There’s a lot of research evidence out there to support the notion that more than 75% of book sales are earned by the quality of their covers. It’s easy to understand that a strong title and graphics will grab a buyer’s attention – and in a marketplace with more than a zillion titles floating around, an author needs all the edge he or she can get.


Let’s face it, there are some real turkeys out there and no matter what lies between the covers it’s unlikely these books will ever get more than the briefest of glances before a potential reader’s eye roams quickly to the next in line.


So how do authors give themselves a fighting chance of getting noticed? It’s simple – get a cover that makes people pause when they scan the bookshelves or run through the endless pages of listings on the Amazon website. SEE MORE AT:

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The comments made here are really constructive and should be helpful to authors considering how much effort they should put into their covers. There are a lot of ideas here for them.

This is of course self-serving, but it could also widen the discussion of covers. I'd like you to look at mine and tell me what you think.

My agent and I recently parted ways over my main character, a stockbroker. After trying for two years, she says the profession is unsaleable as a series lead. (Maybe she was being kind, but several editors told me the same thing personally). I recently got the rights back to my first two Austin Carr books and have two more written. I was in the process of self-publishing thru Amazon when another agent entered the picture and is currently showing Austin in other places. However, I just received the first cover I'd commissioned, and wonder what you people think. The blood splatter is the artist's theme which would run thru all four books. Impressions ....?

Oh, and Neil? Feel free to be overwhelmed and buy the series. 

To be honest, Jack, there's a bit of a disconnect between the image and the phrase, "Darkly comic."



It's about fishing?

Jack this is a nice eye-catching cover but it's confusing. When I look at your cover, I think of a Science Fiction book like Jaws or something. Am I on the wrong track?

If this is a mystery and crime novel, I just wonder what's with the fish? Is this like someone is killing people and throwing them in the water or what?

Sorry if I just didn't get it. I do think it's a very engaging cover. But it would confuse me because of that fish. When you have a fish or shark on the cover, people are gonna assume the book has to do with the sea, fish, etc.

If it doesn't then I would lose the fish, personally. I think it would throw a lot of people off.

I like the cover better without the fish but I also agree with John about the "Darkly Comic" thing. This cover doesn't fit that description at all to me.

I much appreciate the input, ladies and gents. Thank you for the free consultations! And no, IJ, it's not ABOUT fishing, but the murder weapon is a blue fin tuna. The first cover from H&H had a camper.

This cover really catches my eye, Jack. The background makes me want to find out more.

I think so, too, Grant, but Johnny Mack is right -- there is nothing COMIC on this cover. Although I notice Jon Loomis's new one from Minotaur has nothing indicating 'screwball mystery" either, which is the general mystery sub-category for both of us, leaders being Evanovich and Hiassen. Looking on Amazon, the screwball covers I sent my artist were mainly indicated by bright solid covers -- orange, pink, yellow, and red, but the humor element was very soft, if present. Odd knick knacks or images.

Since the fish is relevant, I like the cover.  Clean and easy to read.

The cover above is for my upcoming eShort that will also contain the opening chapters to my new series with Midnight Ink, beginning with Angel With A Bullet. Both of these are darkly comical, although the humour (which is already being praised in early reviews) forms the undertone and attitude of the protagonist, while the plot has a mystery action edge. The cover below definitely doesn't say "may contain humour" but Midnight Ink decided it was the location of the mystery that they wanted to convey.

I also like the cover for ANGEL.  The short story one is ok (I also don't worry too much about short story covers) though it looks massively violent.


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