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Special Post: Vote on the Cover of My Next Book!

Dear Readers,

My publisher (Bethany House) is in the process of finalizing the cover of my next book, UNENDING DEVOTION (releasing Sept. 1, 2012). They have narrowed down the cover to three that they like best.

But, now they would like YOUR feedback!

Here's a blurb about the book that might help you decide:

In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is determined to save her lost sister, or
die trying. Heedless of the danger, her search leads her to Harrison and
into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to
the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber-baron father.

Posing as a photographer's assistant, Lily can't understand why any
God-fearing citizen would turn a blind eye to the crime rampant in the
towns. But Connell needs to earn a profit from the logging camps he runs
and figures living an upright life is all that matters. Lily challenges
everything he thought he knew but will they be able to put an end to the
corruption that's dominated Harrison for so long?

Please take a look at the three options and tell us which one YOU like the best!

 Cover #1


Cover #2



 Cover #3


If you're unable to leave a comment with your choice of #1, #2, or #3, please feel free to head over to my Facebook Page and vote there!

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

109 comments:

  1. I like the third one best, for sure! It's so understated. The middle one looks sort of like a fantasy novel to me. The first one, I don't mind, but I don't think it's as evocative as the third.

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    1. I agree with you about the middle one! I also thought it looked like a fantasy novel.

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  2. I like the second one the best:)

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  3. Wow, they are all stunning. I'd be happy with any of them! But I would choose Cover #1 as my favorite. I grew up in Michigan, and the snow and gray skies in the photo really capture the starkness of winter there. I feel like I'm in Michigan when I look at that cover. Cover #2 is a little more "ordinary" with the woman as the focus (similar to many covers). In Cover #3, the woman looks like Little Red Riding Hood, and it doesn't capture Michigan as well.

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  4. I like the third one best--it fits with the excerpt really well. She's got the hood up so it's kind of furtive.

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  5. I like #3...the sky looks really pretty, but I would take the hood off of the woman. Can't wait to read it! :)

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  6. I liked #2 until I read what the book was about. Number 3 has my vote all the way.

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  7. They're all gorgeous, but I really must vote for the first one. The other 2 look a bit too much like paranormal novels, and the color of the cloak in them makes the whole scheme a bit too dark/dreary.

    The first cover pops, I love the colors, and it "feels" the most appropriate to me in terms of content. It's the only one that would catch my attention on a shelf in stores.

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  8. I think the third one captures the mood the best, but the first one captures the landscape. My final vote, though, is #3.

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  9. So I feel like the second one matches your other two books the best, since it's close-up. (The first and third covers don't make me think 'Jody Hedlund' like the second one does.) However, the lettering doesn't really stand out. Overall, the third one is my favorite - it's beautiful and haunting and easy to read. But the second one is much more 'you.' But that's not a vote, is it? Okay then - I'm going with #3.

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  10. Loving all of your thoughts! Yes, I agree. Options 1 and 3 are a little bit different than the covers of my first two books. But . . . I will say that this book/story is slightly different too! How's that for a teaser! ;-)

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    1. For some reason I can't make a comment without replying to one already here.

      Tough choice. I really like them all - but my first instinct before I read any of the comments was 3. So, I vote 3. :)

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  11. #1 looks most like Michigan and I love the colors.

    #2 looks most like your other two book covers.

    #3 looks is eerie and beautiful.

    #2 & #3 look too much like brooding fantasy novels.

    I vote for #1.

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  12. So my kind of book!

    1 or 3 with a little more on 3.
    ~ Wendy

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  13. Overall I like #1 the best, then #2 and then #3
    I agree with Anon, that #2 looks a little fantasy.
    I wouldn't be turned off by any of them. All good.

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  14. #1, definitely. It fits the blurb and the colors, title, and scenery all stand out well. The other two DO look more fantasy with the eerie fog look.

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  15. This book sounds wonderful! :) I think I like cover #1 the best.

    So fun to be looking at cover options already!!

    ~Amber

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  16. I like #1--and congratulations on having a publisher that cares enough to give you a voice in the process.

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  17. They're all wonderful, but I think #1 fits the storyline best. Logging = trees. Glad it's not my decision. I think I'd lose sleep over it.

    btw... So flattered that you named the MC after me! lol

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  18. I love #3! There is something about the high contrast of #1 that looks like every other book cover out there, while #2's title is too difficult to read. #3 is definitely the most aesthetically pleasing!!

