My book sales have been down the last few months.In a Facebook writer’s group I belong to, there had been a lot of discussion lately about covers and whether changing the cover of a book that sells is a good idea or not. There has also been a lot of bantering back and forth by the members of that group as to whether or not the cover needs to be done by a ‘professional cover artist.’ Before I go any further, I would like to say that I respect the members of that group, value their opinions and advice and believe that most of them are great writers and behave in a professional manner.
I have been traditionally published and indie published. My book covers for the two trad books were…not that great. Case in point, I’ll use the covers for my first book, I’ll Be Seeing You. On the left is the ‘professionally designed cover’ and on the right the one I did. You can vote as to which
I do understand the value of hiring someone to do a cover for you if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing. I also will acknowledge that there are some truly awful indie covers out there. I publish my print books through Createspace and they have some nice templates to work with, but I will admit that their artwork choices are limited. Most of the time I use stock photos, which has its pros and cons. Pro: there is an enormous selection out there for reasonable prices (shutterstock for example sells them for 19.00 each- good for 250,000 downloads before you have to repurchase). Biggest con: You may see your perfect photo on someone else’s book.
I happen to think that I have the background to be able to do my own covers. I have a degree in Journalism and Art and was the layout editor of my college paper, worked as a textile designer, and teach art, so I feel that I can pull together a image that works. (Others may disagree and they are welcome to their opinion, really.) I have recently been working with Pixlar.com to create my covers and I have been very pleased with how they look. You can add borders, change effects and colors, put in overlays (the same as filters in gimp or photoshop), and add text without the boxes that may of Createspace’s templates use. (Createspace has a temp;ate that lets you add your own cover design.) I looked through some pre-made covers (which would be a good option for someone who doesn’t want to do their own) and decided that mine were still attractive and looked as professional.
I took a long hard look at the cover for my best selling book,Terezin Twilight, which I designed. The book gets great reviews and the cover has gotten several compliments, but since sales are down the last four months I revamped it this week. I added color and a butterfly, which reflects a theme of the book. The original cover is on the left, the new one on the right. I’d love feedback as to which one is more appealing to the eye. And you can help boost my summer sales by checking out Terezin Twilight and my other books at http://www.bookbylynnmurphy.com. I look forward to seeing what happens, if anything, for this cover change.