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Mar 24, 2014

Are Book Covers All That Important? by Carmen Desousa @Author_Carmen

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  5:15 AM

I fell in love at first site with Carmen's book covers for the Creatus series so of course I had to get her thoughts on the topic. I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did.

NOTE! Her book She Belongs To Me is FREE for download and will remain free through out the Hop

Are Book Covers All That Important?

Image of Carmen DeSousaMy answer to this question might surprise you… Nowadays, if you’re an Indie author, I don’t think they are that important.

Wait! Wait! Don’t leave! Hear me out.

Yes, it’s important that you have a professional cover, that it not look as though you cut out images from a magazine and pasted them on a page with ‘comic sans’ font.

But let’s face it…if you’re here, you are a reader who probably buys the majority of your books online or an Indie author who publishes your books online. The days of looking beautiful on the front table at Barnes & Noble are nonexistent for most of us, so that’s not what’s going to sell your book.

Look at the top twenty bestsellers on Amazon. What do you see? Yes, there are a few newbies, but the majority of authors, who hold those precious spots for more than a week or so at a time, aren’t there because of their book covers. They’re there because of ‘branding’. And branding, my friends, is more important than a half-naked hunky guy that you put on the cover. In fact, if you look at the top twenty bestsellers, there isn’t one half-naked couple on the front. Heck, even 50SOG didn’t do it. Did you notice what they did, though? Did you know that book two was a sequel, book three…? When J.D Robb, Dan Brown, and Nicholas Sparks publish a new novel, you know immediately it’s them. Even if you’ve never read one of their books, if you are in this market, you recognize their covers: BRANDING!

When I published my first five novels, I loved the covers. The designs I’d thought up were perfect for each novel, and my designer was able to pull the images right out of my head. But, I screwed up. No one knew the books were connected, no one knew the genre simply by looking at them. Since I redesigned my covers, my sales have quadrupled. No, the designs aren’t prettier; in fact, they’re rather simple. But now when someone has read book one in the Southern Suspense Series, they immediately recognize books two through five when Amazon emails them a special.


But, back to the beautiful ones… Yes, I do love beautiful covers that paint a story without the reader even looking at the blurb. So when I was ready to design the covers for my Creatus Series, I did both. Both covers are scenes from the books, and I had my son design the Creatus seal and title, so I could use it for all my promotional needs. Now, I’m branded, and I meet lovely readers like Wendy who fell in love with my cover.

So, my advice… Yes, a beautiful cover is like icing on a cake, but make sure the reader knows who created that delicious masterpiece.

Thank you for reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments, and I promise you I will answer.  If you’re curious about what I write, please visit my author page, where you can read all about my novels and short stories.  And hey, I’ll even give you a free book just for stopping by.

As always, happy reading, friends. 

A passionate romantic-suspense of love, betrayal, and obsession, She Belongs to Me will have you falling in love and wondering if you can trust anyone right up to the last page.
Charlotte police officer Jordan Monroe is used to being in control. Ever since his father died, he has provided for his mother and sisters and even hired his two brothers-in-law to help run his successful construction company. On a chance business trip, however, he meets the one person who throws his life into a whirlwind--Jaynee.
Jaynee has lived a tragic life and has sworn off all men. That is until a rugged southern gentleman lands in her seating area, refusing to take no for an answer. From the moment they meet, Jordan sweeps her off her feet, assuring her that happiness exists. But can she really escape her past?

Five years later, Jordan finds Jaynee on their back porch with a gunshot wound to the head. While Jaynee lies in a coma, Jordan has to go back to their beginning and figure out what went wrong. Did he push his wife to the edge, or has her past come back to haunt them?

She Belongs to Me is book one of The Southern Suspense Series. From there, all the stories have a slight connection to each other, so you can continue the journey and meet different protagonists with different issues and tragedies to overcome. Every story has a mystery, there's always a gentle message, and above all, there's always romance and suspense.

Image of Carmen DeSousa

A romantic-suspense writer, my novels overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a great story be without a tragic event setting the stage? My sensual and gripping mysteries have earned bestseller status on three continents because of their ability to make readers love, laugh, cry, gasp, and hope. 

