Book Covers

Hello everyone, Paul here.  I wanted to give everyone a quick reminder.  Make sure you stop by Sher’s IWSG Post & Reading Clean Giveaway Hop with a chance to win some middle grade books written by yours truly. Be sure and visit all the other great family friendly blogs and giveaways in the list too. Then come back for the upcoming Under the Sea Hop, including our review and giveaway of C. Lee McKenzie’s Alligators Overhead.  Now, back to the business at hand.  In a previous post I discussed some marketing ideas that didn’t work the way that I had hoped.  I briefly touched on what Jeff Bennington, author of The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe, describes as the Big 3.  First among the Big 3 is the book cover.  Is a book cover important?  Does a book cover lead to sales? 
Photobucket I’d like tell you about one of my favorite activities.  I love to go to the library.  I love the sight, the smell, heck, I love everything about books.  I wander up and down the aisles looking at books, looking for something that interests me.  How do I decide which books to even look at from the thousands in the library?  Well, I thought about that, and the answer is, the cover.  In this case it is actually the binding, but when talking about a physical book that is part of the cover.  

   Hmm, what should I read?

My blog partner, Sher, was browsing the twitter world the other day and sent me a link she found to a site called wiseinkblog.  They have a great article for Indie authors.  In it, they refer to the book cover as the first-impression maker.   I love that term.  Sure, I read the synopsis and the author bio to further determine if I want to read a book, but the binding/cover is what made me pick it up in the first place.  You know what they say about first impressions; you never get another chance to make one.   I felt the need to change the covers of my books while researching this topic.  The original covers appear on the left of the post and the new covers appear on the right.


I changed the font and the background, which I think makes a much better impression and catches the eye.  I plan to keep the covers uniform with mainly the color changing, making my brand easily identifiable. (Clicking on the link will take you to Amazon for further viewing or purchase).  You can also check out the work of Pat Sauber, the great illustrator that designed my covers here:


I recently participated in an informal survey conducted by a book club  I belong to.  The question was, “What makes you pick up a book in a bookstore or download a kindle book?”  A rough calculation showed that well over fifty percent of the participants answered “the cover.”  I have to tell you that this a rather large book club with hundreds of members.  You may not be guaranteed a sale, but not picking up your book certainly guarantees a no-sale.  So, does a book cover, your first-impression maker, lead to sales?  In my opinion, yes it does, without question.

Poor cover?
I have enlisted the help of professional photographer and designer Laura Wright LaRoche to get her thoughts on the importance of a book cover.  Below are a few questions that Laura was kind enough to answer.
In your opinion, how important is a professional book cover?
Professional and/or professional looking covers are just as important as professional editing.  If you leave one of these items out, eventually you will regret it.
I’m betting that a lot of authors attempt to make a cover themselves initially.  Do you mind sharing some comments that you’ve heard in this respect?  I think that they may provide the best testimonials for a professional cover.



                                          Homegrown cover                                                                       Laura’s Cover

 The most repeated comments from authors are: “Ugh! Can you help me get rid of this ugly cover?   “I thought that I knew what I was doing,” and/or, “I thought my friend knew how to make book covers.”  “I’ve cried myself to sleep worrying about my cover.” 

While I personally like Julia Hughes homegrown cover, I feel that Laura’s is much more captivating and exciting.  It holds the promise of adventure, intrigue, and excitement.  In short, I like the homegrown cover, but I LOVE Laura’s cover.  What do you think?  Click on either cover of A Raucous Time to view or purchase on Amazon.  By the way, I have put A Raucous Time (a YA book with an Indiana Jones feel on my “to read” list).  You can learn more about Julia and her work here: .  Here are some comments from Julia (visit her on Facebook), the author of A Raucous Time (above) & An Explosive Time (not shown).  

 “Can I say that your design for both covers completely exceeded all expectations. It goes beyond value for money, frankly you captured the essence of both stories.”  “…your designs for the prequel and sequel reflect the more dynamic spirit of A Raucous Time & An Explosive Time.”


  Great cover!

During the interview Laura revealed that 90% of the authors she hears from felt that they couldn’t afford a professional cover.  I have seen Laura’s work first hand.  You can indeed get a professional cover without spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  Authors are often pleasantly surprised to find Laura’s site.  “Where have you been hiding?” is a common comment she hears, as well as, “I’m ready to transform my cover.”

