Dear friends, in-laws, out-laws, readers, and family, it’s time again to help an author choose cover art. This cover is for book 3 in the Compass Crimes Series. In this suspense/crime series, each book features a strong female protagonist whose life is turned upside down by a crime. In South of Justice, newlywed Terri Pinehurst-Clayton struggles to uncover the truth after her husband, an FBI agent, is arrested for kidnapping. Should she believe the mounting evidence against her husband or her heart? In North of the Killing Hand, Nefi Jenkins witnesses her parents murder and is forced to move in with relatives in the U.S. she has never met to begin a new life. The series of stories are linked by the relationships of the characters whose lives intersect because of the crimes. The main characters in one story have smaller roles in other stories.
Sooooo, here we go with the back cover blurb to give you an idea about the story that the cover art needs to fit. It also has to attract readers to open the book. This is a 95-thousand-word suspense novel set in southern Florida.
Back Cover Blurb
Martina Ramos takes a six-week job as a body double so a pop star can hide from the media and fans while in rehab. When Martina learns she’ll be paid to attend VIP events in Monte Carlo, London, Paris, New York, and Miami in the company of the singer’s handsome baseball player boyfriend, it sounds too good to be true.
All these amazing, beautiful choices come from the Damonza.com the artists who crafted the covers of books 1 and 2.
Cover Art Candidates
To get the branding right, I’m supposed to maintain a similar look for books within the series. For comparison, here are the covers for books 1 and 2 in the series. On each book, a compass needle points in the direction suggested in the title. I used words to label the headings because 180 Degrees of Justice just didn’t have a great ring to it. Same with 360 Degrees of the Killing Hand. Bleech. North by Northwest is already taken by Hitchcock, but still, I figure if the series really takes off, there are 360 compass headings…
Tempted by Cover Art
I confess. I have bought books because the cover intrigued me, or amazed me. The rich, saturated blues of Julianne MacLean’s The Color of Heaven begged me to buy it. The Soul Thief by Kim Richardson has the haunting image of a woman lifted high above the background of a city. National Book Award winner The Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins reminds me of my favorite faith scripture and has a beautiful, multilayered cover with a black and white background and a colorful floral foreground framing the title. Had to have it. I picked up a teen fantasy novel by Kristin Bailey at a writer’s convention because the cover art of Legacy of the Clockwork Key moved me to find out the story behind the mechanical bird flying over London at night.
Your Opinion Matters
If you have a reason why you prefer one cover over the others, go ahead and explain. I’d love to know your reasons. Artwork elicits emotional and intellectual reactions. Cover art is a mysterious art form to me. Please have mercy and mark your choices in a comment on my website instead of on the various social media sites where my blog appears. I want to tally the votes in one place and not have to figure out duplicates.
Cover art matters. It matters even more when the author, like me, has little or no name recognition, so thank you, thank you for your help. Thank you for showing me which cover you like and why you like it. I’ll reveal the winner when the publication date is set for West of Famous. If you want to add your email to my newsletter list, well, then you’ll know when the next book comes out. Click on this link to receive the newsletter and a little something extra: Get the Newsletter.
I think to fit in with the other two books, I vote for the third one.
Definitely number four, but use the distinction of the compass in number one and brighten / lighten the red a little closer to the red in South of Justice. The boat railing and water wake drew my eye and balances the title well. The figure stands out and is different from the cloaked women in your first two book covers but maintains the branding.
Numero 3 for me
I was drawn to number three.
My two cents:
#1 I like. It’s flashy and mysterious
#2 I like but the figure looks like she is missing half a leg
#3 I like a lot. Think the sweater should not be white, should be grey or black
#4 I like but the figure looks like an alien not a woman
I like cover art candidate #4 the best. It has the same image of a road in front the person, like Book #1 and #2. But I am not crazy about the silhouette in the #4 picture. I think a women more like cover art candidate #1 would be better. It would also tie in better to the other two covers, where the women’s clothes are seen and not an illusion.
I’d go with #1 as most in keeping with your story premise. It also feels the most dynamic to me. Good luck!
Since it is set in Florida, I’ll have to go with Cover #2. She is running – so that suggests action-packed, suspense. The dock is very ‘Floridian’. I like #3 a lot, but it is peaceful, pensive.
But, you are going for a thrilling ride, so have the heroine running. Cover #2 wins for me. 🙂
Also, I took a dialog class from you years ago, Joni, and value what I learned from you! I’m still writing, and doing freelancing to finance the fiction, mostly for trade magazines, and I’m also a Ghost for Gotham Ghostwriters. I love the compass point theme for your series! Great marketing!
Debbie, I believe you were in a 2012 class through LRWA. Glad to hear the freelancing is working out. Ghosting too? Wowza! Congratulations!
Wowza yourself, for remembering what organization held the class. I didn’t remember! Yes, I’m busy writing, and the freelancing is mostly at the marketing stage, although I have three steady clients. I just started ghosting, but looking forward to that first project I land. Gotham Ghostwriters matches their clients with prospective ghosts, but I feel lucky to have gotten on their roster.
Debbie, I have a friend who funds her indie publications by ghosting. Smart way to work.