Treat everyday as a new adventure

Judging A Book By its Cover Part 3 Five More Covers

Today I want to ask a question before we get to the 5 featured covers.

“Do you think a cover can be illustrated and designed well enough to represent the story, so that you could leave the title off of the front cover? Not saying you’d want to, but could it be possible? Just something to think about when designing your next cover. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!”

Note to all my wonderful participants; Some of you have sent me more info then what I asked for (telling me what your book is about) And I have been trying to make sure that I tell you I am editing out some of what you’ve told me, but I want to explain in more detail real quick. (I’m a woman of few words, that is until I write a blog post 🙂 ) Many people will pick up a book based on what the cover looks like. When they go to a book store the cover is in their face or when they get on Amazon it’s the same thing. So what is it about the cover, that will make people turn the book over or scroll down and read the description. I guess what I’m getting at is, “Is your cover designed to give people an idea what your book is about, without turning it over.” Next week I will be asking for the blurbs as they are written on the back cover or on Amazon. You have my email and are welcome to send your blurb now, but you might want to add to it after you read Monday’s post. 🙂

Okay on to our featured covers!

The Ninja Librarian written by Rebecca M. Douglass

You can use my cover to discuss how a cover that really fits the author might still not be the best cover for other reasons.  I do love the cover I designed (using Createspace templates and a photo my brother-in-law took, copyright http://www.photoseek.com/).

The title for the book was kind of obvious, as it is a collection of stories about the Ninja Librarian–an unexpected combination of skills that does catch the attention.  I designed the cover to fit with the story, which has a historical setting involving both the library and school in the town of Skunk Corners.  My younger son and I tested all sorts of colors to get the right feel.

Unfortunately, though the cover has a lot of appeal to the adult side of my audience (though I think probably it doesn’t really pop), it lacks the appeal to the main audience, the upper elementary students.  I am planning a new cover when I come out with volume two early next year, to make a matched set that has more eye appeal.

Really a nice idea for your blog–I found the cover the hardest part of putting together my book, for sure.
Best to you,
Rebecca Douglass http://www.ninjalibrarian.com/

Thank you Rebecca and thank you for sharing.


Kadamba of Gentle Humilaith written by Mirti Venyon Reiyas

Hi Karen

My book cover designer, Melody Simmons, informed me of this opportunity.  So here goes!
Fantasy / Metaphysical Fiction Cover
Book 2 in the Cosmic Library Series:  Kadamba of Gentle Humilaith 
Amazon Link:  http://is.gd/jLkO3Y
Blog Link to all three books in the series with their covers:
I write metaphysical fiction / fantasy with a positive, New-Age slant.  Some call this genre “Visionary Fiction.”  The three books were to form a series, though each is a standalone story.  I wanted them to have similar covers though as they are all based in the same Cosmic Structure and written in a similar style.  Melody Simmons is an old friend of mine, and luckily she started an ebook cover design site this year – http://ebookindiecovers.com/
I had already chosen the images I wanted.  I browsed different stock websites to find these.  I found a mermaid and a tree lady that I liked.  As it is really hard to get stock images for fantasy books, I couldn’t find a tiger lady for my second book – Kadamba of Gentle Humilaith.  So I had to have it specially designed by an artist.  April Reinoehl from Deviantart did the tiger lady for me.  Here is where you can see how she designed the character:
Now – in order to brand the series, Melody added a similar decorative design to the spine side, and suggested we use a similar layout of a face to the left and the super-natural character to the right for each book.  I left the background and lettering up to her.  She originally had the author name and title much bigger, but I insisted I wanted it small.  The title is quite visible though.  I just didn’t want to have a very commercial look on the cover – I wanted it to be arty, New-Agey, positive and attractive to Young Adults too.   I was happy with the bright colours and the final rendering.  It was a great collaborative effort between Melody and me.
Fantasy covers are not easy to do – there are not many ready-made fantasy images and characters on stock websites.  My advice is to have a character designed by a professional artist, then to use that in combination with other stock images, to reduce costs a bit.
Another bit of advice:  If you want a specific character on the front of your book – search Photo Stock sites like Dreamstime, Fotolia and Shutterstock.
I have one tip to add to this. I’ve used these sites for photos also, but when I was doing my book trailer and couldn’t find a photo for my hero, I put a call out on facebook and another author sent me a few pictures of himself and he’s the hero in the video. And another friend, an independent musician wrote the music for the trailer, so sometimes when you can’t find what you need, ask, you’d be surprised by the wonderful response. Sorry Mirti, didn’t mean to butt in. Back to you 🙂
Only the author can really really feel what his/her character looks like. Other elements can be found and added by the designer… If you have the image identified, it makes the process of working with a cover designer much easier and much faster.
Thank you!
You are very welcome Mirti and thank you. 🙂
 Sirus Bandai-The Invisible Bandit written by Casey Sheridan

Hi Karen!

