Despite all the studies otherwise, I rarely buy a book based on its cover art. The back cover blurb, plus a scan of several pages, is what sells me. I find many covers appear contrived or unrelated to the interior, that esthetics won out over a connection to the story.
As a result, my own covers have been minimalist. I prefer eye-catching, solid-color covers with simple, if any, graphics. I’m sure you’ll recognize these:
Then, I attended the Hampton Roads Writers Conference back in September and got quite a few statistics about how covers sell a book. Even a writer friend said to me, “I’ve been meaning to speak to you about your covers.” [Eye roll]
So, for my second novella, to be released on December 1, by the way, I decided to go non-minimalist. And here’s the cover reveal for the new novella, The Yellow Scarf, courtesy of selfpubbookcovers.com (Check them out; very reasonably priced.):
When I saw this cover on the web site, I recalled the final line of the novella:
“The bar’s rear exit led him to the deserted street, where the cold air cleared the last of the liquor from his head.”
With the yellowish/sepia tones on the cover, I couldn’t have found a more perfect fit. Even the outfit the man on the cover is wearing is very reminiscent of the character in the novella he represents. When the proof arrived and I saw the cover on an actual book, I remembered how I felt when my first book came out more than a decade ago and I saw the cover the publisher had designed. It’s as if your story has come to life, is tangible. The image formerly only in your head is there for all the world to see.
I don’t know if this cover will make a difference in how many copies are sold, but, actually, I don’t care because I love it.
I guess we’ll find out on December 1.