This is a guest post on how to use a great cover in marketing materials.
Writer friends, you may have noticed how the world of design plays a big role in book launches, from covers to ads. If you’ve ever wondered how a career marketer approaches design, read on to see how I aimed for impact in my exterior and interior design.
First, a bit of background on me. I’m a career marketer and strategist who’s led more than a half-dozen brands over 15 years (in chocolate, sweet!) I’ve taught marketing at writers’ conferences for the last 7+ years. Within marketing, I’ve particularly loved design.
I was excited to apply the principles I teach to the launch of Goodbye, Orchid. The story centers on a young entrepreneur and marketer who fall in love. Until an accident changes him forever, and he’s faced with the hardest decision of his life: whether to love her, he needs to leave her. The brief asked my designers to capture the emotional and physical shattering of the protagonists. I was captivated by the idea to depict this tension with the image of shattering flowers.
Once I received first round concepts, I reached out to Derek to tap into his design background. His feedback on the early design directions told me that our cover was on the right track:
“I think it looks good…. The tagline on top helps a lot… I’d keep the [script] font.” he said, giving a nod to the version that a majority of people ultimately voted for (see cover poll results below).
When the cover was solidified, more creativity flowed. First, we built anticipation for the reveal with a pixelated image:
Then, we revealed the cover on Instagram, 1/9th at a time. As each panel told the story of Goodbye, Orchid, the final piece revealed an Instagram takeover of my whole page:
It was a thrill to bring the concept of shattering orchids to life through animation:
To borrow a tech expression, we built “Easter Egg” design features into the interior. When you flip through the pages of the printed book, an image of orchids appears to shatter until the darkest moment of the story, and then re-form, through to the emotionally satisfying ending. You can see this feature in my unboxing video (36 seconds in):
Lastly, these design elements have formed a beautiful and striking palette to create ads and posts, such as this header:
I hope these concepts have sparked ideas for your own design world. I know I’ll keep experimenting. After all, marketing is an act of creativity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carol Van Den Hende is an award-winning author who pens stories of resilience and hope. Her novel Goodbye, Orchid won the American Fiction Award for urban fiction and Pinnacle Achievement Award for multi-cultural fiction, and has been named a most anticipated fall read by Buzzfeed, Parade and Travel+Leisure. NY Times best-selling author Caroline Leavitt calls the tale “A richly detailed story of star-crossed lovers…all told with unforgettable heart and insight.” Carol is also a speaker, strategist, and serves on nonprofit boards. One secret to her good fortune? Her humorous husband, fun-loving twins, and rescue cat, who prove that love really does conquer all. Sign up for Carol’s newsletter at https://www.carolvandenhende.com/contact
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.