Guest Post: A.R. Silverberry talks the Anatomy of a Book Cover

Well, if you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ll know that I recently re-vamped the covers of my young adult novels.  I’m a sucker for a good book cover, and no matter how good the book sounds, if the cover doesn’t look up to par in my opinion, I won’t buy it.  So, when Mr. Silverberry decided to update the cover to his novel, Wyndano’s Cloak, which I loved by the way  (You can read my review here.), I had to have him on my blog discussing book covers!  So, without further ado, welcome Young Adult author, A.R. Silverberry!

Wyndano’s Cloak won an award for its book cover, so why in the world would I want to change it? The answer is simple. The original cover was made for a 6 X 9 hardback, and was designed to stand out from the crowd in bookstores. For those of you have seen it en vivo, you know that it’s gorgeous. The girl’s hair blowing in the wind, the determined jut of her jaw, the passion and heart reflected in the colors, the adventurous font, these beautifully captured the spirit of the story, and worked well in bookstores and live events, where people would see it. When we shifted to online marketing, especially of the e-book edition, I realized something very different was needed.

The old cover appealed to preteen readers, but most of these readers don’t have their own money or a way to buy online themselves. So the new cover needed to appeal to older readers, particularly the YA market, but also to adults who love fantasy fiction. The qualities that made the old cover work were lost when reduced to thumbnail on Amazon’s catalogue or the emails they send out. For one thing, the title was too small.

After nearly four years, it was time to repackage the e-book edition. Most products are repackaged every few years anyway. Why not Wyndano’s Cloak? Besides, it gave me an excuse to do a blog tour, which I hadn’t done yet, a final push to get reviews and more exposure, setting me up for the release of my next book. After the blog tour, I hope to gather followers who will want to read my next novel, set to come out in the spring or summer of 2014. And when the new book comes out, hopefully those who haven’t read Wyndano’s Cloak will want to.

With these things in mind, I searched for a cover that would meet my criteria. It needed to communicate this is a fantasy novel; that there is a tough, teen heroine; and that the novel is dark and suspenseful. The sword immediately communicates fantasy fiction. The girl’s expression communicates the heroine’s character: she’s ready to fight. The black background communicates dark and suspenseful. The cover is a close up, so it will look good in the one-inch thumbnails Amazon uses. Unlike the original cover, notice there is no cloak. It’s not necessary; it’s in the title.

And a word about the title. It also needs to be visible in thumbnail. When I looked at Amazon’s advertising emails, the covers that work the best have titles that are one third to one half of the cover! In my new cover, it’s approximately one third, a size that makes it readable. The color is silver, to be consistent with the dark and mysterious feeling. The font is flowing, to communicate something of the era, but also sturdy enough to show up.

So there you have it: a new cover for the online market, a cover that will attract fans of young adult, fantasy fiction.

WC Cover Small

Wyndano’s Cloak Synopsis:

Jen has settled into a peaceful life when a terrifying event awakens old fears—of being homeless and alone, of a danger horrible enough to destroy her family and shatter her world forever.

She is certain that Naryfel, a shadowy figure from her past, has returned and is concentrating the full force of her hate on Jen’s family. But how will she strike? A knife in the dark? An attack from her legions? Or with the dark arts and twisted creatures she commands with sinister cunning.

Wyndano’s Cloak may be Jen’s only hope. If she’s got what it takes to use it . . .

Purchase on Amazon

Purchase on Barnes and Noble

Purchase on iTunes

Purchase limited edition hardback from A. R. Silverberry

About the Author:

Author Photo 2 198x300A. R. Silverberry has won a dozen awards, including Gold Medal Winner in the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction; Gold Medal Winner in the 2010 Readers Favorite Awards for Preteen Fiction; and Silver Medal Winner 2011 in the Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book, Children’s/Young Adult. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing. Wyndano’s Cloak is his first novel. Follow him at the links below!

A. R. Silverberry’s Website




And again, for Emerald Barnes’ interview of A. R. Silverberry and review of Wyndano’s Cloak, go here!


5 thoughts on “Guest Post: A.R. Silverberry talks the Anatomy of a Book Cover

  1. Thanks for hosting me, Emerald, and for suggesting this post! It was a fun one to write, especially since the cover change was fresh in my mind!

    All the best for your awesome books and upcoming releases!

    Best Wishes,

    Writing as AR Silverberry


      1. Me too, Em. Yours in all versions always look great to me! Interesting to note that I recently saw a video at Target that was on the shelf with TWO different cover designs. I’ve seen this in book stores, too. I’m guessing that savvy publishers know they can sell to different markets with different covers. For example, some books might have a pink cover scheme, to appeal to younger girls, and a blue cover scheme, to catch those boys! Also, if you’ve got two designs, you increase your chances of finding out which is the one that works the best!


      2. Thanks! I loved your last one too. 🙂 Maybe I’m partial because that’s the book I have, but both are absolutely gorgeous. Although, I really am feeling this new one. 🙂

        That’s true! I never really thought of that, but it gives me hope for all the books I have with my old covers. lol


  2. And now, I have to give a HUGE apology for not crediting Diane Widdon Brown of Novel Websites, without whom this beautiful new cover, and my website, would not be possible. She’s a gem, a pleasure to work with, and her results speak for themselves! Here’s a link for anyone interested in working with her!

    Thanks, Diane!

    Best Wishes,

    Writing as AR Silverberry


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s