Vote for the Secret Lives e-book Cover (Scroll Down)

Secret Lives Cover final copy

















lady cave flat copy












sec lives cave cover flat copy







I’m experimenting! I plan to release my third book, Secret Lives, as an e-book. When people ask me which of my twenty books is my favorite, I invariably say Secret Lives for a number of reasons. I felt as though I’d truly learned how to tell a story as I wrote Secret Lives. I’d learned how to dig deep into my characters, how to create tension and suspense, and how to juggle many layers at once. Plus, the story is unique and I just flat out love it.

Secret Lives was published in 1991 and I’ve had the rights back to it forever, so I’ll be putting this e-book out on my own rather than through a publisher. I’m frankly curious to see what happens when I set it free once again. I had five or six readers back then; now I have many more than that and I want them to be able to read this book. I plan to let my readers know through my blog and Facebook what the process is like as I work my way to making the book available. I’ll start with a Kindle edition and will see where to go from there.

The first step I needed to take was to have the book scanned into an editable Word document, since I long ago ditched the floppy disk it was on. Now I’m reading the document, catching the minor errors in the formatting and seeing if I want to change anything. I don’t think I will. I like the story just as it is. Today, I created these three bookcovers, which was so much fun! I love fooling around with graphics. I’d love you to vote for A, B or C. Which one would draw you in the most? They all fit the story in various ways, but each has a very different “feel.” I’ll pick one of your comments at random to win one of my recently reissued books, and I’ll keep you posted every step of the way. Thanks in advance for your help!


  1. sherry on May 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    my vote is for A.
    can’t wait to read this one on my kindle 😉

  2. Terri on May 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I like this first one cover, cute child.

  3. Suzette Phillips on May 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    My vote is for C. I read this book over ten years ago and the thing that always made it stick out for me was the cave.

  4. Krysia on May 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    A, it catches the eye way more than the other 2 do

  5. Ann on May 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    My vote is for B. I loved this book and would love to re-read it on my kindle.

  6. Lorene on May 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I like B best. More mysterious!

  7. Gina on May 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I like the second one.

  8. Brenda Seward on May 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I went back and forth between A & C, but finally settled on A. It has a compelling innocence to it, but not overly sweet. Plus the little girl reminds me of my granddaughter. :

  9. Betty Savage on May 16, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I like B the best…can’t tell what’s in the cave…little girl too cutesy…cave in third one too specific…from my memory and, yes, I’ve read it twice at least, the cave isn’t as definite as the picture…
    B…the best!

  10. Ann Weightman on May 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I like B the best. It looks mysterious and would pique my curiosity. C would be my second choice.

  11. Shirley Helm on May 16, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Although I haven’t read it, cover C would sure make me want to!

  12. Rhonda Shank on May 16, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I like B

  13. Stephanie S. on May 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I like Cover A. That is the one that would make me want to read the book (if I didn’t already know what a great author you are!).

  14. Evelyn Reddy on May 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I like B & C. with my vote leaning more to B. It peaks my curiosity! I can’t wait to read it. I am catching up on some older books through kindle.

  15. Audrey Bonnell on May 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Diane, I really like cover b. I think it really pulls you to it. It shows suspense. I would like to read it so please keep us informed when and where we can read it.

  16. Grace Campia on May 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I vote for A because it looks like the little girl is ready to share her secret as only a little one will do. This is the only one of your books I have not read and I am so glad you are starting with a Kindle edition. I will buy it the day it comes out.

  17. Susan on May 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I vote for A I think it is the most appealing and also is very similar to your regular book covers.

  18. Phyllis Parsons on May 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I vote for B, nice change for a cover, not the norm for your books

  19. Joyce on May 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I like number 2. Number one picture seems way too current for the book. I like the mysterious look of number 2.

  20. diana leneker on May 16, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    B. This cover really caught my attention. Book A looks to me like a “chick-lit” and Book C didn’t grab me at all. I am so glad you are going to self publish as an e-book. I love hearing about authors who are taking risks in the publishing world. Kuddos to you!!

  21. Jodi on May 16, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I pick Cover A. I just can’t resist a cute child! (especially one in pigtails and a mysterious facial expression)

  22. Connie Behrens on May 16, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I vote for A. The little girl is calling out to me!

  23. Denise on May 17, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Love A but B is intriguing.

  24. Rose Balan on May 17, 2010 at 12:02 am

    My choice is A. The other two covers seem “dark” or sinister somehow. If I were to rank the covers, A would be my first choice followed by B.

  25. Karla St Baker on May 17, 2010 at 12:03 am

    I vote for B it has mystery written all over it, good luck Diane. This is one of your books that I haven’t been able to get ahold of so I’m so excited to be able to read it very soon.

  26. LaVerne on May 17, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I vote for B. It looks like she is trying to keep all her
    secrets locked in with her.

  27. Barb on May 17, 2010 at 6:34 am

    I vote for B.

  28. yvonne erwin on May 17, 2010 at 7:20 am

    I vote for the first cover, the one with the adorable little girl on it.

  29. M.J. Rose on May 17, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Diane – this is a branding issue. It shouldn’t be an out of context vote based on this book/this cover.
    You should do a cover that fits in with the print books and other ebooks and what you are writing next -and continues to reinforce your brand. People will remember the look of a cover even before your name. So its critical if you are keeping the look of the current books into the future you align this ebook with those covers.

    if you are switching your genre then you can switch cover looks but if you aren’t then create a cover hat closely resembles the looks and feel the book you have out now and have coming out next. It should be the same type face and overall design.

