As a writer, I always thought I was the only one that feels anxious about my work—you know, like whether it makes sense, how would it be received and sometimes I even feel anxious, or guilty, that I’m not writing enough. But recently I received an email from an author I subscribe to that helped me feel a little better about myself. She also felt anxious—not about the quality of her writing—but about hearing her writing read back to her. She had just completed her first audiobook, so I guess it was natural for her to feel a bit anxious.

Out of curiosity, I decided to google what makes writers anxious or what kinds of tigers are lurking near the keyboard. I found a lot— from writing quality, genre, sales and even algorithms. While it helped to know that other writers have their tigers, it didn’t get rid of mine.

Oh, I haven’t yet told you yet what I worry about. Can you guess? My book’s cover. As an indie author, I’m pretty much on my own. I come up with the story ideas, flesh them out, publish them and market them. While doing all of that does bring some tigers, coming up with the cover brings the biggest one of all. Bigger than a tiger; more like an elephant.

Every time I’ve written a book, I tremble when the time comes to choose a cover. And now the fifth time is no different. In fact, the elephant loomed even larger this time. I had to get it right. Perfect. Flawless. Grabworthy (another way of saying Irresistible). So I researched book designers and book covers ad infinitum, signed up with some Facebook groups and finally found a designer who designed books in my genre and who suited my budget.

I think part of the difficulty in finding the right cover is that most of the novels that are coming out are in every genre but women’s fiction, the genre I write in. Anyway, once I’d settled on a designer, I drew her into my habitat. Fortunately, she is a very patient soul and she stuck with me through the five revisions I requested.

Of course, my writer’s group deserves a great deal of the praise for the way my cover turned out. The first mock-up did not meet my expectations. I didn’t even share it with my group. Again I felt anxious. I immediately felt my description had failed to convey what I wanted. I tried again and again, until I finally got something I thought I could live with. Once my group had approved it, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Now that I’ve decided on my cover and I’ve read those posts about writers’ anxiety, I’ve come away with one truth—my cover will never be perfect. There will always be covers more appealing more than mine. I will suffer some angst when I come across a cover I think should be mine, but that’s life. I can only give myself and my readers the best I’m capable of.

So, drop me a line and tell me what you think of the cover of my latest book Love, Lies, and Grace shown above. Is it grabworthy? Will you buy the book because of its cover? I (anxiously) await your comment.

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