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1 hour ago, Claire Tucker said:

1. If your cover doesn't draw the attention of your target audience and have them interested enough to learn more, they will pass it by. Without a backward glance. 

 

2. Your cover is probably the one aspect of your book where you can't settle on your personal preference. Sorry. 

 

3. Everything in a cover is bound and controlled by your genre. Fonts, layout, background, foreground.... 

 

4. Having said all that, as an indie author you aren't necessarily bound by the cover (I do speak under correction here). You can try a cover out, test it, try a different one, and so on. 

 

I fully agree with @Claire Tucker and @lynnmosher . A book cover is, first and foremost, a signal to readers that says, "This is the kind of book I am!" It needs to fit in with genre expectations so that readers of that genre can look at it and instantly know that this is the sort of book they want.

 

Think of it this way. You may have a cover which is artistically pleasing. People who like art will look at it and like it. But how many of them will actually like romance? Probably only a tiny percentage. And you're after readers of romance, not lovers of art. But if you have a cover that screams romance, guess who's going to check out your book? That's right: romance readers.

 

Your cover's job is to attract readers of the genre, not people who appreciate good art. So, yes, you will have to compromise your artistic vision. It may be hard for you since not only did you write this story, but you're also an artist.

 

As everyone else has said, study the bestselling book covers in the clean and wholesome romance or Christian romance section. Not mainstream romance, because you'll just get a lot of bare-chested men or come-hither type women.

 

With Christian and clean and wholesome romance, couples are popular, as are men on their own or women on their own. The couples don't have to be together. I would avoid a white background. Have a look at this cover. It shows that this is romance, but there's also a clear indication that there's war and trouble going on. This one, also by Hanna Linder, shows a couple set over another image that evokes the setting.

 

I'm sure you'll get there!

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4 hours ago, EBraten said:

 

I fully agree with @Claire Tucker and @lynnmosher . A book cover is, first and foremost, a signal to readers that says, "This is the kind of book I am!" It needs to fit in with genre expectations so that readers of that genre can look at it and instantly know that this is the sort of book they want.

 

Think of it this way. You may have a cover which is artistically pleasing. People who like art will look at it and like it. But how many of them will actually like romance? Probably only a tiny percentage. And you're after readers of romance, not lovers of art. But if you have a cover that screams romance, guess who's going to check out your book? That's right: romance readers.

 

Your cover's job is to attract readers of the genre, not people who appreciate good art. So, yes, you will have to compromise your artistic vision. It may be hard for you since not only did you write this story, but you're also an artist.

 

As everyone else has said, study the bestselling book covers in the clean and wholesome romance or Christian romance section. Not mainstream romance, because you'll just get a lot of bare-chested men or come-hither type women.

 

With Christian and clean and wholesome romance, couples are popular, as are men on their own or women on their own. The couples don't have to be together. I would avoid a white background. Have a look at this cover. It shows that this is romance, but there's also a clear indication that there's war and trouble going on. This one, also by Hanna Linder, shows a couple set over another image that evokes the setting.

 

I'm sure you'll get there!

 

Thanks for the advice! I realized after some research that the two design elements romance covers seem to have in common are photography rather than artwork or graphics, and a portrayal of at least one, if not both, of the happy (or unhappy) couple. I couldn't work my head around a way to incorporate both elements into one cover with my particular story, so I did one with each.

 

I started another link to poll the two new covers. Have a look and cast your vote, if you like.

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6 hours ago, Claire Tucker said:

The Book Designer has monthly cover design awards, where they detail what worked and what didn't work in the cover. It's a resource I'd recommend for all authors, not just cover designers. Here's the link: https://www.thebookdesigner.com/category/cover-design/

 

Thanks for your help, Claire. Good to hear from you, especially since you're familiar with the story. Take a look at my two latest covers (in the new link) and tell me which you prefer.

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ZEE: 

    What about a couple like this, With a background of the fire of the place where Anna works. Or soldiers at a checkpoint stopping her car. Something to entice the reader to venture into the story.

On 4/2/2020 at 3:42 PM, Zee said:

I find myself less interested in photos and more drawn to graphics/designs, but I may be alone in this respect. Personally, I'd prefer a romance with a cover design more like this:

 

 

couple-4728696_1280.png

 

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