Please Judge a Book by its Cover

Most of you know I’ve made five of my out-of-print books available as e-books. They sell very well on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, i-Books, and a few other less known e-readers, and I’m so happy to give them a second life. I’m particularly pleased that my newer readers finally have the chance to read those older books.

When I published the e-books, I designed most of the covers myself (and I admit it: I’m not a graphic artist). You blog readers helped me decide from among a bunch of designs for each one and I thank you for that. But I had no idea when I made them available that they would become so popular, and now I’d like to create a more professional and unified look for them. 

So I’d love you to vote on which of these five covers appeals to you the most. That will give me an idea of the design direction I should go in. If you could also tell me what country you live in, I’d appreciate it! Thanks in advance for your help.


  1. Andrea on July 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Diane!
    I love the top two: The Escape Artist and Secret Lives… but my FAVE cover from your books is The Secret Lives of CeeCee Wilkes with the littler red headed girl and bright background. I picked that book up several years back because the cover was screaming at me. I just loved it! And I was hooked to your books after I read that first one, all because of a cover!! LOL

    There isn’t anything specific I look for in a cover, but I love covers that are fun, bright and friendly or unique and WOW a reader 🙂


  2. Donna on July 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    It was so hard to choose! But I think I like the cover for Escape Artist the best!

  3. Vicky on July 31, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I like all 4 covers that have a human picture. That way I can picture the characters in the book as you see them, they feel more real to me.

    • Sue Turner on August 1, 2011 at 6:14 am

      Hi I must say I have to agree, I like the human touch to help visualize the characters. I work in a library in the UK and I am certainly going to recommend you to our readers. Keep up the excellent novels! x

  4. Rachelle Robert on July 31, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I like the Reflection cover. I like it because it is simple, clean looking and the woman looks like she is doing what the title says………..reflecting. For me though, when it comes to my favorite authors, like you, the covers don’t matter to me. As long as I see it is new by an author I love…….I will read it! I do agree with Andrea though….brightly colored books do get my attention too.

    I am located in the Good Ole USA!!!

  5. Sher Laughlin on July 31, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Diane,

    I am drawn to the cover of Fire and Rain. Writing from the U.S.

  6. Vicky on July 31, 2011 at 10:32 pm


  7. Ola on July 31, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I love the cover of Brass Ring! I’m in NC.

  8. Marlene Rosol on July 31, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Of the five covers shown, my favorite two are “Brass Ring” and “Fire and Rain” because they each reflect the story. I was at a book club meeting this morning and the book we were discussing — “My Name is Asher Lev” by Chaim Potok — was published in many different versions. I had a small paperback, someone else had a hardcover library book, and we also had a picture of the original cover that one of our members printed from the Internet. We were discussing how the cover is often not reflective of the story or the photo or drawing on the cover does not resemble the character in the book. There are probably many reasons for that, one of which might be marketing.

  9. Staci on July 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I would double take on Reflection and Brass Ring. The cover for Reflection really conveys the title and the two children just have me curious as to what this book may be about!!

    • Staci on July 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Oopss….United States

  10. Linda on July 31, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Fire and Rain. NC

  11. Joely Pentlow on July 31, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I find ‘Reflection’ the most appealing – I think it’s a poweful image and it stands out to me as a book that would appeal to me, ie a woman of a similar age – it also feels more dramatic and serious than the others and maybe a ‘dark’ story? British, living in NC

  12. Diane Landy on July 31, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Secret Lives and Reflection

  13. Maggiee on August 1, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Heya, I prefer reflection and the escape artist. I think they are both more intriguing and modern, whereas the others look a little too traditional and more Josephine cox, if you know what I mean, not that there is anything wrong with her books but I wouldn’t have grouped your writing with her! 🙂

  14. julie pinkney on August 1, 2011 at 3:23 am

    secret lives cover closely followed by brass ring

  15. Grania Collard on August 1, 2011 at 4:15 am

    I have to say i am very much attracted to pick a book up by the picture on the cover ……… the one i like best of those five ( hard to choose tho’) is Brass Ring …. x x

  16. Fiona on August 1, 2011 at 5:02 am

    They are all beautiful but I particularly love the Secret Lives one

  17. Barb West on August 1, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Fire and Rain and Secret Lives.
    I’m from the USA.

  18. MONTES on August 1, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Dear Diane,
    The one I prefer is “Fire and rain”, because of the colours, it gives me envy to read this book.
    Sonia from France

  19. Tisha Graves on August 1, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I am from Florida , USA and the bookcover that first attracted me was Fire and Rain, then Reflection. If I was browsing in the store I know I would pick Fire and Rain up to find out more about the book.

