Monday, September 13, 2010

Sept Dare Day 12 - Covers, Proposals and Pitches

Yesterday got eaten up, but in a good way.

I have two illustrators who are working on some covers. One normally specializes in webpages, and has never done a book cover before, but her style seemed so exactly right for "The Untitled Future Project Known As 'The Serial'" that I asked her she'd be willing to try, and she was interested. Unfortunately, I haven't even outlined that book yet, so it's a case of the blind leading the blind, but we're having some fun. The other artist is experienced with ebook covers, but is not expensive, so I thought I'd give him a shot at redesigning the Wife of Freedom.

Both artists, of course, need information to do a good cover. The experienced cover artist wanted info very much like a proposal - not a query, but the more indepth stuff you might do in a longer pitch. What's the character's motivation? What does she fear? (yadda yadda)

And here I thought that Indie Authors didn't have to write book proposals any more.

But I learned something. If I were to need to write an in-depth pitch for an editor or producer in the future, I think I'd start by writing up a description to give to a cover artist.

It really gets you thinking about the theme and the tone as well as the characters and vivid elements of the story. The cover is a visual logline. It's the poster for your book. And the trailer. (I know people do so called "book trailers" but I don't really think of them as like a movie trailer. They're more of just an ad.) Because the cover artist doesn't need to be sold on the story, you aren't tempted to call it "the intriguing new novel" or "a laugh-out-loud jokefest."

Such a description is not a pitch... but what's in it is everything you need to pitch your novel. Because the cover IS a pitch.

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