You can consider this an addendum to my previous post on covers, where I asked for opinions and received none.
When I was close to finishing Time Management I set about designing a cover. I took a photo of some of my watches and manipulated that photo in Photoshop to come up with a gold bas relief (it would make a great embossed cover). I thought it looked really nice. I wanted the font to look like something from the 19th century, and I found a first edition of Twain’s The Innocents Abroad (published in 1867), which used a font I later identified as Goodfellow (also used in several of novelist Christopher Moore’s covers). The result was this:
This is the cover I submitted with for my Kindle Scout campaign. I still like this cover; it’s elegant. But sandwiched between 3D covers on Kindle Scout, it looked a little flat. So I hired a designer, Perry Kirkpatrick (www.perryelisabethdesign.com), who had designed the cover of my previous book, With Artistic License. I gave her some watch photos and she came up with three different designs. They were all good, but not what I was looking for. She was very patient with me and worked on an hourly basis as I asked her to try first one thing then another. It was a long process as I kept asking for more design elements, and after many iterations I was somewhat pleased with this one:
I still like it. It looks very professional and intriguing, but there was still something lacking. Part of the problem, I realized was the uppercase treatment of the title (I prefer the Title Case). But Perry suggested it might be too busy. I thought about that, and realized that sometimes simpler is better, particularly when viewing thumbnail covers on a computer screen or phone. So I went back to designing the cover myself, with the goal of finding something that worked well on a tablet or phone. I won’t bore you with the many subtle iterations of that cover. The one I finally settled on was this:
I preferred another version with the watches shrunk to a smaller size, but a poll of more than 160 potential readers preferred this cover by a margin of over almost 4 to 1. So there you have it — the evolution of a cover design. Is one better than another? I’ll leave that to you.