  20. Louise on August 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I like Brass Ring. The picture of the two children running is beautiful. Canberra, Australia

  21. Ann on August 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Reflection – Mississippi

  22. Margo on August 1, 2011 at 8:45 am


  23. Nikki on August 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Hi Diane, I am from the UK and from those choices I prefer the cover of Reflection.

  24. Shirley in Canada on August 1, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Toss up between Secret Lives and The Escape Artist

  25. Kate on August 1, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Fire and Rain – hands down favorite!!

  26. Sheree Gillcrist on August 1, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I love The Escape Artist. Makes me wonder if they are looking ahead at what’s to come to looking back at the things we leave behind:} Dublin Ireland.

  27. Tera on August 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I love the cover of Reflection. However, like others have said, I like it best when the cover of the book gives me a hint about the story. There’s nothing worse than a cover that has nothing to do with the story inside!
    Writing from Virginia

  28. Ida Cutler on August 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Fire and Ice really caught my eye.
    NC, USA

  29. Ida Cutler on August 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Oops! Fire and Rain. (Maybe Fire and Ice might make a good sequel. LOL)

  30. Diane Chamberlain on August 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Wow, this is fascinating! We’re all over the map. Keep the votes coming and I’ll tally them up Tuesday evening. Thanks.

  31. Pat Matejcek on August 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I love the Escape Artist. I am from the USA…..

  32. Linda D on August 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Diane!
    I’m from UK and I think the most striking cover for its simplicity is “Brass Ring” as it makes you wonder whether something happens to one or both of the children, whether it’s about a friendship, the interpretation is open. The second choice would be a toss up between “Fire and Rain” or “The Escape Artist” as again they make you wonder what the story is about. I have just read my first of your books “The Lost Daughter” (Cee Cee Wilkes) I liked the UK cover and the synopsis was so interesting I bought it. Amazing story, great imagination. I’ve already ordered another of your books from Amazon and look forward to reading them all!

  33. Laura on August 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Brass Ring! It makes my heart sing… 🙂

  34. Marilyn Conley on August 1, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    They are all great. What are the chances these might be re-released in print, for those of us who prefer a “real” book?

  35. Kim cabanting on August 2, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Fire and Rain! I’m in California

  36. Corri R. on August 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Although partial to the original covers, I like the Fire and Rain cover best for the color, Name font and placement as well as the font for the bestselling author quote. The artistry drew me more the peopled covers.

  37. debb haley on August 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

    The Fire and Ice cover really speaks to me of what I pictured the house in the story looking like so I vote for that one.

  38. Stephanie S. on August 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I like The Escape Artist cover the best. I live in the USA.

  39. Ann Weightman on August 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Fire and Rain. I am drawn to books that have houses on the cover, much more so than people. I live in the US.

  40. Laurie on August 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I really like the cover for Reflection.

  41. mary branham on August 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I like them all but Secret Lives is my favorite. I have read all your books except these and now I can read them on my nook. So glad. Good Luck!!

  42. Diane Chamberlain on August 2, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Thank you all for voting! We ended up with 16 votes for Fire and Rain, 12 for Reflection and the other three had 8 apiece. Interesting, because Fire and Rain is the one cover I had professionally designed, and although I designed Reflection myself, I think it looks the most professional. The thing is, if I was hoping to go with a unified cover look I couldn’t pick two more different covers! So I’ll have to think about this a bit more. I greatly appreciated all your comments!

  43. Denise on August 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Reflections is my favourite but fire and rain would also make me want to pick up the book and read the back cover.

    I’m in Scotland.

  44. Reine on August 3, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Is it too late?

    Fire and Rain


  45. Traci Blasko on August 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Diane!

    I am a new fan who just randomly chose your book “Keeper of the Light” on a recent trip to Ocracoke, NC. We left for home (in Ohio) the next day and I read for the whole 12 hour trip. Your story kept me in NC for a while longer . . . thank you! I share your passion for the Outer Banks. I am ordering more of your books right now. Your writing voice is so real, yet uplifting.

    Regarding your question; I read that your husband is a photographer. I feel any cover that might share his photographs reflecting the title of your story would be a match too good to pass up!

  46. Diane Chamberlain on August 3, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Tracy, I know John would appreciate that sentiment! I’m so glad you enjoyed Keeper. You probably know that it’s the first of a trilogy, and the second book, Kiss River, will be out in late November. Hope you had a wonderful time in the Outer Banks.

  47. jen on August 17, 2011 at 9:03 am

    escape artist

  48. […] I mentioned a while back, I plan to have the covers of my backlist e-books redesigned. I’d love it if you could help […]

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