Self-Publishing: Here’s Cogitating about Reviewer’s Feedback on my 2016 Book Cover – Food for future thought!

It’s been over 5 years since I published my last book. And as a writer I am always interested in finding out what my readers have thought about what they have read. Reading honest feedback from reviewers or persons with whom you correspond always helps your learning curve with reference to: a. the story that caught them up and the visuals in the book that helped with understanding, b. the title that either dragged them in, or turned them off, and finally, c. the cover that piqued their interest to pick the book up and up and buy it.

Let’s start with the Cover in this Essay since that’s what book seekers see first!

So what is it about the cover of my African novel, The Ghosts of Ukuthula? What have I been able to sus out of reader’s comments?

Here’s the Cover:

Look at it – Anything here that would Draw you in or Turn you off? Here’s what I thought originally in the design of the cover:

  • Did you see and recognize:
  • the Continent of Africa?
  • the Elephants?
  • the Zulu shield and Spears?
  • the Four Flags of conflict?
  • the Larger Elephant with the Apartheid Republic of South Africa symbol?
  • the Left-hand Elephant with the 3 – 7’s of the Right Wing Neo Nazi Hardliners?
  • the Right-hand Elephant with the 3rd Force symbol of Russia?
  • the Piece of the Modern Flag of Liberated S. Africa on the African Shield?

Hmm! Maybe it’s too bitty? Maybe we don’t have to tell the whole story on the cover?

What About the actual title Words?

  • Did Ghosts make you think this was fantasy? or did you think something Ephemeral?
  • Did Ukuthula, turn you off because it was a strange word ?
  • Did you try to Pronounce it?
  • Did your pronunciation begin with Uck – u – Thula? As in “Uck” and turn you off?
  • Did you know its African pronounciation is: Ooo – Coo – Thoola?

What feedback did I get? Unpronounceable! So what’s the meaning?

Wow! Not many people look closely at book covers so minute detail doesn’t really pull people in. Big and Bold is the Key! One Symbol/Torso/Flag/Skull … is Plenty!

Use a foreign word? —- Better have its English Synonym right there beside it!

These are things that I, with six years in Africa, never had cross my mind when planning the self-publishing of my book.

Next time around: That’s what I’ll be looking at – Simple Direct and to the Point!

Next time, let’s look at the story!

Hope you enjoyed my Blog. I would like to hear from you

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