Like It Or Not, We All Judge A Book By Its Cover

Windsinger A-1

Yep…that’s a tease! I’ll be revealing the new cover to WindSinger in it’s entirety SOON, but I wanted to give you a tiny tease since today I’m talking about the importance of a book cover.

You only have to go to my Goodreads page to see that the I had some lousy book covers originally for the first two books of the Seeder Saga. They’re embarrassing to look at now and I’ll freely admit that I did them myself, hoping to save a buck. It turns out they cost me money – a lot of money! – because people don’t like to buy books with craptastic covers, especially in eBooks. And that, unfortunately, is because it’s so freaking easy to write a crap book, slap on a homemade crap cover, and publish it.

To Illustrate:

I was talking to a friend who happens to love Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Paranormal Romances, and I recommended to her one of my favorite Sci-Fi Romance books: Knight of A Trillion Stars by Dara Joy.

Dara is a well-known name in the romance author community for a very unfortunate reason: she was on top of the world, a bestselling author three books into what was projected to be a bestselling seven book series and then…she dropped off the face of the earth. I mean….just gone. There’s been a lot of back and forth between her and the publisher (and to be honest, I’m believing the publisher’s side here) about missed deadlines vs not having enough creative license..blah blah blah. All I know is I loved her damn series and to have it cut off before I got Traed’s story (he had a great introduction and buildup in all three books) really pissed me off.

Then in January of 2014, she and the publishing company came to some kind of agreement, and her rights reverted back to her. I’m assuming that part of that deal was that she cannot use the original cover designs on her books.

So anyway, I told my friend to read Knight of a Trillion Stars and she looked it up on Amazon (along with Dara Joy’s other books) and came back to me with “Are you serious? I mean, the reviews are good but ugh! Those covers! Her author page looks like a bad middle-school art project!”

I looked her up, and ugh! My friend is right. Luckily, Dara Joy already had a good following and the good reviews might convince you to take a chance despite those covers, but…ugh! Check out the difference:

Old:                                                       New:

knightold                       knightnew

And here’s the cover for the sequel to that book:

Old:                                                       New:

rejarold                         rejarnew

A cover is more than just an attractive person or scary monster or great scenery with some funky font over the top. It’s got to make your reader want to pick it up or click to buy. It’s got to convince your reader – before they take the time to read a sample – that it’s worth their time.

I don’t know about you, but the old covers tell me this guy has sex, he has a lot of it, and he knows how to do it right.

Those newer covers tell me that this guy is a huge douche who poses for stock photos.

Anyway, that’s my lesson for today on getting that cover right. It’s worth it to spend a little money – and honestly, you don’t have to spend a fortune. You can find terrific pre-made eBook covers online, or commission one via Fiverr if you really are on a shoestring. I found my cover artist on a pre-made ebook cover sight and commissioned her from there, based on her previous work. She can read me like a book now (ha!) and comes up with some great stuff.

As an indie author, you need to spend your marketing dollars wisely and get the most bang for your buck. A good book cover is good marketing that pays off.

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