I don’t like to change my book covers too often. As a reader and book collector, I understand how frustrating and disappointing it can be to have a nice little row of matching books and then, just before you get a full set, ‘someone’ decides to change the covers.
I changed my Dottie Manderson covers about a year ago.
The original Night and Day cover was this one, six years ago when the book was first published:
I still love it, but people complained it looked too much like a romance and nothing like a mystery. So eventually, I changed it.
I tried this one:
And this one:
And finally settled on this one, which has to be my favourite so far.
But when you’re a self-published or Indie author, you have to make business decisions based on cold hard facts and not (as I tend to) on gut instinct or warm fuzzy feelings. So when Amazon announced that following their new policy implementation, they would not now allow me to advertise my book with this cover (the one above) due to the depiction of ‘excessive gore’, I swallowed my pride and my emotional attachment to ‘my baby’ and went off to
sulk cry create a new cover. Because you’ve got to advertise, right? How else will readers discover my books?
So sorry, sorry, sorry, but I’ve had to change my covers yet again.
But it’s quite hard to think of a cover image that suits the genre but doesn’t depict blood splatters, weapons, women in the middle of a scream, cadavers, all that kind of thing. I’ve seen loads of covers lately which show a building. that seems to be a new trend, and certainly it’s a safe way to go. In addition, you need an image that looks good as in black and white as it does in colour, is clear and easy for the eye to interpret in a tiny thumbnail size. It’s hard to find the perfect image.
I brooded over images of old-fashioned street lamps dimly lighting a patch of pavement.
I browsed silhouette after silhouette of ‘vintage women’ images. Most of them were either Edwardian era or 1920s flappers. So I freely confess I ran out of ideas.
Then, I thought, ooh what about the chap Dottie finds at the beginning? He was wearing evening dress…
So the new cover idea was born as soon as I set my eyes on this:
Hopefully it’s simple, easy to understand, eye-catching and also makes readers think, if not of the 1930s, then at least ‘not now’. And if not exactly exuding mystery, then hopefully their first thought won’t be, ‘ooh I can’t wait to read this sci-fi or this romance’. In any case, I can’t possibly offend anyone with this, can I? There’s no gore whatsoever, and I’m hoping this cover will live for a while before needing to be updated.
Now I’ve just got to change all my advertising material and social media stuff. This could take a while!
Image by Tani T at Shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/tanitk