Too many storyline clues on the cover ruins reader satisfaction. Todd Lockwood, who’s illustrated books by RA Salvatore and Marie Brennan, looks for a scene in the story that hints at the characters and action inside, but doesn’t go too far. His cover for The Thousand Orcs (below), is a great example. “I hate it when a cover gives away the story,” says Todd. “Sometimes I know early on what will work, other times I make a document filled with book excerpts, endless doodles and word associations. I try to distil the novel down to a single image, an entry point – a broad hint of what’s inside.”
Th e Th ousand Orcs
Todd Lockwood’s cover hints at what may happen inside, without giving much of the story away.