Monday, 20 January 2014

Judge a book by its cover - guest post

Peter from has written a guest post on the thinking behind some of their recent book covers. Anyone who has self-published will know how hard it is to produce a good cover for their books and I think you'll agree, Soundhaven have done a great job on these. hasn't been around long. About two years give or take. But in that time we've published twenty four titles under our own imprint, and helped several authors start their own. We've learnt a fair bit in those two short years, particularly when it comes to designing covers.

That age old advice, "never judge a book by its cover", is as ignored today as it's ever been. Perhaps more so. In a world where book-covers are more likely to seen as thumbnails on a screen, than through the window of a bookshop, it's never been more important to make sure the cover of a book stands out from its competitors, and in that briefest of moments communicates some semblance of the wonders that might lay within the pages it enshrouds.

Just for fun then, here are a handful of covers that we've designed, and what we were thinking when came up with them.

cover paperback

Ice And A Slice by Della Galton

Popular magazice Author Della Galton had some pretty clear ideas about what she wanted for the cover of her latest full length novel. From our perspective it was important that the cover worked just as well in print as it does on the screen - for this reason we were keen to find an image we could wrap round the spine and continue onto the back. We're particularly fond of strong photographic imagery, but sometimes the image needs a helping hand communicate what the book is about, which is why we played around with some of the words and letters in the title. Does the word 'and' seem out of focus to you? And did you happen to notice what the pink letters spell out?

toolshed1 kindle cover
toolshed2 kindle cover

The Writer's Toolshed Series by Della Galton

Sticking with Della, The Short Story Writer's Toolshed was one of our earliest titles. This short book is a based on a series of articles Della wrote for the rather excellent Writers' Forum magazine, so it seemed logical (to us) to give the cover that authentic 'magazine' feel in an effort appeal to those same readers that the articles had originally been written for. A year later we persuaded Della to bring out a follow up book, and again we went for that magazine look. However, even though Della is wearing a different jacket, and standing in front of a different shed(!) in retrospect I wish we'd made the covers more different, perhaps by changing the colour of the font, or the overall layout. I still wake up in the middle of the night fretting about whether her readers have figured out there's two books!

RGB versionFITI kindle

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting Series by Peter Jones

When it came to our most recent 'series' we went all out to try and make sure that whilst the titles are clearly related (same font, similar layout, similar colour pallet), they're very different (if anyone confuses them I think I might just cry). It was important too to come up with a design that could be used to brand the associated website and a facebook page. And finally we were keen to continue the graphical theme that Harper Collins established with Peter's first book and pick icons that give you some idea what each book is about. Have we succeeded? You decide.


Shadowman and Meltwater by Della Galton

Our two most recent covers are amongst our all time favourites. And whilst the titles aren't related (they're not even the same genre) we rather like how they look together. Fiction titles don't generally have a subtitle, which is partly why we're strong believers in the importance of an intriguing 'movie-style' strap-line.

We hope you like our covers as much as we do. You might be interested to know that even if you're not one of our authors for a small fee we can be bought! We offer a number of publishing services of which cover designing is just one.

'How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting' comes out February 14th 2014.
'Meltwater' will be available in the coming weeks.
Visit for details of both.

Hmm. Think I may need to use Soundhaven's services for my next publication...


Della G said...

Wow, it's lovely seeing my covers side by side. Thank you very very much guys. Between Accent Press and Soundhaven I have learned a great deal about covers.

sallyjenkins said...

A useful post. I just tried to click through to the Soundhaven website and my antivirus software popped up and told me it was a risky site to visit.
Did anyone else have that problem?

womagwriter said...

That's odd. is a perfectly legit site to visit - I can vouch for it. If you're worried about using the link just put into your address bar.

UK dissertation said...

Great information ..Thanks for sharing..I like it. said...

Hi Sally
Sorry to hear you've been having problems trying to visit I can assure you it's malware free. We had some problems back in the summer of last year and perhaps your antivirus software hasn't quite forgiven us for that. Give it another go if you get a chance.