Choosing the front cover of ‘Ignoring Gravity’ – part 2

Yesterday I wrote about briefing designer Paul Burrows for Ignoring Gravity’s front cover.

Paul e-mailed eight cover options. I was surprised to find my instant reaction quite visceral, quite Marmite. I e-mailed the pdfs to my novel-buying friends and family and asked for their votes.

Cover 1front coverCover 2 front coverCover 3 front coverCover 4 front coverCover 5 front coverCover 6 front coverCover 7 front coverCover 8 front coverComments came back quickly, including:-
“I particularly like 1 and 4, both eye-catching but not too over the top.”

“I’m not keen on the ‘picture’ covers.”

“My favourites are 1, 4 and 7.”

“I think I prefer the first one, but either of the first two would catch my eye and I would have a look at. I like the sound of the book as well, I would read it!”

“Definitely the first one, I like the design much more than the others. To me the design says ‘read me.’ The second, the tree gets in the way too much. The photo one would put me off as it looks depressing.”

“I like the first one best, by a long away. My question is the red dress: it brings up images of Schindler’s List. I didn’t like the photograph ones, I think it’s good to let the reader decide exactly how the character looks.”

“I quite like the second one because of the symbol of the family tree. I also like the first one, but can also honestly say that I hate the ‘talk to the hand one’ and the ‘hand over the ears because I’m not listening’ one.”

“I think your cover designer has done really good work… my gut is that the first one is best. I like that the sisters seem to have missed each other, rather than that they are in some kind of dispute, as the positions of the figures in the other books suggest.”

“I’d like the first one quite a lot…if it wasn’t for the silly little handbag.”

“How exciting! Reading the blurb, I would choose this book! First impressions of the cover, we like either number 3 or 4.”

“I like number 1, I liked it instantly. Six is my second choice because I like the colours. Rob liked 1, 4 was his second choice because he liked the font. Calum liked 1 and his second choice was 8. I was really surprised how we all liked number 1 as our first choice.”

“I really like covers 1 and 4, quite like 2 and 6 but don’t care so much for 3 and especially not for 7 and 8. I hope I don’t dislike your favourites!”

So, the vote was almost unanimous for Number 1. Paul made a few changes to the original design: changed the colour to tones of brown [a combination of tones similar to Farrow & Ball’s Charleston Gray, Dove Tale, London Stone and Clunch], removed the red dress which quite a few people disliked. I disliked the handbag but Paul persuaded me to keep it as a way of differentiating the two women. And so this… front coverBecame this… front cover
To see the Farrow & Ball paint colours I refer to, click here
For more information about Nicky Stephen Marketing, click here

front cover


‘Ignoring Gravity’ by Sandra Danby [UK: Beulah Press] Buy now
Read what other readers are saying about Ignoring Gravity.

The front cover of Ignoring Gravity was refreshed [left] in 2016.

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Part 2: choosing the front cover for IGNORING GRAVITY #amwriting via @SandraDanby


  1. Hi Sandra,
    Thank you for sharing this process. As both a writer and an artist, I know the right cover is essential, even for those who claim not to be interested. No one picks up a book if the cover abrades their aesthetic sense. I also loved the paper cut as I adore that art genre, but the cost is often quite high. (Of course, you would have then owned an original paper cut artwork!) My vote was for #1 but I didn’t love the mustardy color, and the red dress said “chick lit and melodrama,” and wished they were more subdued. So I’m pleased with the final result. You might have considered an hombre wash of jade or celadon green moving top to bottom behind the art. For your next book, the sequel!
    So I’m off to order my copy and very excited. Is there any way to get an autograph?
    Shari *: )

  2. I liked the changes to number 1. I wasn’t sold on the brown and the red dress when I saw in beginning of the blog post, but the end result is really nice!

    Good luck with the sales!

  3. It was very rapid for me. No 1 (colour of marmite) outstandingly better than the rest, though 4 came 2nd. You end by saying ‘became this’ and there’s a cover with most of the page obliterated. Who smeared the marmite and spoiled the cover?

  4. Pat Lawrence

    Hi Sandra

    I haven’t ordered yet, but will do today. I had to open an account but it wouldn’t happen and I wrote querying it. I’ve now had a reply saying the account is open. I’ll share it with my friends on fb too – you never know!

    P xx

    Sent from my iPad