Well, I guess it is art of a kind. When I decided to self-publish A Dish of Stones the first question I asked myself was 'how?' Obviously I'd read plenty on the internet about self-publishing dos and don'ts; many say format your manuscript yourself, others say no way. Then there was the cover.
I think the cover of a book is rather like eating. In a restaurant you order something from the menu, maybe something you've never tried before and you look forward to it looking gorgeous and tasting wonderful. Unfortunately, when it arrives at the table sometimes it doesn't look very appealing. I don't know about you, but this is a real turn-off for me. If my meal doesn't look the part more often than not I don't want to eat it. I might push it around the plate a little, even taste a bit. I've even been known to offer it to someone else saying, "Go on, it's nice," just to get rid of it. But finish the meal? No way. We eat with our eyes first.
I think a book cover has the same effect. It's the first thing we see when looking for a new book. If the cover doesn't grab us then perhaps we feel the writing won't either. I can't speak for everyone, but apart from reading reviews and recommendations from friends this is the way I choose my books, particularly by an author I've never read before.
This is why when I read articles saying everyone should try to design their own cover, I decided against. (I made an attempt on Publisher and honestly it was pathetic.) I knew there was no way I would be able to create it to the standard I wanted, so I looked for a designer. Obviously if you have the skills I envy you but I considered that a good designer would make all the difference between readers wanting to read my book and not even bothering to look at it.
I chose Tim Pryor of Pryority Designs and I'm very glad I did. Between us we came up with the kind of cover I was l looking for. I simply chose the images and Tim worked his magic on them. I accepted both covers on the first draft. I love them and I really hope readers do too. Please don't think the cost was prohibitive. In both cases I thought the cost was reasonable and didn't break the bank. And as I'd spent so long in the writing process I thought it would be worth investing a little to make it the best it can be.
A Dish of Stones is now available on Amazon. I would love to know your thoughts about the cover...and of course the story in A Dish of Stones. It's for everyone who has gritted their teeth against adversity, negotiated the stormy seas of turbulent emotions, and stayed resolutely strong when at their most vulnerable.
I think most of us have been called on to be stronger than we feel at some point in our lives.