Happy September, everyone. It’s been a busy month here in the Storage Room. Spurred on by some friends that know far more about the publishing world than I do, I have changed the cover of my first novel, Overlook.
My adventure in cover design has been an object lesson in how an author can be too close to a project to see the flaws in it. I designed the original cover (on the right) with a little help and liked it. The photo of the dock at twilight echoed the pivotal final scene in the novel and hinted at the darker side of the story. Unfortunately, it didn’t attract my target readers. I knew the significance of the dock but someone picking the book up cold wouldn’t. Not long after the book was released, a friend suggested I change the cover. She had assumed the book was a mystery. I didn’t take the suggestion seriously. I loved the cover. I was sure it was the right cover for the book – and completely wrong. I was simply too stubborn to see how wrong I was.
After I read Joanne Phillips’ post on revamping her romantic mystery series and talking to some trusted advisors, I decided to explore a new cover. With the help of the intrepid Elizabeth Turnbull of Light Messages, we designed a reworked cover for the book that is brighter and more inviting. It still has a lake, still has a slight sense of darkness out near the island, but is more appropriate for a women’s fiction audience.
Have you ever changed the covers of your novels? How did you know you found the right one? Do you think it is better to hire someone or do you think an author can distance themselves enough to make good decisions on covers? I’d love to hear about your adventures in cover design.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a monthly blog hop to lend support to a growing community of writers. I encourage you to go to Alex Cavanaugh’s excellent blog and join in. if you click on the logo above, it will take you to the list of participating blogs.