Vote! Help me choose a cover

Several months ago, when  I sent my latest novel out to agents, I also started playing around with cover designs. Covering my bases—if I didn’t find an agent, at least my book would have a cover.

Yesterday, I went out to see Nancy Massa’s new house. I told you about Nancy in my last post, she’s a meticulous designer. So after a tour of her new digs and a delicious lunch, we sat close together on her sofa and passed my laptop back and forth. I had two versions of the #1 cover, six versions of the #2 cover, and two versions of the #3 cover for her to select from. She had valuable nudging, noodling, incremental tightening up, and loosening up suggestions.

So today, after nudging, noodling, incremental tightening up, and loosening up, I think the covers all look pretty good. I’m pleased.

So now it’s your turn.

Here are the front covers:


And here are the full covers: fronts, backs and spines.

If you were in a bookstore, which cover would entice you? Which would you want to read?

Please help me out. You can:
*  vote here in the comments section below
  vote on Facebook
  email me at

Tell me which cover you like the best, and if you feel like it, tell me why.


32 Replies to “Vote! Help me choose a cover”

  1. I like #3……I like the color combination and not such a morbid feel. Gives me more hope and curiosity. The other two covers brought me down…..and probably I wouldn’t give the book a chance.

    Let us know when the book will be ready and on the market for sale.

    Trust all is well with you. Best Always, Lee

  2. There’s NO question ! I really LIKE # 1 !
    It looks like the house in the book. It IS the HOUSE in the BOOK. I’d buy it immediately .

  3. This is tough, Lynn. I like all three, even though they are very different. But I like #3 best – don’t really know how to explain it, it’s a “gut thing”. Good luck with this, and thanks for asking for our input.

  4. Without a question, #3.
    I like the simplicity of the design. Professional and convincing! I like the “hand drawn” font. It makes sense for a novel whose main character is an artist. I love the “feminine” softness that reflects the who the main characters are and echoes the themes of the novel. I like the natural colors reminiscent of wood and soil, sparrows and bird’s nests.
    Definitely the best choice for your book.

  5. This is so hard. They are all so good. At first I liked #1 because it’s so dramatic and stylized. Then when I saw the back for #1, I really liked the zoo tower. But then I decided I liked #2 because it’s richer and actually ties into the story because of the sketch. I was worried about the overlap of the word “House”, though, making the title harder to read. Then I saw what everyone said about #3 and I liked it the best. It is the easiest to read, and I think it reflects the more positive aspect and humor of the book. The other two now seem more appropriate for a murder mystery.

  6. I like # 1 best .
    It makes you wonder what it’s about with only one little bird in the attic window, and therefore want to read it to find out.
    The form is simple and strong. the others seem to have too many birds flying around.
    The Detroit water tower is great on the back, with the birds flying around it and it’s Detroit location

    Great job !

  7. I’ve tried to complete this twice and been stymied by being told that my comments resemble spam — and I do not have my own website. I chose #1 because I find it both simple and appealing, hinting of what the book contains but slightly mysterious. The color choices are beautiful and compelling. The other 2 choices are interesting but do not speak as strongly to me as # 1. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

  8. #1 is sparse and rewards a quick glance with compelling information. . #2 lacks a focus and requires too much attention to solve. #3 looks like a fishing lure.

    So use #1.

    1. Hey, Bill, this is funny. I used the feather in number three because there are a lot of birds in the book. Never thought of a fishing lure. Funny part is that fishing lures play a part in the story, and I didn’t even think of it.

  9. I like both #1 and #3! I think #1 would have more of an impact from a distance. I can’t wait to read the book!

  10. I was drawn to # 1 for the color first then for the mystery. I pick # 3 as second for the most beautiful design and hue.

  11. I see my choice is in the minority as I prefer #2, with #1 next. #2 looks like a mystery novel, which I would read, but I also like the zoo in the first design. Seems I have my own tie going on. Enjoy the result of your poll.

  12. All three are beautifully designed, but, it is #1 that not only speaks to me personally and artistically, and is the one I would be most “enticed” to read. This is both for personal taste to the color and imagery and also because it is best resolved formally.
    The #3 would not catch my eye, as the colors are very subdued and the imagery is a bit too literal and “tired”, The #3 is a bit confusing with the intense red block letters overlaying some rather “busy” images containing various angles. However, #1 has the direct clean title, which is easily seen above a striking simple form. Both color and layout design are most successful. Furthermore, the back cover totally relates to the front and actually reads as a resolved diptych, both sides making a complete bold , yet lyrical statement. Yes!…I want to read this book!

  13. I lovelovelove the cover of #3. The feather, font and colors evoke the soft, gentle character development throughout the book – feathers float and you don’t know where they will land as with the lives in this story. I would be drawn to it. #1 isn’t about sunset, #2’s back cover made me think of a pool of blood / a murder. For the back cover, could the graphic bird and pens of #2 replace the photographed birds of #3? – pen drawn art is part of the story not photography. Thanks what I think! and thanks for the chance at a glimpse!

  14. I like number one because when there is a bird in the house its very chaotic the symbolism of all the birds flying around in a Hitchcock esque appearance and then the little bird on the sill
    Very dramatic and enticing
    Bravo.. I mean its birds and a house says it all the other two are very passive to the subject

  15. I vote for #3, I can’t explain, but it is the cover that I would pluck off the shelf to check out in the store (or click on).

  16. I’m in the clear minority here: drawn to 2. Love the ink drawing and red text but for me that shade vibrates a bit much, at least online (too much orange?). Like the zoo watertower on 1, so it gets my sentimental vote. 3 is lovely but too generic. Could be a book of poems. Well done, and good luck!

  17. I like #2. If there’s a bird in the house, it’s nice to see the bird. then I can wonder what it is doing in the house.

  18. Lynn! The only refinement I’d make to #1 is to capitalize House. You’ll be first writer to win a literary AND book design award!

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