I’m not an artist or a graphic designer, and as an independently published author I don’t have a team behind me to advise on cover art, so when it came to creating a cover for the second novel in the DC Cat McKenzie series, I knew I needed some “expert” help and turned to the wonderful folk of Facebook.
I posted two alternative covers and asked my Facebook followers and the members of the Facebook group ‘Crime Fiction Addict’ which of the two they preferred and I was astounded at the response. Over 70 people took the time and trouble to give me their preference, usually accompanied with an explanation of why it was their favourite, which at times sparked quite a debate.
It’s a well-known fact that crime fiction covers with people on them tend to sell more. But, and it’s a big but, it needs to be somehow relevant to the story and it needs to clearly ‘speak’ crime. Now one of my options included the silhouetted figure of a woman walking on a beach, and in Feather and Claw, Cat does indeed walk along a beach. Several times, in fact. The problem was, the cover wouldn’t have looked too out of place on the front of a Mills and Boon romance. At best, it may have hinted at mystery and intrigue but not really murder. Perhaps that was why more people preferred the version without the figure than with.
So, who am I to go against popular opinion? The nos had it, and so, the final version is based on the one without the silhouette of the woman, with a few minor amendments following feedback that the image was too bright, and that all black text might be easier to read.
So here it is – the final cover. I hope you like it!