(1-7-11 Update: Just added the 3rd Gaga picture in a nice blue cast.)
Gratitude times affinity to everyone who lent their 2 cents here and on FaceBook.
I swear choosing a cover is more stressful than writing that actual book. I fear the wrong choice could kill my career as an indie author before it ever gets started.
Stats thus far:
In favor of Tombstone: 12
In favor of Gaga: 10
I had all but decided on Gaga, the girl with rose, because her votes came from published authors, book reviewers, designers and/or artists – not to mention readers of this particular genre: My Target Audience.
Then I received a follow-up email from a friend who has worked in publishing all his life, and he brought up a couple key points, which I’ll share for writers out there going this route:
1) It's very important to look at the covers in situ... how they'll look when presented to readers. We had a full newsstand built in our magazine office just to put our potential cover mockups up there to see how they popped against the competition.
2) Do people see small covers on a b&w kindle screen? If so, then definitely the contrast of the dark sky tombstone cover works 100% better. That will most likely work better small even if it's in color. The Gaga cover probably works better only when people can see the image large enough to see her eyes and facial expression...
I shrunk the mockups and tossed them in with some covers from Amazon’s Top 10 bestsellers in Children’s eBooks to get a better idea of how they’ll appear to browsers.
Suggestions? I could ask Naj to add color to Tombstone or enlarge Gaga girl so she takes up more of the cover.