I don't want to design my book covers. I love writing, but I just don't have the visual skills to design covers or the marketing skills to know what sells (lots of writers who do design their own covers don't know this part either, I fear!)
That being said, I DO want to have a say in my covers. I know what I don't like. And I certainly know what fits the book - even if it doesn't represent the exact image I had in my mind.
Take the Restoration cover, done by the marvelous Matt Stawicki. The characters look nothing like the images of Seyonne and Aleksander that live in my head, but when I pulled that cover out of the envelope, I went, "Wow!" It is gorgeous. It will draw a reader's eye and make readers wonder about the book - which is the entire reason for cover art, of course. The Stawicki Revelation cover was actually more beautiful than I had envisioned the ice palace in Kir'Vagonoth. I also love the Luis Royo covers for the Lighthouse books, but, sorry folks, he isn't quite Valen and the beauifully rendered masks are wrong - they should be vertical half masks. But I think the covers are gorgeous and feel very fortunate.
So the time has come (already?) and my editor, bless her, is asking for my ideas for what should be on the cover of the [as yet untitled] new book.
Probably not an action scene. They are not "stylish" for trade paperback originals. So, there's more thinking to do. I've got three investigators, a burning ship, ghosts, horribly-- Well I can't tell all, can I? I need to send them several ideas to explore - and pages for my editor to read, but they're not ready yet...yoiks.
And then there is the matter of cover copy - the ubiquitous back cover blurb that may be even more important than the cover, and is likely the second thing a prospective reader looks at. I don't get to write it, but thanks to some cooperative behavior (I think!) I get to make suggestions. Hooray. This part has to be done accurately, as far as I'm concerned. No revelation of secrets. No cliches. Vivid words. OK, I tend to get too wordy, but at least I get to contribute. I was really happy with the Lighthouse cover copy.
Something else to be working on in the next week or so.