A year ago, my agent suggested I spend some time in bookstores looking at covers. "Jot down what you like, and, as much as you're able, why you like it."
It was much harder than I expected. I figured out that I like matte finishes instead of glossy ones. I like lower case letters. I like fonts that don't look too "girly" or elaborate. But as for images? I knew some covers I liked, but I couldn't say why.
Then Bethany proposed a cover for the book:
I thought it looked great. Sophisticated. Literary. Appropriate.
So we went with it. And then the sales reps for Bethany saw it, and they didn't like it at all. It didn't convey the story. They wouldn't be able to sell it. So we had a few weeks to come up with something else:
Thankfully, I liked it. What do you think? Were the sales reps right?