Should the book’s cover sell the Author or the Story?

I was recently looking at some book covers. I noticed that many had the Authors’ names boldly printed above the titles. These were some of my favorite authors. I realized the publishers were selling the authors and not the titles. They are all popular authors now.

I’m designing the cover for my latest book, Moon of the Witch. The name of the book on my cover is MUCH more important than mine. Maybe someday I will be able to rely on simply my name alone to sell my work, but I’m not there yet.Ruby Queen. New cover

I’d never really thought about that aspect of cover design before. At what point does the author’s name become more important to sales than the story? How many book sales? How many interviews? How many times does your picture have to be in a tabloid? I guess these are all valid questions to a publicist and when the day comes that I can afford one, maybe I’ll find out.

Would a book with Stephen King slapped across the front sell even if the three hundred pages inside only had the words ‘This is my book and you bought it’ repeated over and over on every page? That would be a real horror story. OK, I’m being puckish now. Jealous writer venting!

I try to create covers that are appealing and relate to the story in the pages between them. My name is on the cover, but it is not at the top of the cover and not in larger print than the title. When I noticed that, I got sort of mad. Is the author, well the publisher actually, saying that the person who wrote the book is more important than the writing itself? Is that not rude?BookCoverImage Promises

Will I stop buying books by authors whose covers look this way? No, but I’m tempted. Will I begin designing my covers with my name boldly across the top? No, because nobody would buy them just because my name is at the top. It is sort of a slap in the face when you make that first realization. Some authors could sell crap just because their name is across the top of the cover. OMG! I actually think I want to cry now.

Until tomorrow: Write On!

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