Help me Choose my Next Book Cover

Help me Choose my Next Book Cover

At one point I’d been optimistic and hoped I could have the next installment in the [easyazon_link identifier=”1503368092″ locale=”US” tag=”austauth0d-20″]Constant Love series[/easyazon_link] published before my next trip to Great Britain. As I’ll be on a plane when many of you are reading this, though, that obviously hasn’t happened!

My itinerary for this year is based around Heritage Open Days and London’s Open House, where buildings across England and in London, respectively, are opened up for free. Some of them aren’t usually open to the public, and those are the ones I’m trying to focus on. I’m not sure how much picture-taking will be allowed inside these sites, but I’m looking forward to sharing whatever I can once I’m back, and you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook for posts while I’m traveling.

For now, though, I thought I’d solicit some help in choosing a cover for the book, so at least I’m making SOME progress beyond taking a copy of the current draft on my Kindle to proofread.

I’ve had a set format for the covers of the books in the series, each of which features a photograph I’ve taken, and this one has proven particularly tricky. As the title indicates, A Season Lost is set largely during 1816, which was referred to as the “year without a summer.” Actually, though, it was really about three years of agricultural depression beginning in 1816 that were directly caused by climate disruption following the eruption of Mount Tambora, in Indonesia. This was the most powerful volcanic eruption captured by humans, at 7 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, larger than others you may be more familiar with, like Krakatoa in 1883 (VEI 6) and Mount Pinatubo in 1991 (VEI 6).

The climate disruption manifested itself in different ways around the world, but in Britain, it largely resulted in winter-like rainfall, hail, and even snow throughout the spring, summer, and autumn months. Fields were flooded, ruining crops, and for crops that weren’t ruined, it was difficult to get enough sun for them to grow. This obviously has a huge impact on Pemberley and therefore the Darcys, in addition to Longbourn, Rosings, and Clareborne, the estate the Bingleys have purchased near Pemberley. The year without a summer and eruption of Tambora impacts other characters in other ways, and one of the things that I’m excited about in this novel was actually getting one character in a position to hear about the volcano – although it was many years before the link between the eruption and the climate disruption was actually understood.

What it means for the cover, however, is that I need some indication of rain or a disrupted climate, and this proved tricky. It’s easiest to take a good photo with good light, and that means sun! I suppose I’ve got one more shot if I get some rain on this year’s trip, but for now, these are the contenders, and I’d love your feedback on which one you prefer!

Option A: Derbyshire Fog. I took this photo on a very foggy day in the village of Eyam (aka the Plague Village) in Derbyshire. As a horse is involved in one subplot, there’s some relevance to having one in the shot.
Option B: Cloudy church. This one was taken in Matlock, and as one of the characters is beginning married life as a clergyman’s wife, definitely has some relevance to one of the plotlines.
Option C: Foreboding clouds. I think this one had the most dramatic clouds…it was taken on the edge of the Chatsworth grounds, so the landscape could definitely stand in for Pemberley.
Option D: Clouds over house. This one was actually taken in London, as clouds were encroaching on one of the Georgian townhouses there. But I think it’s non-specific enough to stand in as Pemberley or perhaps Rosings, where some of the key plotlines are launched, so to speak.

So which one would you choose? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. If it helps you make the choice, here’s the working summary of the book:

As the “Year Without a Summer” threatens estates across Britain, Elizabeth and Georgiana both go on journeys that take unexpected turns – journeys that will threaten the lives of those they hold dear.

Three of Elizabeth’s sisters find their lives changed by childbirth, while on Pemberley’s grounds, a surprising romance emerges.

A story of love and family, and the third instalment of the Constant Love series.


87 Responses to Help me Choose my Next Book Cover

  1. I like Option C. To me that one speaks the most about the rain and bad weather faced in the book. Though Option A is my second choice, though to me that seems more “foggy day” than “horrible weather”. I really like the landscape though.

  2. I like both A. and C., and either one would be great. I had to look at both of them multiple times to figure out why I liked them. They grey, almost foggy feel of A. is wonderfully atmospheric, and because it has the horse (could’ve been most any friendly animal) it doesn’t look completely barren. I like that C. has a clearer view even with those threatening clouds, but it has no figure so it is lonely. But beyond the clouds the sky is lightening so it looks like hope in the distance. Whatever cover you choose, I’m looking forward to this book.

  3. I would choose C. A has too much empty sky space. B suggests that the story is centered on the church. D seems a bit oppressive. FWIW. Best of luck with your new work, and safe travels.

  4. I like option A the best. I love the idea of bringing climate change due to the eruption into the story. I don’t think you can go wrong with any cover. You could put a plastic bag from Walmart on the cover and I would still buy it.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Talia! And yes it ended up being a really interesting plotline to pull through the book, with the impacts of the weather felt all around the world. I’m very excited to be finally getting it near publication. 🙂

  5. I was in the process of commenting when the site went down this morning. I had just hit send. I like the new look to the webpage. I will just have to get used to it. Oh well, let me try to remember what I wrote.

    In your book 1: A Constant Love: you have a lovely house behind the flower. You might not want to do another house … this one looks rather Gothic. I expect to see Mrs. Rochester walking on the leads.

    Book 2: A Change of Legacies: shows a graveyard: you might not want to use the church following that one.

    That leaves photos A&C. Since I haven’t read it… yet… I don’t know the significance of the horse. Photo C is more dramatic than A and rather eye catching.

    You have the final say but whatever you choose will be fine with me. They are all beautiful. You know the story and which photo best matches the tone of the story. Blessings on the launch of this work.

    • Thank you for your comment, J.W., and I really appreciate your persistence in re-typing after the site went down. And yes I definitely want this one to be a good progression from books 1 and 2 (and I’m also trying to keep in mind what I might do for book 4!). 🙂

  6. I prefer option A. From Jane Austens’ description of Pemberley this could be a pasture on the far side of the property.

  7. My top 2 favorites were C and A. I really liked the foreboding clouds indicating that a storm was approaching and felt that the grounds could definitely pass for Pemberley. I also loved A though and felt that the horse was a really nice addition to the picture.

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