Open Book Blog Hop – Judge a Book by its Cover

Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop!

Today’s topic is: Do you create your own covers? Work with a cover artist to design them? Hand your ideas over to a professional and let them come up with a design? Buy a pre-made cover?

And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

I am not gifted when it comes to designing covers. Creating the worlds, characters and events is something that comes quite easily, but not cover design. When I was working on Our Boy Jack, I decided to contact a cover designer to get something made. I wondered if it would help spur me on and keep the motivation running high. Sadly it didn’t pan out that way. I was somewhat naive and didn’t think about the ramifications of picking the cheapest option.

I was not happy with this. Maybe I am overly critical, but it really knocked my confidence. The face seemed weird and monster-like. The fonts did nothing for me or the book. The shadowy figure was intended to be a Victorian man walking down a cobbled street, top hat and cape, the whole nine yards. Instead, it looks more like a woman with a handbag. And the real scene killers for me – there seem to be electrical cables running above the alley and modern cars at the far end. When mentioned to the designer, they literally used the eraser tool leaving behind a horrible smudge.

When it came time for me to prepare Chasing Shadows for publication, I had some nerves when it came to design and formatting. I had come to know Jen from Fuzzy Flamingo Design and felt comfortable enough to proceed. She did the editing, formatting, typesetting and cover design for the book. During the copy edit stage, Jen was struck with inspiration leading to an initial pair of cover designs. With a minimum of reworking, we arrived at the final design which I couldn’t be happier with.

As you can see, options 1 and 2 were already quite similar. 2 edged it for me because I like the goggles style of the two blue round sections. A slight tweak to darken the bacjground and change the image in the left lens and it was perfect! It taught me that cheap is by no means best. I’ll definitely be back working with Jen when book two is ready!

7 thoughts on “Open Book Blog Hop – Judge a Book by its Cover

      1. Exactly, it looks like a monster horror of some sort. With Chasing Shadows, my designer just got it. She fully understood the book, and the genre, and in my view, nailed it with the cover.


    1. I became really disheartend when the designer didn’t really care. Responses were like “you can’t see the cars that easily, so why worry?” then all contact stopped. I learned my lesson with that one.

      Liked by 1 person

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