The Critical Self-Published Cover

KalliI’m just gonna say it: I DO judge a book by it’s cover. Well, okay – at FIRST. Then you have the book blurb to continue to lure me in. After that, I give you just the sample pages. Wait – I’ve wandered off topic for a second. Back to covers!

So . . . if so many people are like me and are drawn to the sparkly stuff (and therefore fancy covers), why, WHY, do self-pubbing authors go the cheap route with such a critical selling point? PEOPLE! If your going to go it alone, for goodness sake spend the dough and pay for a top notch cover.

It is the first thing a buyer sees. It is what draws the eye when their are scrolling through the five-zillion options on Amazon, iTunes and B&N. Stand-out from a jammed crowd!

For me, having a high-end cover for UNDERTOW is a must, but I (being a control freak just a tad) wanted more than just a great cover with stock-models from some royalty-free website. I wanted REAL people – teenagers – from the school that is featured in UNDERTOW: Barnstable High School.

“Have you lost your marbles?!” you scream. Possibly BUT there’s a method to my madness and here’s why:

1. It’s a series: UNDERTOW is book 1 in a 4 book span. I NEED the main characters to be represented by the same faces through the whole series. Thus: real models, carefully selected to mirror the characters. I COULD cop-out and have, oh perhaps . . . two hands HOLDING AN APPLE on book 1, but that just ain’t me.

2. Marketing: I want my graphic designer to make more than one cover PER BOOK. Yeah – that’s right. The hardcover will be different than the soft than the ebook. PLUS . . . I want posters, banners, candids for my blog, etc.

3. The cast becomes REAL: I would love to bring these fabulous teens with me for a book signing, maybe a meet-and-greet with fans and their own interviews about the journey as the faces of these characters. Who does that? EVER? Rather than have a 1-dimensional hero or heroine that resides solely on the page, you now have a walking, breathing REAL person. You have more than a face: you have a living star.

I will post the “cast” of UNDERTOW when it is completed – just wait until you see! I am thrilled with who we have so far!

Oh yeah . . . and those beautiful eyes belong to my daughter :)


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