its cover, and your new cover says a lot! Looking forward to reading it.

    • Fay Lamb permalink*
      February 23, 2017

      Kathleen, your publisher hasn’t done one cover that disappoints. They are fantastic.

  2. February 23, 2017

    Good post!☺

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