Cover Reveal

It took a lot of searching and tries before I finally settled on a cover for my upcoming novel Not By Design.

My first idea for a cover was one that would depict Rome – where the novel is partially set. I particularly liked a certain photo that was on an Italian tour company’s website – an alleyway with huge overflowing flower boxes.

Here’s an excerpt from my novel to explain why I thought such a cover photo was appropriate. (Garbatella is a village-like community about twenty minutes from the center of Rome.)

The fifteen-minute walk to Tina’s cottage leads through a maze of courtyards, each with its own English garden. Her low-rise house, with its wrought iron gate, is at the end of a winding, cobbled street filled with overflowing flower boxes. I make my way along the curved sidewalks, soaking in the splendor of the terra cotta buildings with their clotheslines full of colorful laundry slowly drying in the late afternoon sun. I pass by a huge mural and smile to myself. Perhaps one day, Garbatella will also have one of my paintings on its walls.

Alas, my request to use the flower boxes-alleyway photo was never answered. That was a good thing. Not by Design is about more than Rome and its great places to eat. It’s about a woman’s struggle to come to terms with her road map. A short novel more about character than setting.

           Not By Design 16

I haven’t completely chucked the idea of using the setting as background for a future cover of this book. Consider this quote by Tim Kreider in his The New Yorker article The Decline and Fall of The Book Cover.  

I’ve been told that the most powerful figures in the current literary world, the buyers for the major national bookstore chains, have been known to offer to increase their orders for a book if its cover is changed.

Matt Dorfman, art director of The New York Times Book Review, lists The Best Book Covers of 2015 in this article.


What do you think? Do you judge a book by its cover?

55 thoughts on “Cover Reveal

  1. Hmm, if you could wait for a few days, I could possibly try something… I am still waiting for a workstation motherboard that is stuck in the extremely corrupt customs department (bought from the USA and hence stuck in customs here for more than a month now)… if you could send me a link to the photo you liked so much, I could possibly make a 3d scene out of it and that will bypass the copyright issue since it is a scene I will create myself. I can make it in any form you like – photoreal, artsy, modern/impressionist, watercolour, sketched, charcoal and so on… but since you like the idea of the photo, I guess you’d opt for photorealism. The concept can be treated differently too, since you suggest that it is more about character rather than setting alone. 🙂 If you care to try it out, I can experiment with a few things 🙂 Also, you can post it here and your readers could possibly vote the best artwork… It has been a few years since I went back to my 3d stuff, but I can manage it (only if I can get my system up again). Don’t worry about the costs, either. This is for free..

      • Should take another week or so. The Customs officer is angling for a bribe. I never pay bribes, so this took longer than usual, a month longer. The worry is, they might steal or damage the parts to spite me. I do have a server motherboard, but I am waiting for this workstation one, which makes things easier. If you have any ideas that I can sketch out before I do the work on the computer, feel free to mail me at kishoretejaswi AT 🙂 I can work out the rough drafts even before the motherboard arrives with pencil and paper 🙂

      • Hi-

        I’ve decided for now not to use an alleyway background for my cover. I am though still considering whether I want to keep this current cover. Have a lovely evening. 🙂

  2. Oh, I absolutely love that cover, Carol! Nice decision. I wouldn’t say I decide to read a book based on its cover, but I think covers are important. They do make people notice (or not). They can also encourage someone to pick up a book and leaf through it – or not.

  3. Whether we like to admit it or not, I think we all judge a book by a cover. But once I see the cover, I read the first couple paragraphs. That’s what will hook me.

    Love your cover. Nice excerpt too!

  4. If I read 😦 I might judge a book by its cover….for a minuscule period of time but I don’t think it would matter. If I ever did decide to read a book, I would be interested in the content and not the cover.

  5. I love the excerpt Carol and can’t wait to read more about Felicity’s adventure after reading your previous books! Love the bright yellow happiness colour of the cover. 🙂

  6. Interesting quote. I had no idea. I’ve given up trying to get pictures for free. Too often, my letters (too) are unanswered, or the person I wrote says they don’t know who used it, but used it anyway. Now, I go to places like Shutterstock. For abut $20, I get pretty much what I want.

  7. A very timely post for me Carol as I decide on my front cover too. Ughh it’s really hard and often the designer doesn’t understand your ideas. Your cover is great, I love the color and design. It was helpful to see the top covers too. I notice that they are often quite simple, which is what I am aiming for.

    • Thanks, Karen. I’m still not certain about the cover – I’m wondering if perhaps it doesn’t blend in with the previous books in this series. This cover has a more serious look to it – but then again the subject matter is a bit more serious. Oh, choosing a cover is difficult.
      I made the cover myself, using the templates from Kindle Cover Creator.
      Simple is good. Good luck with your cover and I’m looking forward to knowing what your book is about. 🙂

      • Thanks Carol. I think I am going to close my eyes and just hope for the best! I really like your cover, each book is different. My book is a memoir about my journey through grief after losing our son. Writing has certainly been a journey of learning for me.

