Book covers can make or break a book, and I've been lucky to have 4 published novels with 4 covers that were well received by readers. Often when I'm working on a novel, I'll design a "mock book cover". It helps to inspire me to really visualize the finished product, even if it isn't the most professional cover. Of course, the published cover isn't even close to the mock one I design.
For the "Next Best Celler" novel contest, sponsored by Textnovel and Dorchester Publishing, I'm working on a romance novel. Lancelot's Lady is the name of the romantic suspnese I've entered, and it very quickly took off, making the #1 spot out of all contest entries for the month of June 2009. Last time I checked, Lancelot's Lady was also #5 in Most Popular Stories.
To keep me motivated, I designed a mock book cover early on (cover #1), using a few elements from the story. This early design was simple enough to add some color and excitement to my entry, while also respecting that Dorchester Publishing will have the final say in a book cover.
Weeks later, I designed a new, more romantic cover (cover #2), yet hopefully the darkness still lends to some suspense. I'd be interested in hearing what you think, but of course please keep in mind that these aren't real covers. They're really just for fun. I have no doubt that Dorchester Publishing (should I win the contest) would do a far better job at designing a suitable cover.
...........(cover #1)...........................(cover #2)...........
So readers, now you have some extra insight into the mind of a reader--at least this one. And authors, you now have a great idea for keeping yourself inspired--create a mock book cover. :-)
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Please vote thumbs up for Lancelot's Lady (you must sign up at Textnovel.com first, then go to and click on thumbs up icon at top of page.)