Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Covers Drive Me CRAZY!

Book Covers drive me absolutely Bat-Poop, Around-the-Bend Crazy. I want to tear out my hair.

Because it is entirely possible (and probable) to judge a book by its cover, having a compelling book cover that represents the story is absolutely imperative. You don't want a photo of a pretty pastel-colored house with a flower garden if it's Suspense, nor do you want to have a bloody knife, if your story is Women's Fiction. Those are obvious examples but there are so many grey areas that I drive myself to Chardonnay when trying to decide on a book cover.
I am a person who sees everything from 27 different angles so a final decision never actually happens. I have to give up changing, looking, tweaking. I have to actually get so frustrated, tired and broken in spirit, that I give up, like some wild mustang that has to be shown who's boss in the ole corral. Don't get me started on how long it took to decide on this cover:

Recently, I had the opportunity to change my cover for a non-Indie novel of mine published with a wonderful publishing house. Don't get me wrong. Taking away some of my torture by making me a cover and then not letting me have a say in it, was wonderful in a way.
This book (which I LOVE!) had a cover that did not represent my story very well. At least the hero was wrong. The hero on the cover has skinny, adolescent-girl arms, wears a mint green polo and has a very tall head with a clean-cut look. In the book he is described as someone more, shall we say, ruggedly manly. On Pinterest, he is Sawyer, that hunk from the hit TV show LOST.
Don't ask me how I got the publisher to agree to changing the cover but I did. I then went to all the Stock Photo sites and spent about 3 days trying different things, playing around with ideas. I hardly left my office for hours on end.

The story of Necessary Detour is Rear Window (Hitchcock) meets The Bodyguard. The woman is in turmoil as she finds distraction in spying on the strange family next door.

I finally decided that I wanted to have both characters on the cover and eventually came up with this...

I sent my idea off to the publisher and the cover artist came up with this...

I love it! Although I did like the stars and lake in the first one, the new cover represents the two heroes much better. She's a Rock Star, running away from a life and a stalker and he's trying to not get involved with the woman who's moved next door on their remote, uninhabited lake. It's a Romantic Suspense, so this font works really well. Thank you, cover artist.

One cover down.

Then I decided to change a cover I have control over. I wrote a Fan Fiction novel for Kindle Worlds in the Lei Crime category and it isn't doing as well as I'd hoped. The story is a kick-ass mystery whodunit and with the support of the author of the original series, Toby Neal, I just assumed it would take off like a 747 in a tail wind. It hasn't and I can only think it's the cover with the reference to the Rocky Horror Show (bloody font) or the young woman on the cover who might suggest she's younger than she actually is in the story. Because I'm not sure what the novel's problem is, I'm trying cover first.
I asked my buddy Bob, who is a world famous Hawaiian photographer and has the photo site Photo Images Maui, if I could have a lava photo. For free. 'Cause we're friends. He said yes and I tried a few things with his GORGEOUS photos of lava.

I finally ended up with a design that the group of authors at Lei Crime Kindle Worlds Facebook Secret Group approved. Toby Neal too, which is like saying the boss approved. She's very hands on with her Kindle World group and the way she helps us and cares about our projects I have to think she's an amazing mother. Toby suggested the font be bigger in the title and she was right! (We have to leave space at the bottom left so Kindle Worlds can put their logo on there.) Last night I uploaded the new cover but have yet to see the change on Kindle Worlds. We'll see if the new cover helps.

I actually really like this cover.
Tomorrow is a different story.
See what I mean about indecision?

As of this moment, my other covers are working for me just fine. I think. What do you think? I might get the artist to change the busy box set 3D cover. Check out my Amazon page and let me know what you think of my covers. Kim Hornsby on Amazon

Kim Hornsby is the Bestselling Author of THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE, available on Amazon books. her stories usually involve a Suspense, a Romance, and a touch of Supernatural.

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