Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cover It

I wrote about blasted covers as well as how HEAVENLY was conceived and created. One reader said," But aren't people allowed their opinion?"

Of course. And these days people take ever opportunity to spread their opinion - positive or negative - that they can take. Or so it seems.

The internet has opened a can of possibility some nasty folks just can't wait to let crawl out and spread.

Example: Nailed. Original cover idea was two guys and a girl. Love triangle. ( see above image ) I had some adults ( women readers over 20 ) who said they loved this cover.

I had some reader/reviewers bash the cover. You'd honestly have thought they were talking about Prop 8 and not a little-known author's YA book cover. Seriously. One reader flatly "refused to post the most hideous cover i've ever seen!"

I've seen worse, honey. Maybe she hasn't read that much after all.

Anyway, NAILED didn't sell well with that cover, so my daughter ( who helped me conceive Eden's cover ) and I came up with a new idea: a pretty girl dressed up with a hammer.

We got her long-time friend and our next door neighbor ( yup - a lot of attractive people in my neighborhood ) and shot some digital pics on my driveway:

I ended up using the picture you see on the cover.

And we played around with tints.

This process taught me a lot about covers. One concept, though good in idea ( two guys and a girl) didn't grab-at-first-glance like image number two did.

Again, being able to make these changes because I own the rights and publish independently enabled me to rip the cover ( after four months of seeing low sales ) and replace it with something else. ( sales literally jumped, tripling the first month the new cover was out.)

The book continues to sell more each month.

What a difference a cover makes.
Same thing happened with Magic Hands:

This book sat unnoticed until my daughter came up with the new cover image:

Sassier, right? Again, we grabbed a neighbor ( the cover model of Heavenly, because he has wonderful hands ) and my daughter ( the one who helps me come up with cover ideas ) donned the colorful outfit and let me photograph her butt.

Luckily, I'm not tanked forever because of a bad cover. I get to go back to the pow-wow room with my daughter and create something else if whatever I have out there isn't pulling. I redesign, re-upload and keep selling.

One of the perks of indie pubbing.


Chicki Brown said...

I've seen some really awful covers, but I don't see the point of e-mailing the author to tell them. Some people think they're supposed to spew their negative opinions into the universe at all times ...

jenniferlaurens said...

So true. Why send all that negativity out into the atmosphere just for the sake of "opinion"? The answer to that question - if you're negative by nature - will tell you a lot about yourself.

DawnB said...

I don't think your first cover for Nailed is bad at all. But I do like the second one better. And I really like your new cover for Magic Hands. Your daughter is good at cover design. Goes to show how important a good cover can be.

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