The self-publishing authors I work with understand that a professional team of editors and designers are needed to create a quality book that can stand out in a competitive marketplace.
But what happens when the cover you choose hurts instead of helps your book? Do you stick with the cover you and your designer worked so hard to create, or do you go back to the drawing board?
Brigitte Nioche, author of Getting Over Growing Older: A Humorous Memoir of Discovering the Challenges of Aging, faced that dilemma several weeks after her book was published. In celebration of the re-release of her book, she’s agreed to share her story with you:What happens when the cover you choose hurts instead of helps your book? #bookcovers #selfpub #indiepub Click To Tweet
I believe we all judge a book by its cover! Viewing a book’s cover is like getting a first impression when meeting a new person—that first impression tells us if we want to see more or not.
It is the same when we browse in a bookstore, or even when we scan the pages of Amazon. A cover or title either catches our interest, or we pass over that book.
Several weeks after its debut, I decided to change the cover of my recently published book, Getting Over Growing Older. If you saw it on Facebook, Twitter, or on my blog, you will remember that it prominently featured a picture of me.
The Reaction Wasn’t What I Expected
And the reaction I always got was “Oh, that’s a nice photo of you,” but that was not the message I wanted to convey. By putting my picture on the cover I wanted to show readers that I’m a regular person who practices what she preaches because the book is about sharing my challenges of aging, and the message is how taking a step back and seeing the world with humor and a smile can make the difference. I didn’t want to say that I know best, because I don’t. But because I am going through the ups and downs of getting older, I want to assure women in their forties, fifties, and beyond, who worry about what is ahead, that growing older is not all about going downhill. Quite the contrary.
Aging brings new opportunities to enjoy and see the world from a new perspective, offering choices we didn’t have before—like travelling, spending more time with your spouse and family, or just enjoying the freedom of being you. I could go on and on because there is much more to be grateful for when we get older, but I will let the book tell you the rest.
Research and More Research
So following my hunch that the cover was not representing the book well, it was back to the drawing board. I started by spending a lot of time at Barnes & Noble looking at covers. It helped. I saw what I didn’t like and admired covers that were telling their story well.
My next step was talking to my designer, Gary Rosenberg of The Book Couple, about changing the cover. And taking his advice, I spent two more days looking at graphic designs. We finally narrowed those down to five possibilities, and after getting the opinions of experts and friends, Gary designed the final version, which I feel conveys the story of the book well.
Thank you for giving me the change to show you the new cover, and I invite you to share your stories with me about being “older but wiser”—email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at GettingOverGrowingOlder.com.
Drawing from her experiences as a designer, model, and owner of a design studio, as well as her connection to the fashion world in New York for many years, Brigitte Nioche wrote Getting Over Growing Older to encourage women to stay positive and never to give up on life—and to realize how much responsibility lies with each of us for our looks, self-confidence, and well being. Learn more at GettingOverGrowingOlder.com, and find Brigitte on Facebook and on Twitter @BrigitteNioche.
Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.