Friday, March 9, 2012

Twenty-Three Days to the Finish Line - Book Cover Designs

Okay. It’s getting scary now. I can live with pain. Living with fear is different, but both can be debilitating. I am three weeks from running a half-marathon and releasing my time-travel romance, and I’m afraid that because of my ankle injury I won’t be able to train and be prepared for the race. But down deep, I’m more afraid of a worse injury that would keep me from even walking to the finish line.  I don’t really care how I get to that line—run, walk, crawl. I just have to get there. 

This morning, I’m also frozen by indecision (which translates into fear) on the cover design for THE RUBY BROOCH. I have 5 drafts and no consensus among the members of my writers’ group. The cover is the single biggest piece of marketing this story will receive, it’s critical to its success, and can single-handedly sell it. I want a simple image that packs an emotional punch. We know red evokes emotion. White can disappear on a virtual shelf, but put a dog on the cover and the crowd will love it.  Hey, maybe that is what’s missing in the five cover designs in front of me. 

According to Jeff Kleinman of Folio Literary Management in an article titled “Judge Your Book By Its Cover,” experts seem to believe there are three qualities that cause a reader to pick up a book: (1) Distinctiveness; (2) Clarity, and (3) Connection. And a study by Random house said that readers gravitate toward subject matter with 40% of book purchases based on storylines or themes. So, if 40% of readers searching for a paranormal romance view a virtual shelf, what will attract readers to THE RUBY BROOCH? Something distinctive that will evoke emotion. I believe it’s right there in the name—a ruby brooch. Or, I could change the name to THE RUBY BROOCH AND A DOG NAMED TATE—something distinctive and a golden retriever. Bingo.

I’m not sure what the day will bring, but I most certainly need to move past the fear, get in a 5 or 6 mile run, and make a decision about the design. Sitting on my butt and tapping my fingernails against my teeth will only lead to more fear, put me behind in my training, and leave me coverless. Jeez. That’s no way to spend a Friday, especially a Friday when Kentucky plays LSU in the SEC men’s tournament in New Orleans at 1:00. This time tomorrow, I might still be icing my ankle, but at least I'll have made a decision about the cover.

Happy writing and running, and GO CATS! Kathy

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