The Importance of a Professional Book Cover by Cristelle Comby – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cristelle Comby will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The importance of a professional book cover
We all know one of the biggest burden of self-publishing is that you are responsible for everything—editing, proofreading, advertising, and the list goes on. But one of the greatest advantage is that you have complete control over… well, everything. And that includes cover creation.

Of course, we’re not all named Picasso, and most of us skipped the Photoshop-101 class. But, in this day and age, it’s really easy to hire a professional to do your cover art. Yes, it can be pricey, but this is one thing you shouldn’t skimp on, and here’s why:

Your cover is your book’s first impression. That’s the cold hard truth of it all. Most readers do judge a book by its cover. It doesn’t matter if the interior is amazing, and your story is the best one that’s ever been told. If the exterior is bad and cheap-looking, readers simply won’t pick it up.

There’s more to it than art. Yes the cover has to be nice and pleasing on the eye, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Your cover is a filter that should only let in readers who’ll enjoy the story and leave a positive review. Designing the right cover is all about demographics, market research and psychology and it requires professional skills.

It broadens your horizons. For my latest novel, Hostile Takeover, I turned to which is like the designers’ Craig’s List. My job description was very short: a little bit about the genre of the book, the full summary and a few pictures of random book covers I like. Mostly, I encouraged designers to be creative and to follow their inspiration.

Seeing what the artists came up with—how they perceived my story and how it inspired them—was the most interesting experience. The designs were very varied and far exceeded my expectation.

Some of the entries.

The final cover, by Spanish designer Miguel A. Ereza.

Yes, it costs money to get a professional cover. But think of all the time you invested in your story, all the hours you put in. Would you really gift-wrap your hard work in cheap newspaper?

P.I. Bellamy Vale isn’t your everyday investigator. Moonlighting as Death’s earth-bound envoy, he specializes in the weird, wacky, and slightly unhinged.

When a mysterious beast savagely mauls random residents of Cold City, the police assume that these are the killings of a rogue wolf. But experienced private investigator, Bellamy Vale, is unconvinced.

Ordered by Death herself to investigate, Vale has no choice but to obey, for his boss is not someone to disappoint—if he wants to keep breathing, that is.

With friend and computer hacker Zian, nosy journalist Candice Kennedy, and homicide sergeant Melanie Ramirez by his side, Vale has no choice but to end the killings or face the wrath of the demon who holds his life in her hands.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I was having a bad day.

The ugly thug facing me readied himself for the next swing. “What did you say, bastard?” His red-splattered knuckles were ready for the next round; my body wasn’t.

“I’m haffin a fah fay,” I managed to repeat through a mouthful of saliva and blood.

That made Julian Ragazzo, former welterweight boxing champ and top bodyguard to the city’s prime Italian Mafia family, smile. His wet beard glistened with sweat beads around stained teeth. Glad one of us was happy.

I took stock of the damage Ragazzo had already done. Broken nose, check. Split lip, check. Swollen eye, check. Broken rib, double check, and the list went on and on. It could have been worse. The injuries, though painful, weren’t enough to put me in the hospital. Sure, I’d hurt for a week or four, but I’d live to tell the tale outside of a body cast. I knew that, and Ragazzo did, too. This was a game we’d both played before … not that I’d gotten any better at it.

I caught a reflection of myself in the glossy surface of a cabinet door. My messy mop of brown locks was matted with blood on one side and the five o’clock shadow had a hard time concealing a fast-bruising chin. One eye was swollen shut and the other had a pale blue, haunted orb dancing amidst a sea of red veins. I was a mess, and not a hot one.

I closed my good eye and waited for the next blow. The bodyguard didn’t disappoint. A second later, he delivered a power punch and I saw stars. It didn’t help that I was tied to a chair and my already sore shoulders screamed in protest at the added strain. In a noise that only I could hear, my body cried out, ‘How in all the hells was this part of the plan?’ Fair question—it wasn’t.

In truth, there may have been a few glitches here and there. Like those two extra guards at the office building’s back entrance, plus that wrong turn I took on the fourteenth floor. Yeah, okay … the plan was just as screwed as I was.

Ragazzo followed up his haymaker with another kick in the guts. It would have ripped a scream out of me if I’d had any breath left for it. Instead, my lungs just took in short, choppy gasps I couldn’t control.

“Well, well, well … look what the cat dragged in,” taunted an Italian-lilted voice.

I recognized the lazy drawl and opened my good eye to confirm my suspicions. Sure enough, Alonzo Vitorini, Cold City’s resident wannabe kingpin, stood near the entrance in a dark-green pinstriped suit. Shit, looking at his ugly get-up hurt worse than any of Ragazzo’s blows.

Vitorini sauntered into the room, smiling as he noticed my stare. “Like the suit?” he asked, doing a little pirouette to show off this walking insult to fashion.

I wasn’t going to reply, but the second my eye caught sight of the finishing touch, a pair of black-and-white spectator shoes, my mouth kicked into gear on its own.

“Al Capone called,” I wheezed out. “He wants his brogues back.”

Vitorini laughed, the corners of his muddy-green eyes wrinkling. Not sure if he was laughing at the crack or the fact that he was going to kill me for it in another minute or two.

About the Author: Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.

Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.

Website | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Great post! A book cover is one of the things that attracts me

  3. I liked the excerpt.

  4. Cristelle Comby says

    Thanks for having me.

  5. Lisa Brown says

    I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  6. Great cover – Thanks for sharing!

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