Everyone knows the saying ‘You can’t judge a book by it’s cover,’ and yet we do, even if we don’t mean to. Even if we have the best intentions to look beyond the cover. Our brains make a snap judgment based on what it sees. The only real way to not do this is to frequent books stores that cover their books in brown paper bags and write only the price and the blurb. I want a store like that!
So if we accept that covers ARE important, vitally so in the case of books, picking a cover is a huge deal. Before digital technology came around, you had to stick with your cover and hope for the best. Now, a certain level of experimentation is allowable. Which brings me to my own demons working with the covers of my Twin Flames Trilogy. When I started writing, I had NO clue what I was doing. I didn’t know you could hire people to do your covers, or that if you were handy, you could make them yourself. Instead, I trusted the pre-made covers that createspace offers. I didn’t know about stock photos or any of that jazz. I was learning. It wasn’t pretty.
I had to dig to find my first cover image. I think maybe 10 people on the planet have the very first cover. I hated it and yanked it as soon as I learned I could, but for the sake of full disclosure, this was Pulled’s first cover.
I sold the paperback version of this for $14.99 and bless those ten friends, they bought it. With that cover. I’m sorry.
I then decided I was gonna have a photo shoot for an idea I came up with. This became the second cover for Pulled:
The white hand is mine, the darker hand was my ex-husbands that I’d darkened with make up and a friend was the third hand pulling me back. I liked this cover a lot, but it didn’t get much buzz. I started looking at other covers online and started seeing what other indie authors used. It was becoming clear, that my cover was generic. Since I couldn’t afford a model shoot, I went to stock images. Not a great move either. (See all the learning I’m doing, though?)
I next went to this cover, which I LOVED…. but so did everyone else. It started showing up on books all over the place after I’d changed it.
By this time Pulled Back had come out, and I’d found other stock images for that and the third book.
With these two covers I went to Utopya in 2012 (I think), where once, again, my covers paled in comparison to what other indies were doing. My fabulous friend Kari, offered to try and spice up up the covers for me, and I stayed with those for a good long time. You probably recall these: (This is 3.5 on the cover order)
Fast forward to 2013, after my divorce. My ex’s girlfriend offered to shoot new covers for me as she was a photographer. I leaped at the chance. She found me some models and we went to work.
This was the most current version:
These became my go to covers. Until my agent, Italia Gandolfo, came along. She read the blurbs and told me, point-blank, that the covers don’t match my book and I wasn’t doing myself any favors buy keeping them. Back to square one.
Using her cover designer, Michael James Canales, we spent a good three months revising, tweaking and perfecting the covers. I needed this to be the LAST time I made a cover change for these poor identity crisis set of novels. After much back and forth, (as I’m sure Michael will attest to) this was what we came up with:
Needless to say, I’m sold. These are the covers my pea brain was trying to come up with for all these years. Thank you to Italia for giving it to me straight and Michael for making my vision finally come to light.