We all know the saying is 'Don't judge a book by its cover' - and it may be a good piece of advice telling us we shouldn't judge content by appearances. But when it comes to books, we do, naturally, judge by the cover. The first thing we see, whether it's a ebook or a physical book, is the cover and the title. If they don't attract us in the first place, we won't even pick the book up/click on it to read the blurb, or have a look inside.
Different genres have different conventions for covers, which in turn tell you about what to expect in the book. For example, Christian romance tends to have a couple embracing on the front, Cowboy romance will have a cowboy on the front, definitely wearing a cowboy hat, and books focusing on Amish characters will have a woman (okay, sometimes a man) in Amish clothing in a pastoral scene, often viewed from behind.
This leads to something of a debate with Indie authors and publishers - should the cover be very distinctive and stand out, to grab attention? Or should it reflect the conventions of the genre so that it conveys what the book is likely to be about? Of course, the ideal answer is both - but that's difficult to acheive! If a publisher gets this wrong, people either don't click on the book, or they click but don't buy, neither of which helps either the reader or the publisher.
So I've been thinking about the covers for the Choices and Consequences series. They are beautiful and distinctive, but they may be giving the wrong message which could be impacting on sales. As a result, I'm trialling a new cover for Strand of Faith on Amazon. I know how the old cover performs in terms of clicks and sales so I'll be able to see whether this one does better. I've not made a decision yet - I want to see the results first.
I'd also really appreciate your views. So here are the two covers side by side - knowing what Strand of Faith is about, which would make you more likely to click on the book and buy it? (If you haven't read Strand of Faith you can still get a free copy below.)
You can vote on your preference below.