All the pieces were coming together for the successful launch of my debut novel, Nameless, from Crosshair Press, the independent publisher I started with my three close friends. I survived a content edit. I’d found and filled out a creative brief and sent it to the graphic designer I chose, using information we’d researched from a demographics report we’d created.
I packaged all of that information up in a neat little compressed folder and sent it to the graphic designer. And this is what she sent back:
A beautiful redheaded girl among stars. I saw this one and thought it was fantastic. I actually ahd done the searching on istockphoto and found this girl, who happens to look exactly like I picture my main character, Xander. She looks like she’s got a story to tell.
A withered daisy on a harsh wood background with a town behind it. This cover intrigues me because it says there’s more happening than what you assume. I also happen to know that the daisy is integral to the story, but even not knowing that, I still think the flower is striking.
I had really been hoping that one of them would be ugly, honestly. No such luck. Our amazing designer did a fantastic job on both of these. None of us could really make a decision, and I was torn between them. So we decided to try a social media experiment.
Power to the people?
We had no idea how many people would offer their opinion on it. We threw both covers on Facebook for people to weigh in on, thinking that since we couldn’t make up our minds they would help us. So many people got involved. It was shocking just how many wanted us to know their opinion. It was awesome!
But not exactly helpful.
All told, they were about 50/50. We heard everything from people wanting the flower because they like to imagine what the girl looks like themselves or who wanted the girl because the flower made them remember how much they didn’t like gardening!
And this is why I’m so very glad that we did the demographic report, because it came in handy when it came down to making the final decision.
Check back next Saturday to find out something else that we needed for the cover that took a lot of work!