Simple Images

material-witness

What causes you to pick up a book? The author? The title? Or maybe the cover? For most of us I imagine it’s a combination of those things. Once we pick it up, once we read the first page or the back cover, then it’s the STORY that determines whether we’re going to dive in or not. But at the beginning, it’s usually author, title, or cover.

I just launched a new version of my webpage. We had two goals: to draw readers in with the images from my book covers and to make moving around the site easy.

I adore the covers my design team came up with. They are simple. They’re reflective of Amish culture. My designers actually un-layered the images from my book covers and then used a quote from the book to highlight the story. Believe me, this type of computer work is WAY over my head. But I do understand what I like, and I like the work they did.

promise-for-miriam

Which brings me to Amish covers. We try to emphasize simplicity, romance, maybe even location when we build a cover. Usually an author will see an early version—sometimes without any color. Once the basics of the cover is completed, we see the color added along with the title and the author’s name. For one cover, I actually received cover sheets for models to pick the woman who most resembled my character. For an upcoming title, I was sent wardrobe designs. We strive to get all the little details right, and I’m so grateful for good art/design teams who care about what you eventually see and read.

Readers turn to Amish stories for different reasons—to relax, to be entertained, to find hope in difficult situations, to draw near to the word of God, which is always a thread within any Christian title. My prayer would be that God ministers to you, through my work and the work of other authors. And of course I hope you like our covers.

Blessings,
Vannetta

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Vannetta Chapman (29 Posts)

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. She now writes Amish fiction for Abingdon Press, Zondervan, and Harvest House. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.


Comments

  1. It is usually the cover that catches my eye. I will then pick up the book and read the back. If it sounds remotely interesting to me I might buy it. However, I have won a few books that had covers that would never have appealed to me at the bookstore and no doubt I would have passed them by. Imagine my surprise when these books turned out to be real page turners! That being said, I will always buy and read books of my favorite authors!

    Thanks for your post Vannetta! By the way, I love your new webpage! The covers on all your books are definitely eye catching! Your books are the best! Write on!

    Blessings!
    Judy B

    • Judy, we sound like the same kind of READER. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jayme Fanucci says:

      I couldn’t agree with Judy more. If it isn’t an author I’m familiar with, that is what will catch my eye, and then I’ll read the back. But I will be honest that even things like type, font, etc. will make me judgmental of it… I probably shouldn’t do that, but something that looks too trendy or cartoon-y makes me think twice. All of this said, Vanetta could release a book in the worst color, worst picture on the cover, etc. and I’d be the first one in line to buy it. I’d just figure her design team had a bad day. 😉

  2. The cover and the name of the author are what tempt me to buy a book.
    Great post Vannetta! Eagerly awairing the arrival of A Wedding For Julia.

  3. the covers are critical – I do find the designers need to be careful not to make them look too much alike both in terms of the genre and in terms of an author’s catalog – a little bit alike – but not so much so that you can barely tell one title from another at a glance – all the best with all your work, Vann!

    • Murray, those are good points. Especially in the Amish genre, it’s easy to get confused as to which book is which. I start thinking, “Have I read that one?” lol. That could be my old age.

  4. Donita Corman says:

    The cover catches my eye to pick it up..Reading the back and browsing it decides if I buy it or get it through the library.If it Honor’s God then I’m apt to buy it.

  5. The Cover of a book is always what catches my eye first. The title is not nearly as important to me. And yes, I look for some Author’s names, but it is the cover first that will grab my attention.

    • And that’s one thing I miss about bookstores, Chris. I loved going in and LOOKING at book covers. 🙂 Now our store has closed so it’s mostly internet shopping. When I do find a bookstore though, I’m in reader heaven!

  6. The covers catch my eye first; then I read on back of book what the story is about.
    Love all your covers, Vannetta
    Have read many of your books. Keep writing!
    Carolyn J.

  7. Donna Harmon says:

    Your covers are beautiful…simple yet they are so perfect in detail. Looking at the pictures makes we want to pick up a book & start reading.

    • Thank you, Donna. I do like a cover that isn’t too busy. I just saw the cover for MURDER SIMPLY BREWED my first release next year … and I love it. Of course I do. 🙂

  8. I think the cover should not just be eye catching, but it should also give a hint as to what the story will entail. Love this post, V, I’m so grateful for all the efforts you make in getting the cover to look right 🙂 I agree with Karla, it’s the cover and the author that grab my interest the most when picking a book out. Truly looking forward to A Wedding for Julia, blessings V!!
    BTW: mission accomplished reaching BOTH goals on the new website design, it’s amazing!!!

  9. Cindi Altman says:

    The cover is what makes me pick up a book. I know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but I think we all do.
    Vannetta, your books always jump out at me, which is what got me interested in reading them. I had not heard of your work before seeing one of your books. I’m thankful that the cover design was attractive because you are one of my favorite authors now. That wouldn’t have happened if the covers of your books weren’t so appealing.

    • Thank you, Cindi! Isn’t that an interesting saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I think that saying probably originated before we had art departments laboring to get it just right. When I look at my dad’s old books, they’re all brown covers with a gold or black title. 🙂

  10. Elizabeth Dent says:

    The cover catches my eye to start with .. If It is my kind of reading then I will look at the back and see what the book is about . I would say three things . To start with it has to be a kind of book I would read , the cover , and the back.. Some authors’ s books just jump out at me . Love your books & The Amish ..

    • Elizabeth, I’m the same way. I’ve noticed lately that the blurbs on the back have a lot of sway on my reading decision. There are some topics that I’m aware of, but I don’t want to spend hours reading about them. Does that make sense? Thanks for commenting!

