Monday, April 13, 2015

Which pic is worth 11,261 words?

When I embarked on the journey in self-publishing, I knew I had to do it on a shoestring budget.  With no guarantee of return, I couldn’t afford to invest in an editor or a cover designer.  Being stubborn as a mule, I decided to make my covers myself.  Trial and error, I should embroider that on a pillow.  Eventually I stumbled on a process that worked for me without having to struggle through the frustrating learning curve of new software.  I use Word and then convert the end product to jpg.  Having figured out “how,” now I needed to come up with “what.” 

If you research information on erotica covers, you’ll be advised to “sexy them up.”  This was hard for me.  I prefer covers that are symbolic of the story, not literal representations.  For example, the cover I wanted to use for Interview with The Mistress was a photo of a necklace with a heart charm; Mistress A. gives one to Vanessa in lieu of a collar.  I buckled and this is the cover I settled on.

I’m okay with it; it fits the story.  Here is the original cover I made for Viewer Discretion Advised (top) and the one I replaced it with. 


Did I notice any difference in sales when I updated the covers?  No   A Facebook friend and fellow author conducted a survey in February, asking readers how they choose their reading material.  Covers were far down on the list.  I don’t choose what to read based on the cover but I realize that in my case, it’s due to my poor vision.  I can’t see the thumbnail covers on my Kindle very well.  If I search “erotica,” the results all look very similar.  I know that’s not the case for most people, but still, I don’t want my books to look like everyone else’s, and I want them to be more closely tied to the story than good looking half-naked people. 

The mythological phoenix plays a part in my next story to be published, Second Chances, and it IS going on the cover.  My other option is an image of a slutty bride and I’m not going for the obvious this time.  My only problem is I can’t decide which color.  If you have an opinion, please, please comment.  I could use the advice.


I do believe the cover art on print copies is more of a factor for potential buyers.  When I still bought books in a physical bookstore, covers did catch my eye, but it was still my normal practice to gravitate toward my favorite authors first.  If there was nothing new from them, I checked out what was else was  in the genres I preferred.  So until I’m convinced otherwise, I’ll choose attractive covers that make sense to me.  There’s that mulishness again.

NEXT POST:  Launch sequence


  1. I think the orange one stands out more. Hope that helps.

  2. My vote goes for the red/yellow/orange one. The hotter color would seem more appropriate for erotica.

  3. Jordan, I recently listened to a radio show about effective advertising. It talked about a large consumer study that had been done, that found products with reds in their images significantly outsold similar products whose images had other colors ( ie non-reds). I think we authors should use the information gained in studies like this one, and apply it to our own marketing. Therefore, my vote is with your red/yellow phoenix. Very eye-catching!

    1. Thank you, Dianne, for the info. Now I can claim a method to my madness. I prefer the yellow/red one myself.