|Dirty Little Fuck Doll V7|
To propose that we don't judge a book by its cover is like suggesting that a woman should not conclude first impressions of a man based on his physique and style, nor a man on similar elements of a woman's appearance. Whilst in all of these cases, the content beneath the exterior is of primary importance, it is those first impressions that invite us to investigate the opportunity further, or to pass harmlessly by. We may not judge a book entirely by its cover, but if we aren't drawn in by it then we shall never judge it at all.
|Dirty Little Fuck Doll V4|
My own experiences have taught me that the designing of an eBook cover, is far from similar to designing one for its printed counterpart. A physical book can be pulled closer or pushed further away, it can be turned in the hands, held to the light and just generally experienced as an actual entity, something which exists. An eBook cover is altogether more complex, primarily it needs to be striking as a tiny thumbnail, it simply has to jump out of the screen and hector you into clicking it. After that, it needs to stand up well as a monochromatic image on the eInk screen of your reading device, as well as looking great full size in full colour.
Thankfully, my husband is au fait with Photoshop and graphic design, but you can still imagine the daunting dilemmas we were faced with when putting together the cover for Dirty Little Fuck Doll. I'd written the book and already decided on the title, so all we needed to do was come up with a captivating cover, which as you can see from some of the unused versions I have displayed here, was far from an easy process. The cover that I finally used was the seventh attempt, all of which had at least two or three versions, with slight differences; but just didn't hit the spot for me (yes, I am a very demanding woman, and had to get my legs out to solve the problem!).
|Dirty Little Fuck Doll V5|
So, I'm happy that we got it right for Dirty Little Fuck Doll; even Cara Sutra who hated the book paid kudos to me for the cover; but I think The Megan Affair - Part One was not the big hitter that its predecessor was. Sales for Fuck Doll are roughly three times higher than those for Megan, even though Megan has some truly adulatory reviews and is as strong a story in its own right; I put this largely down to two factors: the cover and the title. Looking back I can acknowledge that the cover needed to be sexier and the title more memorable and striking. However, what is in the past is done, and will be considered when I develop The Megan Affair into its next stage and subsequent conclusion.
But before that happens, I have a new book to publish in the next month or so and would greatly appreciate your thoughts on eBook cover design. I'm interested to know what turns you on or off when it comes to erotica covers. Do you prefer conspicuous or subtle images? Photographs or artwork? Body parts, faces, abstract imagery or typography? Are you more likely to read an erotic fiction book with a man on the cover or a woman? If a book had great reviews but a badly designed cover, would you buy it anyway? Do certain colours work better than others? How important is it to display the graphic nature of the content on the cover?
Of course, I use the term 'cover' loosely here as in reality it covers nothing, and is more like a digital sales image; something that is to be considered a bonus that you don't need to dumb down the explicit content of the book with a seemingly harmless item like a silver tie so people don't recognise what you're reading on the bus.
Traipsing around Amazon it's possible to see some appallingly designed book covers, and some that have clearly been given some professional consideration. I think the genre of erotica does lend itself to being a little more brash with cover images, but am attentive to your contribution on this matter. Whether conscious or sub-conscious, I want to know what makes you dive in, or click away.