A pretty cover does not a book sale make. This is the lesson of my first series. The publisher’s designers considered how the books would appear as on-line thumbnails–props to them for that. What they did not do was create something evocative enough for the Romance genre.
Because a good cover fits in. The browsing reader can tell at a glance whether the story is light romance or sensual, historical or contemporary. Is it edgy or is it something a grandma would like?
At the same time, that cover should stand out from the crowd. There needs to be an emotional grab, a feel for what the story is about, a question or an enticement. The decision to buy is emotional, and a good cover makes an impulse purchase happen.
No way could I afford to make another mistake. So I went to school on covers. I looked at good ones, mediocre ones, ugly ones, and noted the design firms involved. My main source: The Book Designer’s monthly e-Book Cover Design Awards (ha, with comments by Joel Friedlander). Talk about hours of fun! One scroll through the entries and I was hooked. I cruise by every month.
I decided that the investment was worth it and went with Damonza.com. Oh. my. word these people are worth every cent! Grady and Damon presented me with several options, and even managed to make my “if money were no option” idea come to life. It’s the one I chose, and I’ll post the link to it a sec.
Because I needed a placeholder ‘cover’ for my in-progress readers, I slapped the title on a (free) vintage title page and voila! Not very evocative, is it? (Geese and reeds and scraggly trees aren’t doing it for you?) Do you get any sense of what my story is about? It was fine for what I needed two years ago (as in better than nothing), but commercially? A disaster.
Now compare my sad cover with Damonza’s. Because the book isn’t available for sale yet, I don’t want the image displaying on social media. Click here to see Darcy By Any Other Name’s page and cover. It’s a fun body swap romance, not a hunting manual.
Curious to see what the other challenge authors are saying about cover design? I sure am. Their blogs are listed here.
Thanks for reading! There’s more to come, oh yes. We’re not even at the challenge’s halfway point.