I’ll give the ending first. All of my covers have turned out great. I consider my covers as one of my main tools for selling my books. My publishers hire people to do my covers, mostly with my input, and sometimes I get to approve the finished product—sometimes not.
There are funny stories behind my two of my covers. They might amuse you, so I’ll put them out there.
First, my first Imogene Duckworthy mystery, CHOKE. It was not the first novel I wrote, but it was the first one I got published. I was in such a tizzy about actually getting a novel published, that I fluffed a bit. I said I needed an orange truck on the cover. I thought that would be colorful and, I was thinking, it’s a big part of the plot. It would tie in to the story without giving anything away.
Keep in mind that, while the first one was getting situated to come out, I was writing the second one, SMOKE. Embarrassing discovery: there is an orange truck in the second novel. There is none in the first one. It’s easy to be confusing when you’re finalizing publication of one novel while you’re writing another one.
It wasn’t until the dang thing came out that I realized what I’d done. One of my friends, I think it was Janet Bolin, said maybe it could be a device—using an element of one book on the cover of the last one, staying one book ahead.
CHOKE eventually was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, so everything turned out fine!
I MUST give credit to Karen Phillips for the covers of all three of the Imogene Duckworthy mysteries. I can’t recommend her highly enough if you’re self-publishing.
My second story also has a happy ending, but there was panic for a short time. I had finished the third Fat Cat book, FAT CAT TAKES THE CAKE, for Berkley Prime Crime, handed it in, and was busy sketching out plots for the next three books. (That’s a sad story that’s been told elsewhere) http://janetcantrell.blogspot.com/2016/09/some-news-about-fat-cat.html
My agent sent me a preliminary copy of the cover. I was shocked at the title AND the cover. I asked her if it matters that there is no cake in the book. She thought it would be okay, but I didn’t. I quickly rewrote some passages and was, fortunately, able to make cake a major part of the plot by changing just a few things. I like all three of the Fat Cat covers, but I think this one gets the most notice.
Do you have any interesting cover stories? No, not that kind, just stories about your covers? (You’re safe with me, I’ll never blow your cover.)