So the other day, I was talking to some author friends who were having their own covers redone to help with their branding. Often when you're a new author you don't realise that your covers aren't 'correct for the genre'. You are excited, you get the design back and you're like 'WOW! This is my book!' It's not until later that you realise, your readers might not even know that your book is what they want because it's so far away from what they're used to seeing in that category.
As my original covers were expensive and are not something I can afford to do any more, especially if I get it wrong again, I decided to dabble in designing them myself. I think that I've made progress over the last 9 months from when I originally came up with the idea for the Inheritance part of the Royals of Avalone series. Find the progress of the covers below.
The original idea
Originally Buying Him was to be called 'Victoria'.
As the series focused on the sisters getting married, I was going to do wedding dresses on all the works. However, feedback from other authors felt that this one wasn't quite right for a contemp romance that wasn't completely clean.
The second attempt
Same title, but now more genre specific.
My friends felt that this was more genre specific, and would certainly let readers know it was more a romance book, but I still wasn't sure.
Changed the title from Victoria to Buying Him.
I really liked this idea, but it was actually my husband who said to me it looks more thriller than romance. Also, all these ideas were really dark, and my husband was right, to me darkness isn't romance! So it was back to the drawing board. I really liked the couple in the picture though and used them again in the next!
...but it's still not quite right.
This was supposed to be THE cover. It's bright, the couple are engaged, there's a good scoop of luxury about it, but something still didn't feel quite right. Every time I looked at it, something would niggle at me.
It's all about the text!
This is the final and finished cover for Buying Him. I look at this cover and I just know it's right for my story. I love everything about it and it's all there.
Was it worth taking so long and so many attempts to figure it out? Or would it have just been better paying hundreds of dollars for a designer to make me another one?
I feel that it has been a worthwhile investment in my time. I've learnt lots of new skills in Photoshop that I didn't have before. I studied markets, I looked through so many cover websites and book shops that I am beginning to wonder if I could actually start to name books just from their covers! Ha! I learnt lessons regarding typography and branding - who knew the font on a title was so important!?!? - and most of all I discovered that when I do allow someone else to work on my covers, I will know exactly what to ask for to get it right first time.
Personally, that last part is a massive thing for me. I don't begrudge people earning their living from designing covers - I would much rather spend my time writing! - but I needed to actually go away and learn what I wanted from my covers which I feel I've achieved with these.
So overall a happy bunny!