There is a saying within the writing community, often attributed to authors like William Faulkner and Oscar Wilde, to “kill your darlings.” Specifically it means to delete from your books those words you are most attached to as they take away from the readers’ experience.
But it can also be said of book covers.
The original cover for Ambient Light is a far cry from my original concept. In fact, the “photo” of the house used in the torn book is a variation of my concept! Too light, too sweet. Not at all indicative of the dark nature of my story.
The first cover holds elements of the story. The torn book with photos indicates Angel’s assignment to take photos of gardens for a coffee table book. The fact it’s torn implies something goes very wrong. The woman’s hands, tied up and hanging, indicate another part of the story. And the grunge background provides dark contrast and supports the theme that this is not a sweet and light read.
I admit it. I want more people to buy and read Ambient Light. There are currently 30 reviews over at Amazon.com indicating people who read the book enjoyed it. That’s why I wrote it, to be read and enjoyed. But if readers pass right over the thumbnail of the cover, not realizing this book is a fast-paced thriller, I’ve done them a disservice.
It wasn’t an easy decision. I love the original cover and San of CoverKicks.com put a lot of work into it. She did a great job and retiring that cover was hard to do.
But it needed doing.
Hopefully the new cover will grab the readers’ attention, convey the peril of my heroine, and bring them to the page where they can discover Ambient Light really is a book they’d enjoy reading.
If you read mysteries, suspense, thrillers or romantic suspense, I’d love to know what you think. If you were looking at a list of books—at your favorite online retailer, on a site promoting books, or in your email—would you click on the cover to find out more about the book?