My first novel, KEEPING SILENT, was initially released by Write Way Publishing. They sent me an image of what the cover would be. I suggested that they make the murder weapon on the cover (a statue of an angel) more abstract, as it’s portrayed in the book. They didn’t much care what I said, so the book came out with this cover. I decided that was okay.
When Writeway sold the mass market rights to Harlequin, I was thrilled. My novel would appear in 30 countries! But not only did I have NO input in the cover design, I didn’t get to see it until a box of books appeared on my doorstep. With great enthusiasm, I tore through the cardboard to find this:
WTH? The woman on the cover looked like a burn victim with duct tape on her mouth! I’m pretty familiar with the plot, and there is no duct tape. Nor is there a scalded woman. (The picture is actually of the sculpture, but it has a horror-story feel that misrepresents the story.)
My other Caleb Knowles novels, published by Bella Rosa Books, have engaging, relevant dust jackets. You can check them out here: http://bellarosabooks.com/titles.htm. The editor consulted with me numerous times. He tweaked and I tweaked and we have two covers that do their job. When we re-released KEEPING SILENT as a trade paperback, we improved the cover design to reflect the presence of deaf characters. I think each of the Bella Rosa covers catch the eye of potential readers.
With my new novel, THE STONE NECKLACE, I just received the cover design. Yes, I was consulted—three options were presented and the one I chose is the one they are using. Here’s a photo of it:
I’m very happy with this design. The stone necklace featured was designed by John Chapman, a wire-wrap jeweler, based it EXACTLY on how the piece is described in the book. The picture is of a church graveyard that is a prominent setting in the work. The chain serves several purposes: it adds tension, it brings a unique quality to the design, and it symbolizes how the lives of the various characters are linked, or woven, together.
I’d love to hear what you think. Have you had good or bad experiences with book covers?