Fiction,  ghost story,  Memories Wait Alone,  Neil Gaiman,  novel,  Self Publishing,  The Country Place,  Willamette Writers Conference,  writing

Judge a book by its cover

 After returning from a fantastic Willamette Writers Conference last weekend, I’ve been reflecting on the Self Publishing workshop I attended. One of the topics was about the importance and impact of cover design for your books. It made me take a critical look at my current books out there…

The cover of “The County Place” (my first self published book) was designed by my husband, Nick. I love it because, due to the title, we get the setting of the book…but the bottom photo gives the reader that initial visual to build off of.

The plot of this book revolves around three sisters, as suggested by the top photo of the statue. I love this because it’s timeless, much like the different dramas the sisters experience that are recurring through many sibling relationships.

I wish I had a picture of the spine of the book, but you’ll just have to take my word on this. There is a small icon of a cat at the bottom of the spine. The family cat plays an important part in the book…it may or may not be the spirit of the sisters’ deceased mother. I guess you’d have to read the book to find out…

The only downside I can see here is this image would be unclear shrunk down to the size of a thumbnail, which is critical for online searches. Also, I should lose “A Novel by…” We’re all grown ups here, I think we get it.

This is my more recent self published book “Memories Wait Alone“. It’s a historical fiction novella about a man who is haunted by the (literal) ghosts of his past. By the time I got to the cover design, I realized I wanted something simple. I became inspired by image searches from the early 1900’s, but couldn’t find anything suitable that was copyright free.

I remembered this picture of my great-grandfather and it was PERFECT. No, the story is not about him….but that haunted look in his eyes does fit with the main character perfectly. So after a bit of Photoshop by yours truly, voila – cover is done.

I’m on the fence about “A Novella by…” I wanted to be clear this was a shorter book (about 50,000 words) whereas The Country Place was over 90,000.  Not as much bang for your buck…but probably not necessary.

And completely unrelated, other than it does show a book cover – here is my adorable daughter “reading” her new favorite book. Have I mentioned my daughter is going to change the world? She’s off to a great start, already.

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