I’m sure you’ve gotten your 20 covers by now, but I thought I’d send you a link to my cover just in case.

It’s for my upcoming release, Sirus Bandai-The Invisible Bandit (Oct 17), and my post tells how I came up with the cover design. I designed the cover for it as well as the cover for Corporate Spy which is on the right of my blog.


Have a great day!
Why thank you Casey. I hope yours is wonderful as well!
The Tube Riders written by Chris Ward
Hey Karen,

Here’s a little bit about my new cover.
Tube Riders is a near future dystopian novel set in Britain.  One of the unique selling points is that it features a lot of trains, plus people that hang off the side of them for fun.  However, the original cover featured just a train and that didn’t really reflect the full contents of the novel.  While it’s basically an action adventure and it has been described as Young Adult (although I’m not sure I’d agree) it is very dark, and very violent in places.  The new cover, with an image of a Huntsman in the centre as well as a train at the bottom is a far better reflection of the novel than the previous title.  It was designed by Su at www.novelprevue.com and I think she did a great job of capturing the essential darkness at the heart of the novel.
I hope it’s not too scary for your blog!
Kind regards,
Hi Chris and thank you. Scary? Naw. Interesting? Yes.
The Tube Riders will be free on Amazon October 5-7. So stop by and pick up a copy.
The Scrolls of Xavier written by John A. Ashley
    Hello, my name is John Ashley. I noticed the article on your blog about judging a book by its cover and would like to present my cover and the story behind it for your consideration.
Where did you come up with the title?
I chose the title of the book to be The Scrolls of Xavier, simply because of its overall relevance to the novel and also its mentioning of the world that will be key throughout the series. The words also seem to have a nice sound and look to them, and that certainly helped in the decision.
 Why did you choose the colors, picture, and graphics that are on the front cover?  
The graphics I picked out for the cover were chosen with painstaking deliberation. I wanted the entire sense of the novel to be conveyed to  the average passerby, but I also wanted to embed a few concepts within the cover that a reader wouldn’t pick up on until they’d finished the book. I wanted to convey a sense of exploration and promise, yet also a subtle undertone of looming danger. Almost every graphic on the cover is either symbolic to this theme or some other theme within the story.
Did you design the cover?
Me and a friend of mine designed the concept, however the designers at instantpublisher.com were the ones who brought it to life. Designing your own cover is one of the many aspects of self-publishing I find so rewarding. Who better than the author to decide what goes on the front of their book? I agree with you completely that a cover can have much more meaning that most people realize, and coming up with a design that lived up to that was a struggle that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Thank you again! The link to my website is www.scrollsofxavier.com
Hi John and thank you for sharing.
Thank you all for sharing your covers today. Please share, blog, tweet, fb, etc. Let your readers know, because their input and opinions are very important and valuable in designing your cover and please stop by Friday to see covers by Jeff, Rose, Daniel, Mark, and Paul


  1. Thank you Karen – you put such a lot of work into this post! I think the covers that are up here today are all amazing! Each one has unique features about it…which is important. If one is using stock images, at least two should be combined to create a unique cover – one cannot just use an image off a stock website “as it is.” It must be changed and made to carry a special individual look for one’s book.
    I’m also amazed by the kind friend who sent his pics for your cover! That’s great! Indie Authors generally are very supportive of one another – it’s so amazing!


  2. Thanks Karen for featuring my cover! I agree with Mvreiyas, you’ve put a log of work into this post, and the others in you cover art series.
    Thanks again!


    • Hi Casey and thank you, but all of you are doing all the work 🙂 I’m just cutting, pasting and formatting. I do hope everyone shares their blurb next week. That way you can tell us what your book is about.


  3. Good morning everyone. Chris Ward tweeted me yesterday and told me The Tube Riders will be free Oct. 5-7, Stop by amazon and pick up a copy.



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