I'm sure I made loads of mistakes with my first book, REVENGE OF THE GYPSY QUEEN. Despite that, the novel was honored with three major award nominations within the mystery genre, and it won another award. But while I loved the book, and most aspects of the new-author experience, I hated the cover. I didn't just hate looking at it myself, I dreaded the questions I always got about it from booksellers and readers. The cover art my publisher chose was of a theatrical curtain opening. The rationale explained to me was that the curtain was opening on a new author and a new series. But the curtain had nothing to do with the story. And it wasn't even that easy to identify for what it was. One bookseller asked, "What's with these bars on the cover?" Well, I guess the folds of the curtain did look something like bars. As much as anything else anyway.
That publisher did a good job overall with the layout and other production values. And they even sprang for embossed lettering. But the sight of that curtain always made me cringe. I wish I'd had the nerve to speak up. But as a new author, one thrilled to be getting published at all, I didn't think I had that right.
REVENGE OF THE GYPSY QUEEN has been republished now, by a new publisher -- and finally, with a cover I love. But there were so many years of cringing and trying to explain it. Don't make my mistake. If you hate the proposed cover, speak up. Build a case for other design options. You can be tactful, while still being assertive. There's no guarantee you'll win the battle, but you might. A cover you're proud to see your name on is worth fighting for.
Causes Kris Neri Supports
Sedona, Arizona Humane Society