A Tale of Two Covers

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Almost five years ago, I wrote my Ludwig II book, the book that would sell far more copies than anything else I’ve ever written. It’s a biography of Bavarian King Ludwig II, called Not So Happily Ever After: The Tale of King Ludwig II.

My Ludwig II Book

When I wrote the book, I was excited to find that my publisher, CreateSpace, offered a way to design your own cover for free. I created a cover that I liked pretty well, and it served the book just fine over the years.

But recently, I thought that it was time to give the book a little sprucing up. Time to reinvest some of the profits in giving it a facelift.

So, I hired a talented graphic designer named Susan Rekeweg. I really recommend her if you’d like a cover designed. She matched CreateSpace’s price for professional cover design. I told her a bit about the book, and about the feel and look I was going for. It didn’t take her long to create two different versions of a cover.

Not So Happily Ever After Ludwig II

Here’s one I liked, and here’s another.

Not So Happily Ever After Ludwig cover

Asking Readers

I wasn’t sure which cover to go with, so I decided to take things online and ask people on my Facebook writing page (if you don’t already “like” it, I’d love for you to). I thought this was a good idea, since I wanted a cover that would appeal to people who’d be in the market to buy the book.

And guess what? One cover got 29 votes, and the other got 30!

Which cover did you like best?

I ended up going with the top one. That’s because I liked the way it had the castle so dominant. Although Ludwig is fascinating, I felt that Neuschwanstein Castle was the way most people would know about him or be drawn to a story about him. I also liked the dark, brooding feel of that cover — it goes well with the tone of the book.

Several people who voted for the other cover thought that that photo better captured the “castle in the clouds” blurb that was on the book’s cover. I agree, but that phrase really wasn’t too important to the book’s content, so I changed the blurb’s wording to take that out. But since I did love the photo, I was glad that Susan incorporated it in the design of the book’s back cover.

The book, with its gorgeous new cover, is now for sale at Amazon. If you’d like to see the front AND back, just head over there and you can view both. I think Not So Happily a great read for anyone planning a visit to Germany, for a teen in German classes, or really for anyone interested in a good TRUE story from history. Do you have a copy of my Ludwig II book yet? If not, now is a great time to buy one!








8 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Covers

  1. Love them both. The color of the first is striking…Susan R. did an outstanding job! I think she also designed Christy Cabe’s book cover? BTW, I didn’t know you had a FB page and the next thing I’m going to do is LIKE it!!

  2. I am delighted that when you don your “author hat” it opens a picture window in your life. We each need something that takes us out of the ordinary to our “happy place.” It varies for each of us, greatly!

  3. Thanks, Margaret! And yes, Susan did design Christy’s cover too — that’s what put her on my radar. She does great work.

  4. You didn’t choose my favorite for the front cover, but I’m glad it’s on the back cover. I knew almost nothing about King Ludwig II until reading your book about him. Once again, you’ve opened my eyes to something new about our world.

  5. They are both beautifully done, but I agree with you that the top one best fits the story. The bottom one looks more like a fairy tale. My parents have been to that castle!

  6. What a beautiful cover! I like the one you chose since it best fits the story. I have not yet read your book but I hope to. I know I’d really enjoy it.

  7. Both covers are great! How interesting it is to have almost a tie vote on the two choices. Your book will sell well either way, so go for it.

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