Put To Shame

‘If the eyes are the window to the soul then a cover should be the window to a book.’

William Webster, 2013

When selling a house, ‘kerb appeal’ is crucial. You might have the most amazing home but if your property looks ugly, untidy or uncared for from outside then it’s going to be a battle getting potential buyers to take a closer look.

It’s the same with books. A bad cover suggests lack of care or pride in your work.

Which is why Cristian Mihai’s recent post on the same subject left me feeling rather embarrassed.

That’s because out of the books I’ve published to date, the one of which I feel most proud is The Tale Of Findo Gask. The novel won me a national UK prize for new writers in 2005 and has had some very good reviews (as well as a few just okay ones) since being released on Kindle.

So, that begs the question, why did I give it such a lousy cover?

Cover for the original print version

Cover for the original print version

When the book originally came out in print, the publishing company and I worked with a designer to produce the cover. Unfortunately, the publishers went bust and when I decided to republish independently on Kindle in December 2011, I didn’t have a digital copy of the original cover or any way of getting one.

At the time, the whole world of indie publishing was new to me and I was so excited about making Findo re-available to readers that I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on the cover but quickly put something together using Photoshop.

I wouldn’t claim I that I ever felt the new cover was perfect but I did think it was ‘okay’ and would ‘do for now’.

First cover for Kindle edition

First cover for Kindle edition

Soon after, I moved on to putting together digital versions of a collection of short stories, two other novels under my own name and, more recently, an adventure novel under a pen name.

Somewhere along the way, Findo’s temporary cover kind of got forgotten.

Then, a few days ago, I read Cristian’s post in which he commented: ‘I’ve seen some ugly book covers out there. Really, really ugly, and I’ve been trying to figure out why on Earth someone would do such a thing.’

His words made me think about my cover for Findo. I cringed inside and realised I was doing my book a huge disservice.

Findo front cover#2So, to cut a long story short, the book now has a new cover.

I’m still not sure it’s perfect but hopefully it’s a big improvement. The cover has an element of drama, it gives a clue as to what the book’s about – and stylistically it matches the cover for my novel The Vault.

It will be interesting to see what effect the new cover has. I haven’t done very much promotion for it but Findo will be free to download for five days from tomorrow.

So, thank you, Cristian for giving me a much needed kick up the backside.

And if the new cover tempts you then please click on the links and download a copy – but wait until tomorrow (Monday) if you want it for free:

Findo on Amazon.com

Findo on Amazon.co.uk

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