Do you judge a book by its cover?

Communications about Unravelling come from Matador thick and fast. There’s so much to decide: the book’s details and my biography for bookshops and online stores, such as Amazon; a press release; marketing materials …

And most difficult of all the book’s cover.

This is the aspect that causes me most anguish. I ask people how they choose the books they read. The biggest reason is if they know the author, but if they don’t, then yes, the cover has a significant role to play.

I study online images that might be suitable for Unravelling. I search so many categories – couples in love, couples estranged, women alone, faces, back views. I get more confused. I tell myself this is one of the advantages of self-publishing – if I was going through the traditional process, I wouldn’t get any say. Suddenly that seems like a good idea.

I make a pile of all the books I’ve enjoyed and examine their covers. I can’t find that one magic ingredient that unites them. Some are busy and full of colour; others simple, almost monochrome, a single image.

I finally select three images and email them to Matador. What do they think? Jeremy Thompson says he loves one, likes one, dislikes the third! So many different responses and I thought they were all okay!

I choose the one he loves and a draft cover is made up and sent to me. I hate it. Terry Compton at Matador finds another image and sends a new draft cover. With my fingers crossed, I say yes.

The cover begins to appear – Troubador’s online bookshop, Amazon and it’s just gone on my website. I like it – I think. When I feel brave enough, I’ll post it here and you can let me know what you think. But only if you think positive things, of course.

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  1. John says:

    Hello Lindsay
    It seems a great idea to have all the choice in the world until you try to make that all important decision. Difficult whether it’s a menu, paint colour for the walls or new car. I can understand that choosing a book cover is no easier but you were prepared to adapt. That’s got to be a positive. I like the result! The bright light draws you in and it looks intriguing.

  2. Su says:

    Hi Lindsay

    We live in such a visual world, I guess most people rely heavily on the impact of a book cover. Some covers even reach out to tell you what to expect; Chick Lit books are so easy to spot.

    Anyway, I think you’ve chosen well. The title, the font and the picture work well together.

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