Please Judge This Book by its Cover

In my last post I announced the completion of the first draft of my next novel.

Since then it’s been read by my crack team of beta readers, and thoroughly picked apart. I’ve also gone through it several times to clean it up and plug the holes in the story.

I’m really excited about releasing this one, not only because this story appealed to me from the moment I conceived it, but because all of my beta readers have said it’s my best work.

In another week or so it will go off to the editor…a month or so later it will be released.

I’ve also renamed the book. Up until about a week ago I had been calling it Time After Time – a title that fit the story really well, but didn’t appeal to me at all.

After a lot of thought I have settled on the title Doomed to Repeat.

Both titles fit the story, but I prefer the new one. Only one of my betas disagrees with the change, so I’m happy with it.

While all this is going on I also initiated the cover design process – which is the reason for this post.

Here’s the thing…

We all know how important the cover of a book is. I once read that a potential book buyer will look at the cover of a book for ten seconds or less. If it appeals to them they’ll flip it over and give the back cover another ten seconds to convince them to buy it.

That’s it.

Twenty seconds (give or take) is how much time an author has to sell a book that probably took a year to write. Seems a bit unfair, but it is what it is. Of course, buying books on the internet is different, especially on Amazon where you can actually peek inside the book, but if the cover doesn’t grab you, you probably won’t waste your time peeking. In a perfect world we wouldn’t judge the book by its cover, but the world is far from perfect, so…

I need your help.

I’m going to show you the first conceptual cover design of the new book and I’m going to ask for your honest (brutal if necessary) opinion.

You see…I’ve gotten some feedback from my betas on it already and a couple of them expressed the same concern. I’m not going to tell you what their concern is, I want to know what you think.

So take a look at the cover…

 

 

Now read this blurb…

 

In a top secret bunker during World War II Hitler’s best scientists worked feverishly to complete a project code named Die Glocke (The Bell). Hitler was convinced that The Bell would change, not only the outcome of the war, but history itself.

But what exactly is The Bell?

Flagler Beach, Florida, 2019; Three men emerge from the surf. Two suffer from amnesia – the other is dead. The survivors decide it would be in their best interest to put some distance between them and the corpse. They meet Ex-Navy SEAL Ike, who befriends them and tries to help them with their memory loss.

When the body is discovered, a routine murder investigation turns into an international incident.

Ike has to figure out what the CIA, the KGB and a corrupt U.S. Senator want with his new friends.

It’s a race against time, and time is not on his side.

…now tell me what you think – please.

Be honest – brutally if you like. Don’t hold back – I’m really looking for honest input.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Please Judge This Book by its Cover

  1. I LOVED the story and am a huge history buff. I like the cover, even if it looks a little sci-fi. There are some science fantasy elements to the book anyways. (Suspending disbelief.) I liked the old title better, even if it sounds a wee bit cliche, it really suits the story. I think “Doomed to Repeat” has undesirable political undertones (like political history repeating itself) and that’s not where these unique characters are taking us. And especially with the swastika on the cover…I just don’t think it’s a good fit for this political climate. The word, “Doomed” is also such a fatalistic word that I don’t think it does Ike justice. I liked the word “Time” in the title. “Time for Justice” would work, but you already have “Back Seat to Justice”. Lemme think on it.

  2. Holly Erickson Cicalo

    I like your new title because the working title has been done. I will read it regardless of the title or the image because I know your books and love them. But without knowing the author, if I saw the book in a bookstore with a swastika on the cover, I would probably pass it by. After reading the blurb, I would be interested but I’m afraid I probably wouldn’t pick it up to read the blurb, so…. Just my very humble opinion. Can’t wait to read it though. 💟

  3. BobandSherri Wood

    The story sounds intriguing, the cover is curious. Maybe a little 60’s Time Machine scy-fi-ish. Maybe a bit cheesy, but it would get my attention and I would check the back cover.

  4. You got my 2-cents’-worth already, so I will be interested to hear what others think of this cover.

  5. I’ll always read your books, Tim. This one sounds great based on the blurb. However, if I didn’t know you, that cover would not get me to buy the book. It’s sci-fi style, a little old-fashioned and the swastika would put me off.

  6. Roger Smith

    Tough times,
    Days of Future passed.

  7. Cheryl Schenk

    The cover has lots of intriguing artwork, but the strong focus on a German rocket pulls away from everything else. I’d blend that in so it’s not totally distracting. The story sounds interesting enough, and now I’m curious about the bell, and because I’m familiar with it your work I wouldn’t hesitate to read it. Not crazy about either title. Time after Time reminds me of Cher. Doomed to Repeat too much like a news caption. If I was unfamiliar with your writing that wouldn’t draw me in. Aww, now I just feel mean, but you said honest.

  8. Karin Nicely

    HI, Tim– Excited to read this new book — looks very interesting!

    Anyway… re the new title — love it! Re the cover design — I like it, and it definitely seems to fit the story blurb, but it has a really retro look to it. Reminds me of a lot of the sci-fi novels in my mom’s collection from when she was a teenager. If that is the look you are going for, fantastic. If you want something more modern, I would say it needs a redesign.

    Talk with you soon….

    Karin

    WRITING Nicely For Authors/Publishers:

    * Editing * Proofreading For Businesses/Nonprofits:

    * Promotional Writing * Revision * Consultation

    knwrite@hotmail.com C: 352-390-4818

    ________________________________

  9. Linda Morales

    I am a writer, too. I think the cover with the swastika is a little too much. Maybe a small picture of a German soldier in the background?

  10. look forward to it if its as good as fever city loved that book

    • Thank you Greg – Unfortunately I do have some bad news…I am not the Tim Baker who wrote Fever City. I guess that’s a drawback of having a fairly common name. But feel free to give Doomed to Repeat a try anyway!

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  14. Sandy

    If I was looking for a book it would catch my eye, but I wouldn’t click and read the blurb unless I was in the mood for yet another ww2 book. If I make the pic the size shown on Amazon then the bell is harder to recognize. I thought it was a Nazi space ship, til I read the blurb. IMHO keep a bell, swastika is risky, might pull them in, might lose their interest.

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