  30. Margo on May 17, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Definitely B…no doubt about it.
    I loved SECRET LIVES Diane and treasure my original hardcover edition…people who haven’t read it will be completely mesmerized.

  31. Diane on May 17, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I love C – the cave is fascinating and mysterious.

  32. Diane Chamberlain on May 17, 2010 at 10:03 am

    MJ is totally, totally right. And her opinion may make this “contest” moot, because there’s no doubt which cover fits in best with my current covers. It’s A. I am particularly partial to B because I love the drama of it and this is a VERY dramatic book. It’s not a light book, though, and I’m concerned A gives it too much of a light look, so I may need to go back to the drawing board. In my spare time! Ha! I love reading everyone’s feedback. It’s fascinating to me to see how different covers appeal to different people. Thanks for your input, MJ.

  33. Debbie on May 17, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Photo A really draws me. I have not read this one, but intend to do so.

  34. Diane on May 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I love the third one..the cave is fascinating & mysterious!

  35. Ashley on May 17, 2010 at 10:36 am

    It’s hard to just pick one.. and basically all 3 take something from the story. So, I’d probably be difficult and almost say a mix of A and B.. Have the mystery of the cave darkness, but with the little girl either looking through the opening or being shown walking away.
    May just have to pull it off my shelf to reread next 😛

  36. Janeaa on May 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I like cover B, it seems to fit in with the title best.

  37. Jeri Alexander(Holmes) on May 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I like the second one, B. If I were in a book store this cover would attract my eye first and make me pick it up and read about it.

  38. brenda on May 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I think A is too light for this book…the cave picture looks like a book about underground caves…and B looks like a TWILIGHT book….that being said-A is my favorite cover but not for this book…I agree with you-back to drawing board…

  39. brenda on May 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    The book is about the mother, agoraphobia, and the cave…maybe something that would permit the reader to see the mother…the daughter…and secrets-not so much the cave…This book is so intriguing.

  40. Diane Chamberlain on May 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Brenda, you’re right. I get to fiddle with graphics some more! It’s hard to find the right picture…

  41. Kim on May 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I would say A as it was previously said it fits with the covers of the current books. Maybe there is a photo out there of a mom and girl or even just the girl holding the Mom’s hand and looking over her shoulder. I would change your name to a pink font though to match the title which may require making the blue background a bit lighter. Can’t wait to read it…may have to get a kindle!

  42. Joann on May 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Secret Lives has always been my favorite as you know and I would love to have it on my iPad. Too long ago I gave my copy away and I have regretted it. As to the cover, B is perfect in my mind. This is one of those, how could anyone think otherwise? This is one of those why are you even asking moments for me. It is so obvious.
    Your loving Sis

  43. Joann on May 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    now that I’ve read the other coments it’s pretty obvious your readers love A and sbe is adorable. May I suggest you save her for another cover?

  44. Margo on May 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Diane, I made my comment earlier but want to add that your sister is so right…in my mind B is the obvious but I realize there are lots of opinions…I never forgot the basis of the novel so it was my immediate reaction when you showed us these 3 covers…and I still feel the same way about it…B offers the uncertainties that live beyond that cave.

  45. Diane Chamberlain on May 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    44 comments, 44 opinions! LOL! I’m vascillating. I have time to figure it out, since I don’t intend to put the ebook out until the end of June. I know MJ is right about the “branding” issue, and yet. . . I do love cover B. . . and yet, A is my granddaughter. . . and yet. . .

    On another note, Lithuania just bought CeeCee Wilkes and asked to change her name! Why? “CeeCee” means “to pee” in Lithuanian. If ever there was a good reason to change a title, that’s it!

  46. brenda on May 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Good reason to change title…the little girl is cute…is she really your granddaughter? Perhaps you could save her for a book that is not so dark…I still think you will find a perfect cover-you always do-at least YOU get to pick it and not someone else…yea…

  47. Ann on May 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Your granddaughter is adorable – she deserves a “new” book to adorne!

  48. Diane Chamberlain on May 18, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you, all you wonderful readers. I still have no idea what cover I will use. . . probably none of these three. LOL. I’ll figure it out eventually! Our final tallies, adding the responses here as well as the ones on Facebook: A, 17 votes. B, 29. C, 4. Clearly B wins, but it’s so unlike my other covers that I need to rethink my approach.

    I used a random number generator and the winner of one of my books is Phyllis Parsons. Phyllis, I’ll be contacting you via email. Thanks again, everyone!

  49. MaryC on May 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I’m purposely writing this before I go back and read any of the comments.

    I choose A because I think it is more in keeping with your recent covers.

  50. brenda on May 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I did not know it was a contest. I guess B reminds me of a coal mine (never been in one believe it or not…) sorry…
    They are all fine…

  51. Carolyn on May 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I would pick up A first and then C. I probably would pass by B on a shelf.

  52. Melissa Sable on May 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I think B has most to do with the book. The main character likes to hide in the cave and write. C would be my next choice. A would not be my choice at all. Yes, the child is aborable, but that does not relate to what the book is really about. Besides lots of authors have covers with a child on it. Diane Chamberlain is much too good and original of an author to have a cover “like the rest of them.”
    My vote would be “B” first, the “C”.

  53. […] so I began playing with stock images (check out or and created three covers, none of which were very good. Through the feedback of my commenters, I realized my mistake: I […]

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