A cover has to reflect your novel. But not tell its conclusion. There's no point in reading the book otherwise.
Think about what you want but don’t be too specific for all artists have their own style and they will all see something different to you. Think about whether you want a digital effect, photographic or illustrative.
The cover is the first thing your reader see’s.
The brilliant cover on my book was done by illustrator Caroline Hollywell. Created by a hand-arranged blend of pastels and stylises a symbolic view of my novel.
A few cover reviews below;
***** Loving the skull! -Leslie Swartz
*****J I love the hand drawn effect and the hints of life and death in the skull face and unicorn horn. –Steven J.Howard
***** The cover for Xander Chase and the Unicorn Code reflects the book – it is mysterious, dark and enchanting. It gets you intrigued for what promises to be a fascinating roller coaster ride into other realms and the world of crime and mysticism. -Emma Roberts
My cover illustration has a dark creepy pull to it with the illustrative skull – for death and the beautiful black wing draping from it. But there is a light to the cover with the beautifully created illustration of the horn. In her brief, I asked for the cover to appeal to a young adult audience both male and female and I feel she has achieved this well.
So think hard about what you want. What type of artist you are approaching and most of all remember hybrid indie’s – your publishers always have the final decision, but if you want to put someone’s work forward and suggest them – don’t be scared to do it!