  11. Melissa L. says:

    The cover catches my eye. Then I pick it up and read the back. If however, it is by an author that I regularly read, I will automatically pick up a book by them and read the back (normally buy also). That being said, I also listen to authors that I read regularly. If they recommend an author, then I will look for books by that author as well. Even if the cover doesn’t appeal to me, I will still pick up the book and read the back. Love the covers on most Amish books!! Thanks Vannetta.

  12. Kimberly & guide dog Abby says:

    Covers catch my attention, then I read the back. If it sounds good, I buy or add to my wish list. If I’m not sure, I read reviews to make a decision. I almost passed on reading The Shack because it sounded gory. That would have been a big mistake, but the back cover copy did that story a big disservice. I ended up loving it immensely. Sometimes the descriptions of Amish stories sound too much the same…

    • Hi Kimberly and Abby! I’ll admit I peek at reviews every now and then … more to see if the book is about what I THINK it’s about. Sometimes to see if I want to wait and try it from the library. And I loved The Shack too!

  13. Dali Castillo says:

    Definitely the cover is what catches my eye, even before I look at the title. Been that way since I was a kid. Even now, when I ask my students why they’ve chosen a certain book, most say that it looks interesting because of what’s on the cover.
    As you know, Falling to Pieces was the first Amish fiction book that I ever read. The Amish horse and buggy immediately caught my eye. Then I noticed the quilt, and finally I read that it’s a Shipshewana Amish Mystery. I never did read the back. I was sold with the cover.
    Can’t wait for A Wedding for Julia and your Middlebury series!

    • Now there’s a compliment, “I never did read the back.” And Dali — today I got a peek at the cover for the Middlebury Series. I can’t share it yet, because they’re not done tweeking. But I love it! The title is Murder Simply Brewed. Catchy, right? 🙂

  14. I’m a cover person too, but the blurb on the back cover usually cinches it for me. It’s funny but I’m more attracted to scenic types of covers rather than people on the cover because the characters in my mind’s eye never looks like the person on the cover, but it’s not a deal breaker for me since the majority of covers have people on them.

  15. Connie R. says:

    Lately since Facebook, the way I pick a book has changed…if I hear about it or read a blurb, I may look into it further. But I still follow authors most of all….some I have followed for years, some I have just discovered.

  16. Hi,just wanted to comment on your question.First of all,sometimes I’ll buy the book because of the author but most of the time if the cover is very nice and I turn it over and read what’s on the back,I’m sold.,even if I don’t know the author.If I had to pick ,just one of the three,I’d say the cover,usually you can tell a lot about a book ,just by it’s cover.That’s how I judge a book.and next what it says on the back,you could almost guarentee a sale from me..I hope this helps.

  17. Love the cover . cant wait to read this

  18. Sharma Darby says:

    usually it is the cover of the book. then if it is a author I love to read. I still like actual books instead of e-books. Sharma Darby rdarby@roadrunner.com

  19. Since I now get my books on Kindle I don’t always see the covers first. If it’s an author I’m familiar with I will just buy the book otherwise I will read the little blurb of what it’s about & then decide. I do love your books Vannetta.

  20. (Zelma) Gail Fannin says:

    I do notice the cover and when I first started reading Amish books, that’s what caught my eye. But now, I tend to look at the author. There are so many that I truly love, so if I see a book written by one of them, I buy it because I know it will be a good read. Of course, sometimes I do find new authors and add to the list!!! LOL

  21. Cheryl Baranski says:

    Covers play a major part in a book that I get.
    They need to catch my eye. I tend to be frawn to
    the books with the eye catching covers.
    Yes the authors play a major role also.
    I am always on the lookout for another auther that
    I haven’t read yet.

  22. Linda McFarland says:

    First, the cover catches my eye, then the author, then the blurb on the back. Someone mentioned in a comment above that sometimes the cover isn’t so good but turns out to be a good book…guess that’s why they say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’! Linda

  23. Jackie Tessnair says:

    I love the covers of your books,They all are so beautiful.The cover always draw me to pick up a book and see what it is about.I always use the cover as I read the book to give me an image of what,where,and the characters.

  24. For me, it is more about the typeface and the back verbiage than the front cover, although a good cover does catch your eye! The title is really important though as well. It should not be too common, have something to do with the book storyline and not be hard to spell!

  25. THIS IS MY FIFTH TRY EVERY TIME I WOULD LEAVE AN DON’T KNOW WHY, GOT THIS FAR A MINUTE AGO AN IT LEFT AGAIN. I LOVE ALL THE PICTURES THAT YOU POST AND I LOOK AT THE AUTHORS NAME THAT IS WHY I READ A BOOK, SOME TIMES I WILL READ THE FIRST PAGE BUT I NEVER STOP THERE EVEN IF I DON’T GET THE POINT, I DO LOVE THE COVERS A ALSO WHEN RECEIPTS LEFT I WILL COPY LOTS OF THEM PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING.

  26. A cover should reflect the genre, the author, the tone of the book, and the characters. Perhaps the locale. We shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover” but we do. If a book jacket/cover has semi nude or rapturous lovers on the front, that’s a “not for me” book. Also, I don’t know how many times I have declined to review a book or read a book that is in the library because of it’s cover. The art and lettering should be professional and reflect to level of publishing that author has achieved. And the back of the book or the inside flap of the dust jacket should give story line details and author information adequate to pique one’s interest.

  27. the cover is beautiful and the book is great,thank Vannetta

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