To me, that simple statement is one of the big wisdoms of life, which some seem to know from the beginning, it takes others a lifetime, and some never learn.
I run into the learning and relearning with a lot of my life. The covers of my books tend to be one place I have reason to practice taking and releasing. This week, I did it with one of my books, one I had published in 2013. It has had a variety of covers since trying to get the right one.
The book that came ahead of it, From Here to There, had even worse problems. Readers hated its first covers so much that they even wrote reviews mentioning it. The challenge for From Here to There was the complexity of the plot that took the story from a wedding where the bride decided she'd made a mistake, asked for an annulment and headed for her uncle's family ranch. That ranch had been a refuge for her since she was a child with her uncle and now deceased aunt having been like parents. The ranch itself plays a major part in the romance with the mythology and reality of the western lifestyle at its heart. How do you get a cover to illustrate all of that? Well, I have one that has remained for a few years, and I hope never changes.
A Montana Christmas had some of the same problems in how to depict the story where it is about a family that needs healing, ranch life, and a marriage. Its new cover puts the emphasis on the ranch setting. While it has Christmas in the title, the heart of the story is still the ranch and how that kind of life close to nature and with family can heal hurts. I hope this one sticks as it feels very right to me-- but then they all do until readers tell me uh uh!
cover image from Stencil