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It's was so hard choosing the 'right' book cover ... read on to find out why.
I opened it up for a vote with FOUR different covers. And this is ...
the chosen one.

In my last newsletter I asked for your opinion on a cover I'd designed. I was so in love with it, that I was sure you'd all love it too. But that wasn't the case. Some of you showed the same enthusiasm as me, but an equal amount of you didn't. That made me think that I'd better let go of my own artistic opinions and do things right this time. It was time for some market research.

I designed three more covers, all completely different from each other, but still representing aspects of my story, and posted them on Facebook for a vote. Click the image to see the post.

They all got quite a lot of love, but in the end I had to just trust the numbers:

#1 = 22 votes

#2 = 22 votes

#3 = 46 votes

#4 = 30 votes

Covers #3 and #4 were clearly more popular than #1 & #2. And after seeing everyone's comments, my love of cover #1 was rapidly declining! And my love of cover #4 was rapidly increasing!

I then wrote a blurb, got the help of some lovely authors I know (you know who you are, THANK YOU!), and got it to a publishable state. I decided to post covers #3 & #4 with the blurb, and hold another vote. Click the image to read the blurb and see the votes.

As votes were rolling in, I was becoming more and more in love with #4, even though initially I had my heart set on #3. And if you hadn't noticed, the constellation creates an image of a baby to a mother's breast. Not very clear, but it doesn't have to be. Once you realize what it is, it's a nice surprise, and links very well to the premise of the book. BUT ... when the votes started dribbling, I counted them up:

#3 = 85

#4 = 28


That was a surprise. 

I conferred with some close author friends about my dilemma. I really did love both of these for different reasons, but I had thought that #4 was going to be more commercial and attract more readers. I decided I needed votes from people who didn't know me. So I uploaded these two covers to PickFu, a great marketing analysis tool conducted in real time. The results were astounding:

#3 = 72% would pick up this book based on the cover alone.

#4 = 28% would pick up this book based on the cover alone.

You can see the results in detail here, along with voters' comments.

So ... that's it then. Cover #3 it is. And if, for some reason, it doesn't sell, then I have #4 as a back up and I can change it. That's the beauty of self-publishing, isn't it?

Right now, the manuscript is with my development editor. Let's hope my revision tasks are not too daunting!

In other news ...

From literary journal to 10 books a year – professional writer and book doctor, Roz Morris, interviews me about Vine Leaves Press.

Read about how Vine Leaves Press got started, how much time we devote to looking for new material, our literary style, how to impress us, how strength in numbers helps to promote our titles, and much more. Click the image of Roz and me below to read!

Speaking of Vine Leaves Press ...

and ...

Digital boxed sets of ALL my novels & poetry are out now.
Beautiful Ugly Words
The Bell Novel Collection

"Dysfunctional families, introspective protagonists, secrets, lies, tragedy and historical baggage ... the rich layers of story, world, and characters you care about so much you want to reach in there and hold/shake/strangle them." JJ Marsh, author of the bestselling Beatrice Stubbs series

$6,99 $11.96
Download Now
Beautiful Ugly Words
The Bell Poetry Collection

"This muscular and brutally honest collection of poems appeals to the senses. The poems are dark, some are disturbing, all are vivid." Stephen Parrish, Editor of Lascaux Review

$4,99 $8.97
Download Now
What Other People Say About My Books
Book Reviews

“There are too many gifted turns of phrase and images for this to not be regarded as an extraordinary outpouring of poetic narrative.”

Charles Bane Jr., Poet Laureate nominee

“Bell deals with a child's reverie and a drunk’s rant with equal authenticity... a writer who is going to attract a passionate fan club.”

JJ Marsh, author of the bestselling Beatrice Stubbs series

In music news ...

Here is the latest EP from Keep Shelly in Athens...
Also available in cassette...

And of course, I couldn't possibly let you go without ...

a word from Madoc:

Get out of the way, I'm watching Wheels on the Bus! Brummmmbrummm. Oh yeah, and enjoy your weekend!

Jessica Bell Design

Konopisopoulou 31, 6th Floor, Athens

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