I’d been assuming that designing a book cover is purely visual–that what the reader sees is all there is to it. There are numerous parts to that–the image(s) and font(s), of course, but also the layout and how well the background highlights the information in the foreground. But with the cover to Widow Boy, I learned that how a cover feels can be part of the reader experience in the paper version.
Side x Side was aware of a new option Amazon has started offering for covers–a matte finish. It didn’t cost any more to do it that way and it seemed like a way to give this book a “different look”–at least until everyone starts to use it. That turned out to be a really good idea.
People actually stroke this cover. They tell me they like the feel of it, and that how it feels makes it seem like it belongs to the period in which it’s set. (They also admit that they think they are crazy when they realize they like the feel of the cover…..)
That brings up another key point in getting that “perfect cover” for a book. Sometimes, you just get lucky.