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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Guest Post: Tony Deblauwe (Tangling with Tyrants)

I would like to welcome author Tony Deblauwe to Morbid Romantic! He was kind enough to grant me a guest post, which I am delighted to share with you now. Enjoy! 

Why Book Covers are So Important 

When I thought about the Tangling with Tyrants(tm) cover art, I knew I needed something that would stand out on a bookshelf. When I visited bookstores and looked for books on my subject, I didn’t see anything that jumped out at me. Instead I looked around for any book that caught my eye regardless of genre. What I found was that simple was better. Short, catchy titles surrounded by an interesting graphic had more resonance with me. I also knew that as a self-publisher I had to break the stereotype that self-published books have poor covers. I didn’t get much guidance from my publisher one way or the other so I decided to come up with concepts that I could give to a designer to create. So I started to think about my subject. I thought about bosses, management, power, thinking through things strategically, etc. I used a whiteboard to come up with lists and lists of words that fell somewhere into the content I had. After struggling for a bit, I saw an antique chess board for sale at an auction and I knew I had the concept. I scoured all kinds of chess clipart. Nothing I found hit the right tone but I gathered what I had and some rough sketches and sourced a designer. After a few drafts, I finally got the winning cover which is what you see today. Everyone I showed it to loved it and without the title, knew that it had something to do with leadership or management. The king chess piece highlighted in front of pawns conveyed the idea that the employees are not in the spotlight, the manager is. The picture made sense right away and achieved the simple graphic with the bold catchy name. Cover art cannot be underestimated. I recommend getting a designer who understands how a picture tells a story but most importantly, the story you want to people to interpret. Don’t get too fancy -- just enough intrigue to draw people to your book and satisfy their curiosity.

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