A Tale of Two Covers

If you’ve tried your hand at indie-authoring then you know that there’s still a whole bunch of work in front of you once you’ve finished your book.

Asking close friends to read your book and to look for typos is not always fun. It’s your book, not theirs. They don’t care nearly as much about typos or grammatical errors as you do, and sometimes they just don’t even read it and come back with a “Everything looked fine to me.” [I must have read Plagued 30 times just looking for errors. If you’ve noticed one in the ebook please do email me. I will be forever grateful!]

Trying to get your head around self-promotion is also a bit of a daunting task. Some promotions can cost as little as five bucks, some sites want over a thousand. If I had a lot of money I’d probably be on vacation right now. So there’s a bit of stress involved in that process.

Another thing you have to think about is your cover art. I spent a lot of time on my initial cover.

I combed through pixabay for the right bridge shot and then grunged it up significantly so no one would know I combed through pixabay for the right bridge shot. Same with the young lady who’s staring at the bridge in the distance. I liked this cover a lot.

Until I didn’t.

I went about looking around on Amazon for other indie authors and their covers. Mine didn’t stand out at all. It looked like a lot of other covers out there and in my head I was no way going to get noticed with it.

So I began to re-think my cover strategy. I’ve always really loved the old style pulp novel covers. These were the kind of books folks got way back when in the “Five and Dime” store. They were fun in a B movie sort of way  and I haven’t really seen many of those in the indie author sections. There are some for sure, but you have to go looking for them. Anyway, when I decided to go for that neo-pulp vibe I also decided to just have fun with the colors and the fonts and the graphics.

And this is what I came up with. A cover for a new book that from a distance looks like you could have picked it up at a garage sale or maybe found it in an older relative’s attic. Dog-eared and slightly worse for wear, but in its day someone clearly enjoyed the shit out of this book.

I am really happy with it, though I did just read one of my nicer reviews on Amazon and the reader’s toughest critique was that they just didn’t like the cover at all.  Ugh I’m sorry dear reader! Please forgive me and my pulp cover. I’ll keep the Plagued books like this for now, but I promise my non-Plagued universe covers will be more contemporary.

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