Here is the winner! Tips for getting a book cover that WORKS

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your humble host

No, you didn’t miss a writing contest. This is the winner of the cover choices I posted about the other day.

First off, if you voted, thank you very much for your input.

Those of you who voted, you helped a lot.
It was interesting to see what people chose and why they chose it.
Voters who chose cover #2 are no doubt about to be disappointed, but cover #1 got almost as many votes – and there were a few extenuating circumstances.

The selections were as follows:

four covers combo

The two covers that got the most votes were number two and number one respectively – they were only separated by a few votes, but they were far, far ahead of the other two.

Our winner will be cover #1

despite cover #2 getting a few more votes. Welcome to voting, Florida style.

Here’s why.

DOUBLE BLIND eBook
the winner
Several people, about 10% – 15% of the total votes, specifically said something about having an actual face on the cover was a negative for them. Some were writers who may be relating what they’ve heard anecdotally, but we have read that in our independent research about murder mystery covers. Very few of the top 50 bestselling covers in the genre of murder mystery on Amazon have faces on the covers; about 5 to 10 overall. So it’s there, but it’s not the dominant aspect of what readers of this genre prefer. So we have to factor that in.

Next, even though it got a few more votes, cover #2 is probably giving people the wrong impression about the story. Several said there might be a romance element to it, but murder mystery readers want a murder mystery, not necessarily a romance. So cover #2 may have been a bad choice to include.

We are going to go with number one because:

  • It almost got as many votes,

  • it doesn’t have the face, but also

  • it doesn’t mislead the potential reader.

For the other books in the series, two through six (when they get written; I’ll be starting #2 soon, I swear) we will be able to have more flexibility and will probably be able to use images like those in cover number two.

But there you have it.

And hopefully we all learned something. That’s always a plus.

The tips:

  1. Research the top selling books in your genre. See what their covers look like. Emulate that success in your cover.

  2. Use a professional to get it right, but let the professional do their job. If you knew how to do this stuff, you wouldn’t be reading this post.

  3. You still have to write an amazing book. You also need a good tag line and blurb. Those headaches are dealt with elsewhere (here and here and here and here and here) in this blog. One crisis at a time.

  4. You aren’t losing your individuality, you are meeting expectations. Don’t try to sell milk in an oil can. We want milk in white milk bottles or milk cartons. Once we buy your milk, then we will see what amazing things you did that make you different – but most of us struggle to get our books picked up. This helps avoid that.

  5. If it doesn’t work out well, analyze everything, and ask others, but be prepared to jettison the cover you loved for one that works for the genre. Switching to one that works is easier and ultimately cheaper than spending tons of money on a cover that isn’t selling your book.

Tough love is still love, and I love the covers that sell.

Funny how that works.

Wanna get in on the DOUBLE BLIND action? Grab an ARC copy by contacting me. I’ll email you a free copy of the book to enjoy; you just agree to leave an honest review on Amazon.

The paperback is available now for $12.99; the eBook is part of the Death and Damages box set that releases Nov 27th – with 20 novels for 99 cents. Hard to beat.

8 thoughts on “Here is the winner! Tips for getting a book cover that WORKS

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