Judging a Book by Its Cover

What is your opinion of this cover for a cozy mystery? Does it catch your eye? Would you be tempted to pick up the book and glance inside? Or if you’re on Amazon, would you click on it and read the description?

I hope you’re saying you love the cover and would absolutely be drawn to further explore the book. And, the biggie: you’d buy it! Because–drum roll–this will be the cover of my third book in the Narrow Creek series, to be released this fall.

Now, this cover is quite a departure from the first two in the series. Perhaps you already know this because you own a copy of Ms. Dee Ann Meets Murder and/or Life and Death in Narrow Creek (bless you if you do). These first two books in the series “match” each other but are very different in style from the cover of this third book.

Why, you may ask, will this third cover be so different? Why is it not similar in format to the other two in the series?

It turns out that contrary to the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” readers do just that. And I’ve been told that the covers of my first two books don’t say “cozy mystery.”

See, there’s a certain style to this type of book. Look at the covers of these popular cozy mysteries.

They’re bright, playful, not fussy. They have a “look” that says to the reader: Behind this cover is a cozy mystery, a gentle story where a minor or not particularly likeable character is knocked off without undue blood or gore and an amateur sleuth finds out “who dun it.” There will be no foul language or steamy sex scenes, only wholesome good fun with a happy ending.

It’s marketing, folks, and it’s taken me a while to figure it out. I’m trying to reach a broad audience of cozy readers, people who don’t know me from any of the other hundreds of cozy mystery writers. It’s brutal out there in the marketplace, especially on Amazon.

What will the revised covers of Ms. Dee Ann Meets Murder and Life and Death in Narrow Creek look like? I don’t exactly know yet. I’m in the first stage of changing the cover of the first book, and as with all things in publishing, this will take time. But when finished, both book covers will align with the design of the new book’s cover.

I plan to release the new covers at the same time I release the third book, which I hope will be this fall. I’m targeting October, since the action of this third book begins with a trip to a pumpkin patch in October. Of course, I’ll be sure to let everyone know the exact date Money and Murder in Narrow Creek hits the market!

I’m thinking of the books with new covers as second editions (although other than the cover, nothing else will be changed). So if you happen to own a book with the original cover, then you’ll have yourself a first edition! One day when I’m “discovered,” that may be a collector’s item.

Hmm, like my first American editions of Harry Potter books? Hey, we can all dream…

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5 Responses to Judging a Book by Its Cover

  1. DAVID & JULIE LEE says:

    Love the cover!  I will be buying it and look forward to it.  See you


  2. Ginger Haden says:

    Look forward to reading new book. Keep posted when released


  3. Melissa Barker says:

    Loved the first two books! Looking forward to the third! I like the cover!


  4. patsypridgen says:

    Thanks, Ginger. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when the book comes out. I look forward to seeing you again at garden club.


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