Does Cover Art Make Much Difference (Part One)

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone in the office who’d remarked that they didn’t like my first book cover, that it didn’t ‘fit’ with the story.  Well, fair enough, not a lot you can say to that.  But it kind of got me thinking about whether a book cover actually does make people buy a book.  Look anywhere on the internet and you’ll find those that argue it does and those that argue it doesn’t, so to try to gauge one way or another I’ve completely changed the cover of the first book.

I’d always intended to do a free promo on the first book when the second one was released (apparently a tried and trusted way of getting sales through of the second, whether it works or not is another story) and so it seemed like a good idea to try to get the new cover on at the same time.  So yesterday morning I took some pictures of my daughter in the pose I wanted (from behind, head shot, hand in view) but for various reasons it didn’t work out quite right (variously either her hand, her head or her hair wouldn’t quite do what it was told.  You know what they say, never work with children and animals) and so I ditched that idea and used an existing picture.  So as a reminder, this is what the original book cover looked like

I was actually quite happy with this when I did it, it summed up the book (dark, light) in my mind and since I’m no graphic artist I was quite pleased with the outcome.

It’s actually a picture of an eclipse (and there is an eclipse in the first book, albeit in a dream) and was used from (a site I’d highly recommend, even if you’ve no interest at all in space there are some breathtaking images).  But taking on board other people’s comments and looking at it more subjectively I can understand why it might appear irrelevant to the book.

So, Paint Shop Pro in hand I set about modifying the picture I’d decided to use and turn it into a new book cover.  Just as a point of reference, this is the photo I started out with as the basis for the new cover, it’s a picture of my daughter holding a tiny frog we found on a walk through a country park somewhere and we moved it off the path since we’d nearly stood on it.

So I now had to turn that picture into one that summed up the book, got rid of the frog (no frogs in my book, nope, not a single one) and looked good (with the caveat that I’m no artist as previously mentioned).

An hour and a half later I had this, and I have to admit I’m quite pleased with it, I think it relates to the story in the book and is probably more eye-catching than the previous one.  Obviously I’m not the one that decides that so we’ll have to wait and see.  If anyone’s interested in how I achieved the effect’s used in the cover, post a comment and if I get a few requests I’ll do a blog post on it (assuming I can remember exactly how I did it!) 🙂

Having finished the cover I went about uploading it to Amazon which is a pretty straightforward process, although it’s not actually appeared on their pages as the thumbnail yet, that can take up to 24 hours, so by around 18:00 GMT Saturday.

Potentially that means I’ll have some of the free promo with the old cover and some with the new cover which is probably a good thing in terms of gauging whether it does make a difference.  There’s no scientific way of doing it really unless I uploaded two copies of the book with slightly different names, but I’m not quite sure Amazon would be over the moon with that!

I’ll report back as to whether it did make a difference in part two of the post, but in the meantime I’d welcome any comments as usual, which do you prefer?

In the meantime, have a great weekend.  Our kids are away so I’m hoping to get some writing done and since the weather in East Yorkshire is (as seems to have been the case for the past month) forecast for rain the garden will have to wait for a while 🙂







3 comments on “Does Cover Art Make Much Difference (Part One)

  1. Well, without knowing the blurb of the book and seeing them side-by-side, I find the ‘eclipse’ cover much more striking. The ‘hand’ cover is intriguing, though. If I hadn’t seen the first cover, I’d probably still pick up the book and read the back to see what it was about. That probably doesn’t help you much, though. Sorry about that. Good luck with the sequel. 🙂

    • Difficult isn’t it. In fairness I like both, the hand shot probably says more about the content of the book and the heroine than the eclipse, but the image was so startling when I saw it I initially I decided to use it. It’s one of those things that the first cover will appeal to some and the second to a different group. Still, I’ve evened the score now, son on one book cover, daughter on another, albeit only her hands 🙂

  2. Pingback: Does Cover Art Make Much Difference (Part Two) | W.Chaser

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