Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book Cover of the Week: August 21, 2013: Special Needs


So, I had a great opening thought for this very first post of mine, as I sat in the movie theater earlier today watching the previews to Kick Ass 2, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was. Unfortunately, I am not one of those to carry around something to jot notes in because I will invariably lose said note pad and have to rewrite it again anyhow.*heaves a sigh*

So I guess I'll begin anew and say that the first weeks offerings were....pretty but typical.

 Not great, not stunning, not bad, it's just they were the same, of the same, of the same.

The naked torso, the gleaming skin, or the two guys on the top of the cover, the location on the bottom, all with the writing superimposed over it. You know the ones of which I speak. With the way they flood the E Book market like a tidal wave, how could you not? Not all of this week’s covers were like this, obviously, but the majority carried a similar feel.

Now before you pick up the pitchforks, or start scouring the internet for my phone number, ( I never answer it so it'd be a waste of time trust me), I want to say that I am VERY guilty of doing the exact same thing. Hell, I didn't even realize I'd fallen into the blahness trap until I looked at the covers I had produced in close quarters with others and lo and behold, *shrugs* meh.

 The truth is that there are reasons you see the same cover over and over again, and I'll expand on the whys of the repetition a bit later, for now however I am happy to say that this first weeks pick for cover art is not dull, or boring, or even cliche. Unless a happy gay couple on a cover is cliche. Can a couple be cliche?

Yeah, we won't even go near Kanye and Kimmy dear, steering far clear of that train wreck thanks.

Anyhow, why did I pick this particular cover you ask?  Well, it's bright, it's vibrant, and you actually can feel the affection between the two characters. And it's an illustration! I know, shocked the hell out of me also, but that is precisely why it was chosen.

It caught my attention. 

Now I want to preface this by saying that as a rule, I'm not a huge fan of the drawn E Book cover. Don't get me wrong, I greatly admire illustration. In fact I often sit, pea green with envy, eyeballing the wonderful artwork that's out there on sites like Deviant Art, and Pinterest, but I haven't found many illustrated works in the online book arena that's really made me say wow. I'm not speaking of the photo manipulation that's been painted over either. I'm talking about an actual drawing that is obviously completely from the artists brain pan, and then scanned in or redone in PS or Illustrator.

Special Needs written by K.A. Merikan  with artwork done by Kkohaku is eye catching, which is the whole point of a cover.  TO CATCH YOUR EYE!  If it doesn't do that at a larger size, then what good is it at thumbnail size in the list of hundreds on sites like Amazon or All Romance? Not much good at all.

This, in my not really all that long list of criteria for a good cover, is the top number one thing to consider. Does it stand out in the lists?

In this reviewer’s opinion the cover of Special Needs does.

The colors alone on this cover are so different than the masses, even if the cover were not as well drawn as it is, it would still at least make you pause for a moment, and possibly click further to check out the actual book on sale.

There are some simple facts that govern the publishing universe and the book covers that are produced. One of the biggest is that beauty attracts.  Good looking men attract. Beautiful women attract. Put sex together with bold, bright colors, and you have a winning combo. Which is why, going back to my original statement that there's a reason; you keep seeing the same models pop up again and again. They're pretty. Who doesn't want to bask in the magnificence that is pretty? Not me I'll tell you that. But if we keep using the same artwork, the same look, the same textures, faces, or fonts, aren't we running the risk of becoming bored? Don't you think that will eventually affect sales? Don't you want to pop, and sizzle, and don't you really just want people to click that damn buy button? Of course you do.

That's why you want a cover that jumps off the page.

 Special Needs achieves this with its charismatic loving couple, the bright, hippy dippy colors (which I totally love by the way), and the textures that add depth to the artwork without detracting.   It gives off an overall feel of love and fun, and I don't know about you guys, but I can always get behind that. The bottom line? It actually makes me want to check out the story.

So did the cover do its intended job? For me, it did, and that is what it's supposed to do. 



Have a great day and may the good books be with you!

A.J.




All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn. 




This review is also published and up on The Novel Approach Reviews. A wonderful book review website that you must check out! :)




















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