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A Conundrum: What book cover designs appeal to readers?

Authors published by the big five consult multiple cover artists and promotional experts to determine the graphics on the cover of their next big release. Staffs also take over decisions about an author’s story elements, blurb, taglines, and marketing strategy. We staffless Indie authors decide how to present our unique stories to readers using research, peer advice, and gut instincts.

The process is scary and exhilarating.

My design for Cézanne’s Ghost, begged for a pen/pencil drawing of my heroine. I knew I wanted to use one of Cézanne’s paintings for part of cover and I wanted my heroine’s ghostly face in the picture as well. To blend those two elements, I needed an illustrator. So I found an artist willing to draw a face for my heroine, in charcoal. Negotiated a price. Worked with my cover artist for a brilliant presentation. I loved the result, and readers did too!

I hired a different illustrator for my Woman at the Helm series, continuing to pay two artists to bring my stories to life in cover design, one who draws a scene and another, who manipulates the art into a dynamite cover.

Drumroll here, please!

I present to you the first in the Woman at the Helm Series, When Mountains Fall. Kris Lynn ( is the Cover Designer; William Silva is the Illustrator.

Story Summary:

Running a marina in isolated Waka Bay, British Columbia was her husband’s dream, not hers.

But now he’s dead and a prime suspect in a murder.

Shattered by grief, Camryn Hudson must return to the bay to exonerate her husband, protect her seven year-old son, and save a failing business.

Loner Finn Barrow’s mission seems equally impossible. He left a top job in Seattle to work in tiny Port McNeill. Fulfilling a bargain with his ailing mother, he must sail to Waka Bay every weekend.

He never imagined the danger of cruising into Camryn’s heart while withholding a secret.

When a killer roams the land and vultures demand possession of the marina, can they solve a crime and survive in Waka Bay?

STAY TUNED. When Mountains Fall should be available to readers of e-book and print by July or August! Until then, read my latest novel, released in late 2018, Fire is Nice.


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