Book Covers Count!

One of the milestones for a debut author is the arrival of the book’s cover.

Last week I experienced that exciting event!

While a cover can undergo numerous changes before it’s considered final, there’s nothing quite like the first glimpse. More than any step in the process so far, seeing what my publisher has planned for my book’s front cover has made things seem “real.”

My publisher gave me a green light to share the cover comp they’d sent, so I posted a sneak peek for those who’ve “liked” my Facebook page: Keli Gwyn Readers Group.

I knew having a cover would make a difference, but I didn’t know just how big. No sooner had I shared the link than email notifications of comments left on the page poured in.

The following report from Facebook is proof that nothing generates as much interest as a cover, which is why publishers put so much effort into making them the best they can be.

I have a number of online friends. Sure, some of my 1,800+ Facebook “friends” could more accurately be called acquaintances, but we’ve formed a passing connection. Because of that I wasn’t too surprised when a smattering of my friends liked my page.

An interesting phenomenon took place when I posted the news about my cover, though. The number of likes jumped, as did the number of visits and comments. That didn’t surprise me. What did was the fact that some of the people who added my page to their list of likes aren’t my Facebook friends.

My reach is moving beyond my immediate circle of influence, which is amazing to me. After all, my book won’t hit the shelves for another seven months.

What has enlarged my reach?

I believe the best answer is that I have a cover. It’s attracting interest and drawing friends old and new who are eager to take a look, proving that covers count. 🙂

• • •

How much does a cover affect your book-buying decisions?

What do you think are the most important elements of a cover?


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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19 Responses to Book Covers Count!

  1. Gillian says:

    Love it so much! Covers mean a lot to me; I know the story is everything, but I do love the visuals. I think that’s why I have a special place in my heart for cozy mysteries, they have the best covers by far. Almost like a visual puzzle to find everything hidden. 🙂


  2. Congrats, Keli! And a beautiful cover, it is!

    I think covers play a huge role in my book-buying. I have been known to buy a book simply because the cover is so amazing. Also, the back cover copy. Those are both huge.

  3. Yay, congrats! I think covers are huge. They’re what gets my attention. If it looks good, pretty, different, etc, I’ll read the title or blurb of the book. So excited for you!

  4. Wendy says:

    I pay attention to covers. They influence me. That’s awesome about the # leap. Always fun to watch. Something like that went nutty w/ my blog #s yesterday and I checked Twitter. Yep, I’d been retweeted a bunch. Isn’t that funny…this crazy market?! Congratulations about the cover! So very excited for you!
    ~ Wendy

  5. Covers influence me big time! It’s what first draws me in or makes me turn my nose up, but I still flip it over to read what it’s about and that is what seals my decision to read or not to read!


  6. Covers definitely matter to me as well (though I was going to buy your book regardless of whether you had a good cover or not–glad to see you have an amazing one!). If a cover looks unprofessional, then it seems to me that the author or story itself might seem unprofessional. While you can’t always tell a book by its cover (ha), it does often represent the level of attention I give it.

  7. Ok. I definitely need to add my newest cover to my Facebook page. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Congratulations, Keli! Love your new cover!

    Covers are our first impressions. They make us pick the book up and then want to read more.

  9. I’m a sucker for a good cover. Color, people with faces instead of the headless heroines or chin heroes that seem to be popular today, and a sense of time and setting. If it’s historical, I want a really smashing period dress or prop that sets the tone of the story.

    Love your new cover and I can’t WAIT to hold a copy in my hot little hands!

  10. Keli, congrats on the new friends and your cover. We have all heard “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but that is not what we do. We take one look and begin to formulate … Oh, the man is half naked and the girl is wearing a peasant blouse … ROMANCE … the background is black and there is a splash of red … MYSTERY … there is a tangle of tortured images in dark meanacing colors or a spiral of strange graphics with a shock of a demon like face … HORROR ! We can tell if the period romance is Regency or category, we can certainly tell if those cartoon-stick women in pinks are chick-lit and any over-use of pastels when the title says “mystery” and I know it’s a “cozy” … black and white photography or color chromes? Sure we know. But the truth is … we can always tell something by the cover … turn it around and read the back … one more step to the first page …

    You might not judge a book by its cover, but you certainly can “see” if you want to take that next step 🙂

  11. Keli, that’s so exciting!! Congrats!!! I’m sure seeing that book cover is a great visual cue that inspires you to keep writing and gets you pumped for the book launch. I’m going to check out your FB page now!

  12. Loree Huebner says:

    I saw your cover…just beautiful! Congrats to you! You must feel so proud, and humbled by it all.

  13. Oh goodness, how did I miss this fabulous cover news in Facebook?! I’m off to check it out pronto! 🙂

  14. Susan Mason says:

    Congrats again, Keli! Covers are so important. They draw me in like crazy!

    Now for the big question – does the woman on the cover look like the heroine you had pictured in your imagination??


    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Sue, I think it would be tough for a publisher to find a model who matches the image an author has in mind, but I know Barbour tried hard to come up with a woman who is as much like my heroine as possible. Her determined stance is so much like Elenora!

  15. Donna Pyle says:

    Not having reached the cover stage yet, does the author have any input to the design idea? Or do the publishers read the story, brainstorm, and come up with what they believe is best? I realize that’s a very basic questions, but curiousity has the better of me. I’m so excited for you, Keli!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Donna, a traditional publishing company like Barbour has final say on the cover. Some houses will invite their authors to give input, but title and cover are pretty much the publisher’s domain. Since they have the marketing expertise, that makes sense. They want to see our books succeed as much as we do, so they do their utmost to come up with the best title and cover possible given time and budget restraints.

  16. it’s beautiful, keli! congrats! i am sad i didn’t get to get in on the news when it happened, but alas, life has been nothing short of hectic! anyway…i love it. 🙂

    i really like covers that set a mood. a smirk on a face for women’s fiction or dark and mysterious for thrillers. just something that draws me in.

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