The birth of a book cover #AmWriting #Writerslife #BookCovers

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.


The final cover. What do you think?

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?

10 thoughts on “The birth of a book cover #AmWriting #Writerslife #BookCovers

  1. ChrysFey says:

    The diamond necklace really does add to the cover.

    I’ve only ever had covers made by my publisher’s artists, other than the cover I did for my perma-free story, which I just tried to make match my other covers. I wish I had the talent to make all of my covers from scratch for stories I’d self-publish if I could.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chuck says:

    Ahh, you gave away your secret. 🙄In my opinion, selecting a title and the book cover are the two hardest projects when publishing a book. I’m still wondering if the title, cover or both are the problems for poor sales on my last book “Guilt – My Companion” I would value your opinion. HUGS

    Liked by 2 people

    • D.E. Haggerty says:

      I’m certainly not an expert but I did take a quick look. WHen I look at the cover and excerpt, it sounds a bit of a cross between memoir and self-help (ie readers could learn from your growth) but when I look on amazon, the categories they have the book in don’t seem to fit. I quickly looked at the covers for the top 50 of those categories and they are completely different.

      I do like the cover and I think it fits with the memoir/self-help category. Is that what you’re going for?


      • Chuck says:

        I would have to agree that the book is a memoir and I wrote it to help others that are going or went through similar tragic life events. It is a LGBT ‘coming out’ story. When I put it out, I didn’t want it limited to memoir/biography and I didn’t want it limited to LGBT readers. It’s more. It is a survival story with a positive ending. Amazon selected the categories, they were not my original. I don’t object to the categories other than I think they are hurting sales. I’m at a lost where to go now.Thanks for your input.

        Liked by 1 person

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