Cover Stories: Playing Hurt & A Blue So Dark

Holly Schindler is here to talk about two of her novels, A Blue So Dark and Playing Hurt. They have really different feels (Playing Hurt makes me want August to last forever--so summery!--and A Blue So Dark has a much eerier feel--I love underwater covers lately). Here's Holly to talk about each cover:

"While the covers of my YA novels—A BLUE SO DARK and PLAYING HURT—are both stock images, the end result is pretty night-and-day different, as is the content of the books (A BLUE SO DARK explores the possible link between mental illness and creativity, and PLAYING HURT features a romance between two former athletes.)

"The covers have two completely different functions. A BLUE SO DARK is a metaphorical cover; it speaks to the emotional content of the book. It’s a poetic representation of what happens in the book. PLAYING HURT is a literal interpretation.

"I love both covers—but of the two, PLAYING HURT’s my favorite, because I think it better steers the book toward the right readership.

"When A BLUE SO DARK was released, it was frequently purchased on Amazon by readers who also purchased paranormal titles. I think some of those readers were a little off-put, in the beginning. After a while, though, my incredible bloggers started shouting from the rooftops about BLUE—and the book found its way into the right hands.

"PLAYING HURT seems to be getting into the right hands from the get-go—early purchasers anticipated a romantic read, and that’s exactly what they’re getting: a steamy summer romance meant for the older teen readership!

"…One of my favorite aspects of both novels, though, is the finish of the covers. Both books feature a finish that feels a bit like raw silk—I swear, you really want to pet these novels!"

Thanks, Holly! I've been known to pet a book in my day. I also love the distinction Holly makes between a literal interpretation of a scene in the book and a metaphorical exploration of the book's content--this is a great juxtaposition of these two approaches.

What do you guys think? Do you prefer literal or metaphorical covers?