Camp NaNo Update Day #27

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Though still weeks away from even beginning the first draft, book promotion has begun.

Crazy, huh?

I agree, but it can take just as much time deciding on book covers, images, and graphics as it does to write the book.

However, by getting a head start, I could be setting myself up for an epic fail… if my finished manuscript is not relative to the cover and graphics I’ve chosen. I would have to go through the entire process again, thus delaying the book’s publication.

Trust me, I don’t need any help delaying publication.

So I’ve chosen several cover ‘concepts,” four to be exact.

I prefer one over the other three but am not sure it conveys the tone of the book. After a recent critique of one of my Amazon sales pages, I’m giving the tone of the cover and more attention. Not if it’s just aesthetically pleasing or eye-catching. Not if the colors pop or if the overall package will entice a potential reader to take a closer look.

But, if they take that closer look, does the cover convey the overall tone of the story inside?

Time for an experiment!

I took out the last twenty-five books I’ve read and rated them on the relationship between cover and content.

Incredibly, I only found nine to truly convey the tone of the story I’d read.

Four I considered generic genre covers and another four could have been on any book, without regard to genre.

The eight remaining books? I had issues with them long before I thought about writing this post.

  1. Cover models bared no resemblance to key characters… none.
  2. The cover depicted a scene which either didn’t appear in the story or wasn’t adequately described.
  3. Stock cover photo used without enhancements which has appeared on dozens of other books… without enhancements. I took it a step further and found one of the covers on five other books on my Kindle. I don’t even want to think about how many other covers it graces in my cloud reader.
  4. The tone of the cover and content were not in sync.

I’m not knocking stock covers. Book covers can be pricey and combined with editing, the costs can easily approach the two-thousand-dollar range.

While this completely unscientific, wholly biased experiment is relative to me and what I like or look for in a cover, it does make me wonder what other authors consider when choosing covers and what exactly readers [as a whole] are looking for or expecting.

To some, the cover is simply the attraction—I’ve got your attention now check out my amazing new book—I get that. But when the cover and content are in sync the reader gets a memorable experience which could lead them to recommend your books to others.

For me, a good example is J.F. Kirwan’s Nadia Laksheva Spy Thriller Series. It has spies,  international intrigue, espionage, counter-espionage, suspense, locations all over the world, conspiracies, life and death situations… just an all-around fantastic five-star series.

The cover artist (whom I do not know) captured story tone, story locations and even scenes in each of the covers. When I look at the covers, the story… and all the danger and suspense come back clear as a bell.  To me, covers like this make a story shine.

I have no clue where my story will take me after the first draft but if I can match the finished manuscript with a cover as awesome as these, I’ll be a happy camper.


Day 27 word count – 47,140


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