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Monday, June 10, 2013

Lisa Binion Virtual Book Tour + Giveaway: Why Book Covers Are So Important

Why Book Covers Are So Important
by Lisa Binion

If you have written a good story, one where the action or suspense never quits, one where the characters are fully developed and suck people into their lives and what is going on around them, why should it matter what the cover looks like?

As a friend of mine says, eye appeal is buy appeal. Whether shopping for a book online, in a catalog, or in a brick & mortar bookstore, the cover is the first thing that most people look at. So unless you are an extremely well-known and popular author, the cover of your book needs to make people curious enough about the story written behind it to pick it up.

Most people are very visual, and the cover will be the first thing that attracts them to your book. Me? It’s usually the title that gets me interested enough to read what the story is about, but I’m not like most people.

Pit Vixen Designs designed the cover for Softly and Tenderly. When the she first sent me the cover, it was the face of a girl whose eyes are in the shadows. At the bottom was written “Death’s doors will part. . . and evil shall be seen through the eyes of a child!”

The cover was good, but there was something lacking. I asked her to send me a few more choices. She did, but the one I chose ended up being almost exactly like the first one. The only change was a beetle. There was now a beetle right beside the young girl’s mouth. That was perfect in so many ways! It was simple, and it was creepy in a subtle way.

That is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want the cover to promise romance. I didn’t want it to hint that the story inside was gentle and relaxing. It didn’t need to indicate that there was crime involved. To me, it was imperative that the cover for my story suggested creepiness. The addition of the beetle on the girl’s face added that for me.

It also fit the entire story. The beetles have so much more in store for Lori, and she is going to discover something that will turn her entire life around. This cover fits so perfectly that I will probably keep it when the rest of the book is written.

The cover of your book needs to give your readers just a hint of what is in store for them when they read the story you have written. It needs to make them want to look inside the covers. And it needs to fit your story. A bouquet of flowers for the cover would not have said any of the right things about my story. Neither would a picture of a girl playing happily with her friends. In my eyes, the flowers would have promised romance. The girl playing with her friends would have suggested a happy story. But the girl whose eyes are in the shadows and who has a beetle crawling on her face, now that suggests creepy.

Lisa Binion is a writer, editor, and wife. She makes her home in the beautiful state of Kentucky. Her two children are now grown, but she has been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Tyler and Zoey. Her family also includes four dogs, four cats, and two goats.

As the Fiction Writing Editor for BellaOnline, she writes articles, reviews fiction books, and interviews fiction authors. She is also an editor for Silver Tongue Press and Edit 1st. In her spare time, she attempts to clean house and relax.


“Mom died in her sleep last night.” Those are terrifying words for a child to wake up to. The beetle that falls off the stretcher and stares at her is only the beginning one of the strangest and most frightening times in Lori’s life. Death is not a pretty thing, especially not when the funeral is to be at the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium.

Once she walks into the funeral parlor, she experiences things that no little girl should ever have to experience. No one is acting normal. No one can see what is going on. Is Lori the only one who sees the blood oozing from the pictures of Jesus on the cross? Doesn’t anyone else see the beetles? Is Lori hallucinating when she sees her mom sit up and hears her speak? There is absolutely nothing soft and tender about what happens to Lori.

From her overly morbid piano teacher to the creepy preacher and a father that just isn’t acting like himself, Lori is surrounded by people and things that hint of something bizarre. Once she leaves the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium, things will go back to normal. Or will they?


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