Blog 13: Cover nightmares

Ah, book covers. They can be a total joy or an absolute horror, and they can make or break your feelings about your book. On the whole, I’ve been happy with the covers my publishers have provided about, well, maybe 80% of the time. Which I suppose is quite good really. Not that I object when I dislike a cover as I don’t have the confidence to say anything. Also, I’m terrified that if I say I don’t like it, then I’ll be classed as a “difficult author” and they won’t bother publishing me again, as on the whole I certainly don’t sell enough books for me to be an author a publisher can’t afford to lose.

Anyway, I always feel I’m hugely lucky to have any commercially published books at all out there really, and I think of the covers – if I don’t like them – as a necessary evil. So, in cover terms, it’s a joy to be self-published and choose my own covers for my Anne Brooke Books line. For those, I tend to use Book Graphics which, while their offerings tend to be mixed, do always have enough gems to suit my style and story. I was particularly pleased with the covers they provided for the ebook versions of the Gathandrian Trilogy books, which were far better than anything produced when the books were commercially published (ah, those heady, far-off and very unsuccessful days!). I’m also equally pleased with the cover for The Singing Road and Other Stories, my latest offering – which is another Book Graphics winner.

Mind you, I’ve been very brave recently and put my objections in to the publisher who will be producing my children’s book, The Origami Nun, in September (this year, I assume …). I thought the draft cover – which arrived in my email last night – was too babyish and made a mess of the origami nun picture herself. Still, the font was nice! Which I suppose is something. I was only encouraged to say anything at all because the publisher themselves didn’t like it and wanted to know what I thought – if they’d not said that, then I would have kept quiet as usual, hey ho. Still, my extra worry now is that the next draft I see will be even worse and I should have stuck to the first one and kept my big mouth shut! That’ll teach me, anyway … We will have to see.

In other earth-shattering news (fame! fortune! not!), The Singing Road and Other Stories has now sold a grand total of 3 copies (one of them to the lovely Claire – thank you, my dear) and one of them to a stranger. Gosh and heavens above, my book in the hand of strangers – whatever next?! Not only that but The Apple Picker’s Daughter has actually sold 1 copy – which I can’t understand at all as nobody ever buys it and the only rating I’ve ever had was a terribly sad one star on Goodreads. Really, I felt sorry for the reader in that case as it had obviously seriously upset them. And – hold your horses and put out the bunting – Hallsfoot’s Battle (Gathandria *2) has sold 4 copies. Four!!!! I’ve never sold more than 3 copies of anything in 1 month on Amazon, so perhaps some unfortunate buyer has picked up the wrong book by mistake, Gawd bless ’em. It is the only explanation I can think of.

Meanwhile, free book The Prayer Seeker has now reached the equally dizzy heights of 429 downloads. Will it reach 500 in this quiet August month? One can only hope, eh.

Writerly confidence rating: 4

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