Probably everybody knows this can be an issue with painting-- just can't call it done. I recognized it could happen with books as you keep seeing something you missed in an earlier editing. What I didn't know is how powerful that urge can be where it comes to creating covers for novels.
Writers in the past (or those today coming through a major publishing house) never had this issue. A publishing house decided on the cover, and I guess the more powerful authors get/got a thumbs up or down but less well known pretty well took what was offered. Not to mention they would assume the publishers knew best.
Well with indie writers, you either create your own or buy someone else's skills who you trust to know how to do graphic art and find the heart of your book. Even then it is your say so whether the cover is the right one-- although if you paid for one you hated, there might be incentive to stick with it.
From the beginning I knew I'd want to do my own covers because I am an artist and after all isn't that what a cover is all about? I had been doing digital painting for several years; so I thought I could pull it off.
Turned out the readers didn't like what they perceived as amateur paintings which I guess is anything a graphics artist didn't create. I liked my original ideas. I liked the ones that came next, but I will say that as I found pressure to create different covers, I saw more pluses to doing it.
When you create a cover, you have to think of the essence of your book. You are looking for one image to say it all. That's not easy, but it does add to your grasp of what your book is all about.
For fun I thought I'd post here from the various lifetimes of one book cover-- Hidden Pearl. As I thought more about what image really would say it all, I stayed actually fairly close to my original concept but with a more polished twist to it. I should add here that my publisher (also my husband) always critiques and gives suggestions and additions to these covers. I think everyone needs some second thoughts from outside their own head.
If someday I became a well-known, best selling author (I won't hold my breath), I could put up any covers I liked and who knows what they'd be. As a beginning, independent author, I have to stick to what I believe the reader wants. Marketing is the only way a book is ever seen by anybody who might love it-- if they found it.
The first two are my own digital paintings. Second two come out of stock photo site and my own photographs. The object in all of these was to show a very important location in the book. It's where not only the couple come together but also where the hero finally comes to peace with who he is. Nature and love are key points and in different ways, I think each image shows some of that.
I am actually happiest with the last one-- but I guess I always think that. Since this is one of my plot driven books with the romance important but not the main point of the book, it seems this kind of setting and dress suits the energy of the story. Also this couple look very much as I imagined them looking when I wrote them.
Hidden Pearl explores the question of what is really most important in life, what is it that we will die and even more importantly live for? Many are ready to tell us the answer to that-- most strongly cults. But how do we find it for ourselves?
There is also a trailer for this story which is on Rainy Day Trailers.