      • Writing about your journey through grief after losing your son will surely be of interest to any one who is in grief. It must have been a very healing experience for you to write it.
        I know when i wrote my book Mourning Has Broken after the death of my sister it helped me in my grieving process and hopefully it might help others.
        For the cover of that book I used a photo of a stained glass window my sister had made. Perhaps for your cover you might want to include an object that reminds you of your son. Just a suggestion.
        BTW: I truly enjoy your blog. I always find inspiration from reading your posts. 🙂
        Have a relaxing weekend, Karen.

      • Thankyou for your encouragement and kind thoughts Carol, I really appreciate it. I like your idea for the front cover. I will check out your book too, “Mourning has broken” such a great title! It was difficult to write my story but I know this is what people need who feel lost and alone in grief. I am really glad I completed it. Have a wonderful weekend too. Thanks again Carol.

  8. There’s mystery, attraction, unexpected warmth even jumping at me from your cover, Carol – and yes cover design is important as it is the first thing that attracts most book-shoppers but then immediately after that it is the synopsis or brief description on back cover that “do the trick” in most cases I suspect…good cover wins in lots of cases though and choosing one is just as hard as writing the book I think…presentation, presentation, presentation – the bible of today it seems 🙂

    • Thank you so very much Ina for your comments. I’m glad that the cover projects for you mystery, attraction and warmth.
      I especially like the warmth part because that is what my main character is: warm.
      But it still is difficult to choose the “right” cover for a book; we all have our own perceptions of what we like. And, like you, I feel that it is the brief description that makes me continue. Of course, if a cover doesn’t attract a reader in the first place he/she will never get to the description. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

  9. I like that cover. it is warm, classy very eye catching, yet nicely simple. Love the extract too. Actually full of anticipation now! I know you fancied the Roman one but sometimes that can compartmentalise a book that way. This cover doesn’t do that, so I would want to know what is this book about….

    • Thanks for your input, Shey. I’m having such a difficult time deciding whether to keep this cover or to have one that blends in more with my other books in this Getting To Mr. Right series. 🙂

  10. A cover reveal! Love it. I’ve heard that a person on the cover tends to interest readers more than scenery, so probably a good thing that you never heard back regarding the flower box. I like the mystery around the face and think it works well with the journey concept. I hope it does well 🙂

  11. First, I love your excerpt, Carol, so atmospheric and warm. Your cover seems to catch that perfectly and great to add the tagline, further tempting the reader. Oh yes, I think most people look at the covers first of books but the title, tagline, reviews etc are also all so important. Good luck with its completion and let us know which way you go with the cover.

  12. Nice cover.

    No, I read the excerpt. The first thing that comes off when I get home is the cover. It gets in the way, I think. But that is me.

    Now that I think about it, I like solid colors without a cover.

    I’m not much help.

    Congratulations on getting across that finish line and choosing a very nice cover.

  13. I like this cover very much indeed. There is a visual quietness and simplicity to it, which allows the title and subtitle to be fully appreciated and the human element is clearly the main subject matter.

    • Oh, Hilary, it really torments me to hear this because I have completely changed the cover. I’ll be posting the new cover on Friday with my explanations. I just hope I’m doing the right thing.
      You’re right about the human element and I’ll be saving this cover for another novel…

  14. It looks like a great cover to my eye. And even though we’re not supposed to judge books by their covers, there’s no denying that they are usually our first impression. So we need to do our best to make sure they’re not our last. Yours holds my attention to read more. 🙂

  15. The cover will be a great and catchy one to attract readers! Carol, I would trust the published writers and readers who have positive remarks here. They are friends, as I am too.
    The character walking through this street alley, seeing courtyards and English gardens, sounds like an artist. She displays the scenery through her eyes on the way to Tina’s cottage. Of course, her thinking about painting a mural sounds lovely for the story line. 🙂

    • Thanks, Robin. I appreciate your insight, as always. You always have such kind things to say, not only on my blog but, I’ve noticed, on other people’s blogs. I am very grateful to have you in my blogging circle. 🙂

      • I am grateful to be included in your circle of friends, too. Carol, it is nice getting to know you over the time we have been connected. Hope all goes well with smooth sailing, all the way!

  16. What great advice and because I’ve gotten so attached to your characters, I can’t wait to read it and discover what happens to Felicity. I’m glad you took some time off but sure missed you! I’m so happy for you and grateful for the encouragement you have given me on my books. You are amazing! Blessings,

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