Upon the advice of Sandy Appleyard (sandyappleyard.com), I recently gave my ebook covers a makeover. She advises that as one way to possibly make sales pick up if they’ve been lagging, so I thought I’d give it a try. What did I really have to lose? It’s not like I can’t go back to the old ebook cover if I decide I want to.
I figured it couldn’t hurt to write a blog post outlining the considerations I made when designing this cover, thinking that maybe they could inspire something in someone else as a way to design or improve their own book covers.
I have to say, cover designer is not my forte, and not what I was expecting last year when I decided it was finally time to publish my novels. This cover is far from perfect, but there are a few things I like about it over the old one. Here they are, old one on top and new one on bottom.
So, what do I like about the change?
- I wanted something that hinted more to the genre: fantasy, in my case. There’s something about the stars there that I thought was nice clue to what the work is about and spoke to magic, wonder, and a sense of adventure. (The forest path, while it indicated setting and tone and themes of the novel quite well, really spoke nothing to the genre at all.)
- While hinting at genre, I wanted a bit of mystery too. Multiple people have told me that what led them to download/read my novel was the description of it posted on the purchase page on amazon.com. Based on that info, I figure it’s doing what it’s supposed to do, so I want the cover to leave enough mystery in people’s minds to spur them to read the description of what the book’s about.
- I wanted a design that connected with the title. It had always, always bugged me that the book is titled “The Crimson League” and there was no red on the cover at all! I felt that was just…. wrong, somehow. When a title indicates something visual as strongly as my title does, I wanted the cover to fall into line with that.
- I wanted to mark “Book I, II, III” of my trilogy on the cover. That wasn’t the case before, but it should be. It’s a great way to easily provide vital information to the prospective reader: this book is part of a series, and this is its place therein.”
- Personally, I like the retro feel. It reminds of old-school fantasy cover design, things you see on first editions of old fantasy books. That really appealed to me. Like I said, the cover’s not flawless. And eventually I’d like to pay someone to design one, but until then, I think this will work.