We've all heard it many a time in the world of indie publishing: the cover art is very important and we must leave it to the professionals or at least get it right!
I love doing my own covers where possible and can spend hours enjoying finding the right photograph of my own or sourcing a suitable one elsewhere. However, I've never had such difficulty with one as I did with my latest Victorian novella: Pride and Progress.
Part of the problem was my usual impatience to get it done and dusted, both the writing and the cover. But I forgot one simple, important lesson I learned from my Crooked Cat publisher (among others): the cover should only reflect the genre and period (if relevant) and not the whole story.
So, I first tried to incorporate a steam train into a Victorian looking background, as well as a Victorian lady. Some of you were kind enough to tell me you liked it, but I was never completely comfortable with it, especially trying to add that train in such a way.
Then I decided to change all my books to my full name which meant historicals were no longer under Romy - why did I not decide that before publishing the novella?! And so I tried another version of the cover, without the train this time. But again, I instinctively knew it wasn't good enough, and I preferred the original.
Finally, I did what I should have done before now and took a small subscription to one of the best photo image sites where I have much better choice if I don't have an image of my own. And it was third time lucky, as far as I'm concerned. No train, no Victorian image that had to be incorporated into the scene. I took note of the kind of covers being published now on historical novels and I really like the girl with cameo brooch.
Rather than leave it in its original state, I played around with it until happy with the portrayal of my heroine, Emily, in the hope it gives the impression of a romantic novella about a young Victorian woman. Although the steam train plays a big part in the story, it's basically a romance and thus is aimed at that readership.
Hopefully, I'll be more patient in future until I get it right first time!
P.S. I've now put Pride and Progress on an Amazon Countdown at 99p (99c) to run from Saturday 4th November until Wednesday 8th!