Book Cover : Abuse

There was someone searching for stock images on KDP for a story which was about parental abuse – they said they wanted to stand out from the crowd.. Quite a touchy subject. My response was this:

I would be incredibly careful when dealing with such a sensitive subject. “Stand out from the crowd” – seems to be the wrong tone, to my mind. What?! Your abuse is better than someone else’s abuse? A more shocking abuse? *Shudders*

Also, if I was to do a cover I would not use a child’s face – you can look on lots of the stock sites and search for ‘Child Abuse’ and there’s pictures of models (children) – who have signed model release forms. Or their parents have. But I would feel utterly uncomfortable using an image like that.

Take the hypothetical situation of your book really taking off and going ’50 Shades’ big – what sort of life do you think that child model will after such exposure. No, I think the pushy parent that wants their kid to be a stock model / little actress is ‘abuse’ enough.

A good designer will take these things into consideration before they find the perfect – abuse-filled image. And you should too.

There are other way’s of getting across the same feeling strongly.

Here are some ideas I came up with:

Am I breaking my own rules with the first one? I’ll let you decide.


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1 Comment

  1. Marié Moren

     /  November 3, 2012

    I’m glad you chose to comment on this touchy subject. Right now, I’m writing a novel that deals with a young girl’s journey to recovery after an abusive relationship with her boyfriend goes too far and I’ve been wondering how the cover will look. Fortunately, that’s just the backdrop for the novel, there’s a lot of other themes to work on so maybe the cover won’t be so difficult to choose. I absolutely adore your covers, by the way. I will most definitely be emailing you as soon as I’m done with this novel.


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