What would you say to an author who wanted to design their own cover?

Since I started writing novels, I’ve imagined designing my covers, expressing my vision. This is a tough topic because I kind of straddle the fence on the demand for a professional look for covers. I love when people dare to show only a part of their story, a glimpse that gives a feeling but doesn’t try to convey all that’s in a novel. In ways, I think it’d be cool to see what idea every author has, how they picture their stories. I’ve done artwork since I was little. I tried to paint my cover but never felt the images I created were up to the right level I long to be the one to craft those details, to find the magic of my stories and convey it. I believe I could if I worked hard enough at it.

The next best thing would be someone who’s read my books, a talented artist who could make my writing come alive visually. I’d love to see what their imagination could produce. I might have that chance this summer, and have all my Braided Dimensions covers done over. It would be a lot of work to re-publish them all. I like their current covers but have come to feel that the first book has too much of a romance look, partly the font. Romance is only a sub-theme.

What would I say to fellow authors who want to design their own covers is only you can judge if you’ll feel good about how the cover represents your writing. I sometimes collage my stories, to create the feel. It can be inspiring and empowering. It has even helped me flesh out aspects of the plot along the way.

My preference for my covers might be magical landscapes like the image at the top of this post. I’m tired of real-looking main characters staring at me from covers (even my elven-looking cover woman is too real). I believe that my sci fi cover is just right. It has some mystery around the elven man, there’s a strange Otherworld landcape. And we’re curious why the the woman is surrounded by rocks coming down. She has a dystopian look. It all fits the story, is not overly cutesy or pouty or sullen or whatever.

Tell me. I’m curious. Are you more drawn to a book that has someone on the cover, or would you buy a book that’s landscape only? Or does it matter? Do you base your decision mainly on the description, or reviews or word of mouth? I looked long and hard at covers researching for this blog post and found few with no character in the cover image.

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