Monday, March 10, 2014

Linda Kage - Book Cover Designer and Author

We've all heard it - Don't judge a book by its cover.  But it's the cover that catches our attention. Literary gold may very well be hiding behind the cover, just waiting to be discovered but if the cover isn't appealing, chances are no one will give it a second look.  Like it or not, great covers are essential to marketing our novels.

With that in mind, I'd like to welcome Linda Kage to Novel Notions.  She is a published author as well as a cover designer.  And she's kindly agreed to talk about covers with us.

Novel Notions:  As a cover designer, you have a really important job.  You provide the "eye candy" that entices a reader to pick up the book.  What do you think are the 3 most important elements to consider when designing a cover?

Linda: -Something pretty
           -Nice Fonts and
           -Something that evokes a certain emotion from me.

Novel Notions:  You have several premade covers available for purchase.  What inspired those covers?

Linda:  Probably two of the answers I gave above!!  I browsed through the stock image place until I saw something pretty and made me connect with it in some way. Then I played and tweaked with it until I got a look I was satisfied with.  Or, sometimes I still play with covers even after I post them because they don’t feel quite right.

Novel Notions:  When someone contacts you about designing a cover, what's your process?  Do you read the story or do you talk to the author and get a feel for it?

Linda:  So far, each person I’ve worked with has gone about it in a different way. So I guess I’m pretty open about the process. For one of my friends, I read the story first. For another, she gave me an idea of what she wanted, another told me enough about her story and showed me some pictures to give me an idea of what feel and tone she wanted. People usually know basically what they want, I just keep asking questions and sending them samples until we come up with something they’re satisfied with.

 Novel Notions:  It seems to me that a lot of covers are genre specific.  Very frequently, young adult novels have a picture of the heroine on the cover while romance novels feature a couple.  What is your thoughts on this?  Should authors choose covers that mimic other novels in the genre or should they choose something that causes their novel to stand out from the crowd?

Linda:  I can see pros and cons for mimicking genre specific covers.  The pros would be that readers who like that certain genre will be able to find your stories easier. The con would be that it takes out some of the originality that’s specific to your novel.  I don’t really have an opinion either way, really. Whatever an author wants to do is fine by me!   

Novel Notions: Not only are you a cover designer, you're also a published author. Do you feel that being a writer helps or hinders your design process?

Linda:  I would hope it helps me, but who really knows!  I understand what it’s like from their point of view. This is THEIR creation that they spent months (maybe years) perfecting and the first thing people will see of it is some cover a complete stranger made. That’s almost unfair. It’s made me a little more patient and I realize slouching off in the cover-designing part is not a good idea!

Novel Notions:  Have you designed any of the covers for your own novels?  If so, what cover was your favorite?

Linda:  All the covers I’ve designed for my own book have not been published yet because I just got started in this designing stuff!  But I did design the cover for To Professor, with Love which is coming out in May!  The cover reveal for it will be March 7th.  So I’m all excited about that one!

Novel Notions:  Congratulations!  That's too cool!  Can you share a little about your novel?

Linda:  Here's the blurb for To Professor with Love:  
Junior in college. Star athlete. Constant attention from the opposite sex.

On this campus, I’m worshiped. While seven hundred miles away, back in my hometown, I’m still trailer park trash, child of the town tramp, and older sibling to three kids who are counting on me to keep my shit together so I can take them away from the same crappy life I grew up in.

These two opposing sides of myself never mix until one person gets a glimpse of the true me. I never expected to connect with anyone like this or want more beyond one night. This may be the real deal.

Problem is, Dr. Kavanagh’s my literature professor.

If I start anything with a teacher and we’re caught together, I might as well kiss my entire future goodbye, as well as my family’s, and especially Dr. Kavanagh’s. Except sometimes love is worth risking everything. Or at least, it damn well better be because I can only resist so much.

-Noel Gamble-

Novel Notions:  Thanks for stopping by, Linda.  

*All the covers featured were designed by Linda.* 
To view more or to contact Linda, click on the links below:

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