Daily Archives: May 2, 2015

Judging a Book By Its Cover

One of the most important selling features in your e-book has GOT to be the cover.

I know that sounds lame.

I can hear you folks out there shouting out “What about the story?” or “What about promoting?” or “What about getting all of your Facebook buddies to line up in a gigantic daisy chain and poking sheep up each other’s butts?”

Forget about the sheep poke, hombre.

The very first thing that a prospective reader is going to see is that big old cover.

It’s like gift wrap.

You see that one shiny box under the Christmas tree wrapped in a glittering pink wrapping paper rendition of MINIONS VERSUS MUNCHKINS and you just HAVE to reach out and grab it.

All right – so who DOESN’T love Minions???

So, let me take you on a brief pictorial history of the evolution of one particular e-book.

This is the first version of the cover. This was published in hardcover by Five Star Press and the cover was illustrated by the amazingly talented Alan M. Clark.

When I first released GYPSY BLOOD in e-book format through the good folks at Crossroad Press I decided to design my own cover. My wife, Belinda Ferguson helped with the image manipulation and that is actually her hand in the picture – but I have never been truly happy with the way this cover turned out.

Gypsy Blood very small

I know that some indie authors have great luck with making their own covers but the fact is I have very little artistic talent. I believe that if I studied for about ten years and purchased all the latest technical graphic gear I would most likely come up with something that looked a little like a stick man with arthritis.

So I hired a cover artist who used a stock image and came up with THIS cover, which I used for my e-book for a couple of years.

Gypsy Blood Cover 2This was all right – and it did illustrate the opening scene of GYPSY BLOOD but it really didn’t stand out all that much – especially when you looked at it in thumbnail mode – which is where most of your e-book purchases are going to start from – some thumbnail image catching the eye of a prospective customer.

Gypsy Blood Cover 2So, let me show you my brand new GYPSY BLOOD cover.

(insert drum roll here)


Now THAT stands out.

And it looks GREAT in thumbnail.


I have just launched it in Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple I-book and other formats.

So what’s it about?

Gypsies, vampires, Blood-Gods, curses, tattoos, Tarot cards and palm reading and it is ALMOST set in Halifax. This – as one reviewer put it – is a fantasy for those folks who HATE fantasy.

Order on Kobo.

Order on Amazon.com.

Order on Amazon.co.uk

I am currently at work on the Createspace paperback version of this book. I’ll let you know when it is out there.

So – in closing – if you find yourself in a sales slump and you want to goose up the sales figures for an older release – why not change the cover?

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon