The Cover Question

I’ve seen some discussion threads recently about covers. Do you judge a book by its cover? Some people say they do, some don’t. Some say they read the blurb and the reviews to make their buying decision. But then it’s also pointed out that the reviews can’t be trusted. Others say the cover doesn’t matter because if you read an ebook, the cover isn’t seen, once you’ve purchased it and start reading.

So this is all very baffling for a newly published author. I’ve been told that Starting Over is a good story and most of those who have read it, enjoyed it. But perhaps the cover isn’t attracting people to it. The story is a lesbian romance, so shouldn’t it at least have two sexy looking women making out on the cover? With all the books available why would anyone choose this one?


For me, the cover works. I took the photo that is the background image and suggested it could be used as it was taken in the place where the main part of the story is set. And then the choice of the image of the woman on the motorbike, gazing over the scene – this represents an actual scene in the book. And it was an important turning point for this character. The imagery on the cover fits with both the story and the title.

The woman on the bike is Robin Fanshawe. Of all the characters in the book, she is the one most likely to be hated, at least at the beginning of the story. After all, she cheats on her lover, Ellie Winters. And as Ellie is portrayed as such a wonderful woman, why would she do that? Could I really expect readers to buy into Ellie being a doormat for so long?

But at the start of the story, this situation is set to change fairly rapidly. All the main players end up at the farm in the first two chapters and set in motion the events that follow. One reviewer described it as having elements of a French farce about it.

Throughout the story there is humour, there is heartache – it’s a romance after all – and in the end there is happiness. What more could you ask for?

5 comments on “The Cover Question

  1. The cover of *Starting Over* struck me as being hauntingly intriguing. At this point, I cannot remember when I saw the cover and if I had I already been engaged by the story.

    I know I looked at the cover several times later and as I got to know the character more and more, the cover got sexier and sexier. Unfortunately, that speaks to an interaction that is post acquisition of the book. So, as an element to draw a new reader in, my experiences are a tad discombobulated.

    As a reviewer, …
    [one of the folks who I guess cannot be trusted? I can only say I try to be balanced, I never hesitate to express my own reactions and feelings, and I really attempt to not give away too much of the important internals … however, I only speak for myself]
    … of only E books, the cover is often not included in my review copy and often don’t get to see it until after I have completed the review, it gets edited and then I have the option to also post it in Goodreads and Amazon.

    Apologies for all my own palaver and to get back to this cover. I think it really works, but I cannot say unequivocally if it would aid and or drawn in potential purchasers of the piece.

    Being optimistic however, I do think this cover was a PLUS and an enhancement. It was an amazing romp and half! I most certainly tip my hat to the author.



  2. I appreciate the time you took to write this – very thoughtful comments. Interesting to know that you found the cover sexier as you got to know the character.
    (I’m still getting used to how the blog works – hence the delay in putting a reply to your comment in the right place.)


  3. I feel a cover draws your eye first, and the “blurb” pulls the reader into the story. As an avid reader of lesbian romance, and having wtitten many short stories (unpiblished for now) the cover does not have to have two sexy women on it to entice a reader. A good cover sets the tone or a feeling, and its the author’s words that keep the reader from putting it back on the shelf.


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