It's a little-known fact, but every now and then people ask me to design a book cover for them. Here is the most recent one:
Most of them are books for grown-ups. But earlier this year I did one for young adult girls. Here it is:
I really enjoy designing book covers. Surfing Through Minefields is a realistic story (no vampires) about a young girl who moves to an old coalmining area and gets into a spot of trouble.
You could say that there's trouble at t'pit, but I won't because that's corny.
Bel was very specific about what she wanted. There had to be a dog, the girl, and a coal mine.
Oh yes, and she had to have a skateboard, hence the title.
How do you aim a book at a particular kind of reader? How do you attract their attention and make them pick it up?
My approach was to think: if I put a really cool girl on the cover, then it looks like the book is aimed at that type of reader.
I made her sassy and confident, too: she's got attitude. Just, I hope, like a lot of girls aged 11 to 13 like to think they are.
Bel said she was really pleased with it anyway.
How did I do it? Sorry, that's a trade secret. I'll have to keep it under cover.
There was a print version and an e-book version. For the print version I had to design the spine and the back cover as well.
I also copy edited the blurb for her and the publisher.
Doing something like this makes me think a lot more about writing the content of my own books, and how they are aimed at particular kinds of readers.
But I wouldn't design covers for my own books. It's hard enough writing them.