It’s important to get a book cover just right – or as close to just right as possible. A cover can tell a reader in which genre the book falls. It can hint at what a book is about. It can pique a reader’s interest into buying the book. And, probably most importantly, it can totally turn off a reader or potential buyer. With this in mind, I struggle to make each book cover just right.
I’ve made some doozies of mistakes with covers in the past. Instead of listening to expert advice, I thought I knew better. Spoiler alert: I did not. So, when it came to developing a cover idea (I don’t actually design the cover itself) for Finders, Not Keepers, instead of just thinking of something that ‘fit’ with the story, I also took some time to research book covers and what would work best with the novel.
Although Finders, Not Keepers can be categorized as a cozy mystery, I didn’t want the cover to scream COZY MYSTERY as I didn’t want to limit the potential audience of the novel. Although Finders, Not Keepers also has some suspense in it, I decided not to go with suspenseful looking cover as this would be misleading to readers and the last thing I want to do is mislead potential readers with a book cover. Can you say one-star review?
Having decided on giving Finders, Not Keepers a cover typical for mystery genres, I started out by researching mystery novels on Amazon. Once I had a good idea of how those looked, I went on to spend days and days scrolling through possible pictures. I really struggled with finding something that fit with the novel and was mysterious as well. At some point, I had a list of more than twenty search items going. Everything from ‘mystery’ to ‘female friends’ to ‘diamond necklace’. I was all over the place!
That’s when I remembered the original title of the novel – The Diamond No One Wanted. I decided not to use this title as it hinted too much at cozy mystery. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t use the original title idea to come up with an idea for a cover! To make the title mysterious, I decided to show a woman hiding a diamond.
And that’s how the cover for Finders, Not Keepers was born. I’m hoping the title evokes questions like: Why is she hiding the diamond? Where did the diamond come from? And what does a diamond have to do with a murder?