Cover Photo: The Art of the Perfect Book Cover by Tanwi Nandini  Islam

The Art of the Perfect Book Cover

What is the best approach for creating a cover that attracts readers?

Introducing a monthly column, Debut, Tanwi Nandini Islam’s behind-the-scenes look at being a first-time novelist.

Boy, Snow, BirdSatin Island 2666 The Flame AlphabetTraceThe Turner House

Bright Lines,

Island of a Thousand Mirrors

Bright LinesWould they listen to me?did

Bright Lines.

We Love You, Charlie Freeman

The Star Side of Bird Hill

Bright Lines,

felt Bright Lines.

A book’s cover is the pictorial gateway into the world you’ve been crafting for years. It’s hard to speak up for your cover as a debut author, because most of us are pinching ourselves, thrilled that we’re in this position of having our books published in the first place. But we owe it to our fictive worlds. If we offer honest, concrete ideas, without fear of having them rejected, we might just be able to work with our publishers. We have the agency to craft book covers that bring the wild and secret worlds inside of our pages to life.

Tanwi Nandini Islam is the author of Bright Lines, a finalist for the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her writing has appeared in, Open City, and Gawker. She is the founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, a small-batch, niche perfume, candle, and skincare line. A graduate of Brooklyn College MFA and Vassar College, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.