Today on the blog I start a new feature, an ”Author Spot’. Every week we will have an exclusive article written by the author for Love Books Group. We will also be sharing the author’s novels, with sneak peeks and order links for you.
To launch the new feature we have crime fiction author Leigh Russell, Leigh has sold over a million books. I am so grateful and honoured to have Leigh stop by today.
SO cut the red ribbon Leigh and let’s begin.
Leigh Russell’s Geraldine Steel crime series has sold over a million copies. Together with her Ian Peterson crime series, and Lucy Hall mystery series, she has written sixteen novels, and is currently writing her seventeenth. Described as ‘a rare talent’ (The Daily Mail) and author of ‘one of the best titles hitting the shelves’ (The Times) Leigh has received numerous similar accolades from critics. Fellow author Lee Child calls her books ‘unmissable’ and Jeffery Deaver calls her ‘a brilliant talent’. Leigh has been shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award, long listed for the CWA Dagger in the Library, and has twice been a Finalist for the Peoples Book Prize. Leigh chairs the Debut Dagger judges and coordinates the CWA Manuscript Assessment Service and was co-opted to the Committee of the CWA in 2017. She is a Royal Literary Fellow.
Author Guest Spot ~ Leigh Russell
DO BOOK COVERS MATTER? – ADVICE FROM A SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR
We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ I’ve always thought of books as being rather like people. Some of them we like instantaneously, while with others it can take longer to get to know them. And so it is with books. Some draw us in from the very first line, and others may take longer to engage our interest. So not judging a book by its cover is similar to saying we shouldn’t judge people by their appearances. We all know that’s a superficial way of making assumptions about what someone else is really like, yet we can’t help being influenced by appearances.
These days, with millions of books competing for attention, how important is an initial impression? Yes, there are reviews, and blog tours, and word of mouth recommendations, but if we’re just browsing, hoping something will catch our attention, the cover is going to be our first introduction to a book.
With the various editions and translations with different publishers all around the world, my sixteen books have many covers. My debut novel, CUT SHORT, is currently displaying its fourth cover in the UK alone. In total there must be more than a dozen different covers for that one book around the world. (And yes, I do have a copy of most of them, hidden away on a shelf at home!)
So have I learned anything at all that might help other writers considering what design to use for their own books?
Images on my early covers were chosen to place the books clearly in the crime genre. On later covers, the designer has been free to use more subtle images, as I’ve become established as a crime writer. In fact a few years ago my publisher ended a debate over the title for one of my books by saying: “The title doesn’t really matter because it’s Leigh’s name that sells her books now.”
All the same, the design of a book continues to be very important, in my opinion, and if I were to pass on one piece of advice, it would be to trust your publisher, especially if you are new to the industry as I was with my first book. If you are making the decisions yourself, I would suggest you employ a reputable designer who specialises in book cover design, to ensure your cover looks as professional and attractive as possible. Research this as carefully as you would a literary agent, and find out what designers other authors have used, and whose covers you like. Because, just like a random encounter with a stranger, you may only have one chance to make a good impression.
Leigh Russell’s Books
Here is a sneak peek of Leigh’s current book and order link ~
Massive thanks to Leigh Russell for being on the blog today and launching my new feature.
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