Where can people view your work?
My personal site is: LLPixPhotography and Design.  Click the appropriate tab to look for covers or author products that I offer.   

         “Thanks Laura! I’m ready to transform my cover!”

I hope that you have enjoyed reading my post today and have found the information helpful.  Remember, your book cover is your first-impression maker.  It leads to sales as well as projects an image that you, the author, are a professional and everything about your book is too.  If you feel overwhelmed or thought that a professional/ professional looking cover was out of your financial reach, think again.  Visit Laura Wright LaRoche’s website and look over her work and talk to her about how to make your cover scream, “read me!”  I’d like to thank Laura for joining me today and being kind enough to share some of her insights. Thanks again, and remember to leave a comment about your thoughts or anything that you’d like to disagree with or add to help all us navigate the marketing world a little better.


Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Ooh, I love libraries too 🙂 x

  2. Another reason I love having a blog partner who’s already published books, as a resource for information I haven’t researched much yet. Thanks for doing this, Paul.

    • You’re welcome. I only wish that I had learned everything before I started:) But it’s better late than never & if I can spare people making the mistakes I have all the better!

      Paul R. Hewlett

  3. Thanks for stopping by Althea! I love libraries, and am very happy to hear that it sounds like they are adapting to the electronic age. I worried for a while as ereaders became more popular that libraries may go the way of the Dodo bird. I know many people involved with libraries and they are adapting, so that’s good news! There will still by plenty of aisles of books to wander around in:) Great to see you here & I hope to see you again.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  4. Great post. Your observations on the importance of the cover is spot on. Another note I’d add, use your cover to promote yourself when you can. e.g., I use my cover as my Twitter background. Today, a new follower told me she downloaded a sample of my book and added to her list based on first seeing my cover!

    Jade (

  5. Thanks for stopping by Jade and thanks for the kind words. I agree with you, I have my book cover as wallpaper on my twitter background as well. That’s a great example of the importance of a book cover, as your new follower proves. Thanks again for the comment, by the way, would you drop me a line as to your next stop on your blog tour? If not that’s okay, I’ll find it on Goodreads. Hope it’s going well and thanks again for stopping by:)

    Paul R. Hewlett

  6. Enjoyed reading your post. Very informative and like someone said earlier, I hope I had read your post earlier.

  7. Thank you for the comment Vasundhara! It’s good to have you here. I agree with, I wish I knew all this before I got started:) At least I might be able to help someone out who hasn’t started yet. Have a great day and I hope to see you again soon.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  8. I agree with you that a library is taking a wonderful trip into an enchanted world. I am fortunate to have as a good friend, a person who has done professional advertising for years. So, getting the right concept for my books as well as having someone able to incorporate my vision is a blessing. A different cover, well executed can attract new readers who might otherwise not even glance at your work. Great advice and information! Thank you!

  9. Thanks for the wonderful comments Linda! I would be lost without a library. It sounds like you have a great friend. I’m so happy that you are getting exactly what you want from your cover:) I agree with you wholeheartedly about the cover attracting readers. Thanks for the kind words. Have a great night.

    Paul R. Hewlett

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  11. While a cover with an attractive design catches my eye, it’s the synopsis/pitch written on the back or the flap that ultimately helps me decide whether I should read the book or not.

  12. Thanks for the comment Cynthia! I agree the synopsis is very important. Not something to do half halfheartedly that’s for sure. I really appreciate your input. I think that everyone’s input is very valuable to new and veteran authors alike. We can all use as much info as possible to improve. I look forward to hearing from you again soon:)

    Paul R. Hewlett

  13. Everybody will think about the topic, subject, etc. But, nobody will think about the book covers. Eventhough the topic and subject they choose is great the readers will get attracted by the book covers. So, book covers should be attractive first.

  14. Thanks for the comment Resume Editing Services! I agree with you. So much time and effort is put into the story, plot, etc. that sometimes the cover is an afterthought. It isn’t until later one realizes its importance. Hopefully my post will help people think about their cover and make the decision that is best for them. I hope to see you around here again:)

    Paul R. Hewlett

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