So lately I’ve been thinking about covers. Specifically book covers.
Between that and copy, it is the front line of what a person sees about your book, and helps them form an opinion. Sometimes that opinion is favorable and leads to a purchase; sometimes it gives a bad impression and the reader clicks away to look at something else. Bottom line: you can’t win over everyone, but you can sure try your darndest to get as many as possible to consider buying.
I’m new to cover making. I use to do all my own covers; one thing I’ve learned is that there are so many more visually creative people than I out there. I took hints and suggestions from their art, from other book covers, and try to come up with something that would appeal to most out there. It’s not about what I like, per se, but what my readers respond to. It’s about making it eye catching enough to pique someone’s interest, to entice them to purchase.
But it wasn’t enough. Currently I’m just not artsy enough for book covers yet. Ads, yes; captivating covers, no. So I found someone within my budget and redid almost all my covers.
I post my covers sometimes in different social media groups, and the feedback has been helpful, especially when it was my old cover design versus the new professional one. It’s interesting to hear someone’s opinion that makes covers for a living, as opposed to those that just read for pleasure.
So here are some old covers for Dark Twists and Surreal Turns:
So I started with the gloved hands cover, then progressed to the bloodied hand one for a short period of time. The consensus so far on the gloved hands was that it looked too textbook like, too formal. So I did one with the bloodied hand, and while some people really liked it, others said it didn’t jive with the story description, a girl who is deteriorating fighting monsters and losing her sanity while trying to get through grad school. There were a few suggestions for a girl on the cover.
Cue this cover:
Some people really liked it; some where indifferent; some thought it was worse.
Now check out my current cover:
More pristine, more professional looking, and overall the vibe I was going for with this psychological horror thriller.
A Whiskered Perspective’s cover was another one I played with. I liked to make my covers once I completed and edited my story, to give me a better idea as to what I want the cover to convey. Originally I had this as a placeholder for the cover:
This is a picture of one of my old kitties, Penny. I thought it would be cute to include her on the cover since the book is about a black cat. It got ripped to shreds by people that saw it, seen as way too DIY and unprofessional.
No problem. I went with this cover next:
More cool, suave, more professional. People thought it was ten times better than the old cover, so I was happy.
Then I started toying around with my website hero shot and came up with a great idea for a different cover:
It’s better, but not the greatest (My husband loved it though). I didn’t make any sales with it.
This is my current rendition on my selling platforms like Amazon. I added the paw prints to the picture to get more of a cat feeling, but overall, this cover has resonated with my audience well so far:
One that I was never happy with was my cover for Black Cat Scribbles Vol. 1. This is the old cover:
Versus the current one:
I love the inky blackness of the eyes. I’ve had a lot of luck with this cover; I like it a lot.
My bestseller so far: Green & Red Flags to Look For In a Relationship.
I completely missed the mark on the first cover—I was thinking something to convey red flags. Then it dawned on me that’s not how relationship covers look. So I revamped it, them got a toned up professional version done.
One thing I love about indie, or self, publishing is the freedom to switch things up at the drop of a hat. I may not have a huge creative team at my disposal like a traditional publishing company does, but it I want to change something at 3 am I can do so without waiting on anyone.
What are you currently working on?