Early in my writing career I grabbed every novel I could find in the series romance genre to get a feel for what authors were writing and publishers were buying. I remember one in particular. The novel was charming, the cover was so truly horrific that I kept going back to look at it as I read.
Could the people depicted right there on the front for all the world to see, actually be the attractive, lovable characters in this book? Do I remember the story? Nope. Do I remember the cover? Vividly.
Early in my mystery career I remember being grabbed by yet another cover. Cottage garden flowers adorned the front of a stone house, but the lovely blossoms all had faces, scary faces. I snatched that one off the bookstore shelf, terrified someone else would reach for it first. Do I remember the story? Nope. Do I remember the cover? Vividly.
I think of these two books every time I see a new cover for one of my books. No one will ever convince me covers don’t matter. If a cover doesn’t represent the story, if the characters look like road kill on the highway of life, if colors jar or a design looks like someone’s first attempt at Photoshop, the book will suffer.
With that in mind I was particularly outspoken about my next cover. The novel, One Mountain Away, is the first in my new series, Goddesses Anonymous, set in Asheville, North Carolina. You can imagine that the first book in a series needs to jump off bookshelves into reader’s arms. I knew the cover needed beautiful mountain views, because Asheville’s the kind of place where you can aim your camera in almost any direction and gasp at your own results.
I didn’t see the cover until my publisher “finished” it. I wasn’t happy. The good news is that after lots of negotiation and publisher goodwill, changes were made. Great changes. So today I can happily present to you the new cover for One Mountain Away. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.
I would love to hear your opinion, and as always I’ll value your comments. In the long run, what I think and what my publisher thinks are immaterial. What you think, what you reach for at your favorite bookstore in August, will make all the difference.