If it isn’t available free in your area, use…

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About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


  1. Thank you so much for having me here, Wendy. I hope your friends enjoy my musing and take advantage of my free book. Have a wonderful day! :)

  2. Great post, Carmen, with really good advice.

  3. Thank you, Mary! And than you for staying with me...not just reading the first line and thinking that I didn't believe book covers were important. LOL! Have a great day, friend! :)

  4. Wow! Your so right Carmen, that's why all your books are the same in a series. I see what you mean. I do love a great cover, it pulls me in. Your one smart cookie friend. Great post, made me think.

  5. LOL! You make me blush, Kim! Thank you! Well, it took me a while to realize this. Actually, it was when one of my friends in an author group read book two or three in my Southern Suspense Series and said... 'I didn't realized they were connected... I love meeting with previous characters...' I thought.... 'Dang, I failed, when my own friends don't know.' So, I went on my hands and knees and pleaded with my publisher to make five new covers. To my total shock, she agreed to have new covers made. Now...don't get me wrong... I LOVED my first covers. You saw them. They were beautiful. In fact, I dare say they were prettier than my new covers, but they didn't 'brand' me, and they didn't link. Now...I have a theme... The images all represent the heroines in my stories...and I think a woman on the cover shows that the story has romantic elements, whereas the blue shows the suspense... At least that was the idea. And now...if Amazon emails one of my readers of 'She Belongs to Me' the other books in the series, hopefully, they stand out to them, and they say... 'Oooohhh...Carmen has a new book.' LOL! I have lots of conversations in my head, don't I? Hehehe...I'm a writer. :)

  6. Thank you for this post. It took me quite a while to figure out just how important book covers are. If a book cover doesn't grab a reader by the throat and say, "Look at me!" then the author hasn't done her best. lol

  7. Carmen, you nailed it. Readers want to identify an author's book easily and the covers' tones, images, and fonts all give them that visual connection - the brand. Great post!

  8. Thank you, Dianne. It took me a while to get that.... And you know...I meant to add it in the post along with the other authors I mentioned, but forgot. I honestly think that 'branding' was the reason 'Twilight' was so popular. The original covers--which were so much better than the ones now with the actors' images--were plain, but intriguing. And you knew book two, three, and four were sequels at first glance. I enjoyed the series...I really did. But, if I'm being honest, if I didn't know what they were about through their mass branding and marketing techniques, I would have never gotten through the first chapter. Same with 'The Hunger Games'. I hated the first chapters in both books...but...because I knew what was coming, I hung in there, and then read the rest of the series within days. Yep, I think 'branding' wins hands down. :)

  9. It was really interesting to suddenly realise as I read Carmen's post that as an eBook buyer I really am less influenced by the cover than I am by the blurb or knowing it's a follow up to something I've read.. Whereas with print I have been known to buy the book simply because of the cover if I love the book and writer...i have more than one of most of Neil Gaiman's books and come to think of it, i have four versions of The Grave Yard Book simply because the illustrators were different. Aside from having it in eBook and audio. That was a really brilliant post Carmen.

  10. Ahhh...thank you, Wendy. I'm just riding on the backs of the giants, who already knew this; it just took me a while to figure it out. Now, of course, my goal is to do both! Grab your attention with my cover, but then keep your attention by flashing similar covers at you, hoping they scream, 'Buy me too!' LOL!

    I just sent off my design request for the prequel in the Creatus Series. If she pulls the image out of my head--as she's been known to do--it'll be my best ever. I HOPE! I always have grandiose ideas. Thankfully, Viola Estrella--who's made most of my covers--is great at reading my mind. My 16-y-o son also has a hand in my covers. He created the Creatus Seal and Title, and he also made 'The Pit Stop' and 'The Depot' covers. :)

  11. I hear a lot of talk about branding, but this example really showed it to me. Thanks for the great insight, Carmen.
    Thanks for introducing us to Carmen's work, Wendy.

  12. Thank you, Kate! I'm glad you enjoyed. took me a while too. I kept hearing it, but I didn't quite 'get' it. Of course, I learn new things every day. That's why I love to connect with other authors and readers. Staying in my writing cave teaches me nothing! I love to hear what readers think. Oh...and I'm going to break my rule and have the hero on the cover for my next release... BUT...I hope it intrigues. I still want readers to be able to make up their own minds about what the hero looks like. I have male readers, but men are visual, so I don't mind having the heroine on the cover. ;) Cheers!


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