Book reviews provide potential readers with a measuring stick to determine whether or not a particular book might appeal to them. Book reviews also let an author know what she’s been doing right, and what she’s been doing wrong. So far, I’m happy to hear that Clingstone has been well-received by readers, and that the story and characters have come across as engaging and likeable. So that’s the part where I’m doing things right. But the part where I’m doing things wrong? My simple cover isn’t grabbing readers’ attention like it should.
Admittedly, I’m a bit emotionally attached to my photograph of the flower floating in the river, but I agree with the feedback I’ve received that my cover doesn’t exactly market my novel as a romance. I’m grateful for the insights reviewers have provided me about my cover and its potential for improvement, and so have concluded that some tweaking is required.
I didn’t exactly utilize my graphic design skills to their fullest when I designed my original cover, but I wanted simplicity and believed a basic layout generated with a template would do the trick. Now I can concede that my original design was a bit too unrefined and could benefit from some improvements. Perhaps I’m only repeating my previous mistakes by insisting I design my own cover instead of hiring a graphic designer, but undoubtedly I’m the equivalent of the fool on trial who wants to be her own lawyer because she’s watched a decade of Law & Order, dun-dun-dun! and thinks she understands the myriad intricacies of the American justice system. Even so, I’m stubbornly barreling ahead. I dusted off my old Dell laptop because it contains the only version of Photoshop that I own, brushed up on my defunct Photoshop skills, and created a brand new cover over the past few weeks. I’m really happy with it! I still refuse to relinquish my hold on my flower picture and managed to work it into the final design, but I’ve improved the overall layout tremendously.
There’s a downside to all of this, of course. I know it’s a giant gamble I’m taking. I’ve spent seven months marketing Clingstone with its current cover, and so I’m undoing all of that hard work by changing the cover art now, but I think it will only improve my book’s chances in the long run. I had thought I was ready to stop promoting my book and move on entirely to writing my next novel, but recently I’ve been toying with the idea of entering Clingstone in a few contests, and I think a newly designed cover will only help my book stand out from the countless submissions out there.
Fingers crossed! The cover design itself is still pending through Amazon—it’ll take several days before everything is finalized—but I’ll post the new cover once everything is in place.