The cover, in my humble opinion, is one of the most important parts of marketing a book. I cannot tell you how many books I have on my shelf (read and unread) that I bought based on the front cover and back cover copy. Sometimes they delivered, sometimes they didn’t–but that didn’t matter so much because they already had my money.
If you look at a lot of the African-American titles these days, my cover design is a far cry from what you’d see on other books with similar subject matter. The fact is I didn’t want photos of any strange, half-naked women on my cover. I wanted something that would stand apart from other books on the shelf (if it gets picked up by book stores). And I wanted something a little more mainstream because so many of the reviewers of my books in the early stages who loved it have come from all walks of life, from young women to old women, from young men to old men, whites, blacks, hispanic, British, Indian, and on down the line. I wanted to make sure that the cover was appealing and funny across all lines and boundaries. My cover illustrator, Dee D’amico, really helped me nail it. This is a far cry from the stick people drawing that I gave her a few weeks ago. I think I now have a cover that will, at a minimum, draw readers to pick up the book and look at the back cover copy. I think the back cover copy will entice people to open up to the first page. And I think the first page will rope folks in to want to buy the book. That’s the strategy. We’ll see how it all works out.