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  19. Although I like the first one best, I think the third ties in best with the blurb. The second one looks like The Preacher's Bride and The Doctor's Lady covers (and, well, like a lot of other books on the market).

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  20. I voted on your Facebook page. Fun stuff!

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  21. I like the second and third. Personally, I'd go with number 2 but only if it looks like your genre. I love the red cloak. Cover #3 does add a bit more of the setting so the reader knows what's going on. Just lovely.

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  22. They are all so gorgeous, but I'd pick #3.

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  23. I like #1 best, and agree it "feels" most like Michigan ...

    but ... I wish she weren't so close to the edge in #1 and #3, it's like she's about to fall off the side of the book! :-)

    Kim

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  24. I like the 2nd one :) The 1st one is my second choice.

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  25. #1 for sure. from a photographers perspective it is stunning. And I would pick that off the shelf in an eye-blink.

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  26. I like the 3rd one best, the 1st one second best, and the 2nd one last. :)

    The stakes look higher in 3.

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  27. I like Number 3 best, they are all awesome (smile)

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  28. Cover #2 kinda goes along better with the design for your two previous books, and is probably my favorite. Cover #3 is also gorgeous and comes in at a VERY close second for me. (Love the dark tones! :-) Something about Cover #1 turns me off, though...not sure why, I just don't really like it.

    Well, there's my two cents! So excited about this upcoming book!!!

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  29. I like #1 or #3. :) Haven't read your books (yet) but excited to do so.

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  30. I like #2, but with the blue cloak of 1.

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  31. My initial reaction was #2, but the more I looked, the more I liked #1. So my vote is #1.

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  32. #1, but I'd also like #3 if the hood was down.

    I think the woman in #2 looks too modern for the setting of the book.

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    1. I like #3 the best. Both #1 and #3 do a lot for me, actually. My problem with #2 is that it has a photoshop feel, like I can tell that she and the branches don't exist in the same space and it kind of freaks me out. Personally, I like the dramatic colors in #3 better than the calm colors in #1 - those dramatic colors make me feel like there's more happening. Hope this was helpful. Good luck picking the covers!

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  33. #3 is the most appealing to my eyes, but it seems a little too "Red Riding Hood." I think I'd vote for #1

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  34. I've already commented on FB... I like the colours and setting of #3 best, but am not enamored by its figure. I've decided it's the hood and facial expression that bother me a bit. That being said, all three are gorgeous covers! I'm sure looking forward to the book's release. :)

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  35. I vote #1: the most romantic Michigan-like feel---spoken from someone who grew up traveling to the "top of the mitten" on regular trips to Grandma's house. I like the blue gown too, soft, inviting, less Little Red Riding Hood-ish.

    #2 does seem to fit best with your previous covers, but you are a well-launched writer in my opinion. So, I don't think it's an issue to go with #1 with the heroine farther back from the reader's eye.

    #3: first thought--fantasy, where's the werewolf??!

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  36. Not an easy decision to make, but I think I like #3 the best. I will say that I would buy the book with any of the covers shown :-)

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  37. Gosh, I really like #2 but it seems I am in the minority. I think it feels like an artsy British film ad from the 1960s & 1970s when they used to do many historical films. I think I'm showing my love for classic Brit films.

    Christine

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  38. Jody, They're all beautiful. I think #2 goes with your other books best - I want to see readers saying "Hey, Jody Hedlund has another book out!" Could they give her more of an 1880s hair style? Richard's right - it's wonderful to have a publisher who cares enough to ask for your input!

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  39. I like #3. I would vote for #2 if her cape wasn't red. It makes me think of a certain fairy tale.

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    1. Ugh, I got them backward. I meant I like #2, but I would like #3 the best if the cape wasn't red.

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  40. #3 gets my vote and I like the red cape over the blue.

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  41. Wow, lots of great opinions! I like number 3 best. The sky isn't such a stark contrast against the figure and the rest of the background, so it drew my eye more. The second is kind of nice because I think a fuller view of the heroines face is good, looks like she's strong (which seems to match your blurb), but it would be cool to see that on the third cover. Also, on the second one, the title is harder to read and kind of small, though I guess they could chance that pretty easily. I'm excited for you! Love the sound of the book :)

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  42. I vote for #1. It looks the most like Michigan (cloudy) and most like a logging area.

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  43. I like the second cover best. It gives the reader a closer look at the main character, and by the look on her face you can already tell that something's troubling her. It's like getting a little glimpse into her personality too.

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  44. My personal preference is #1. I like plenty of light, and blue is my favorite color. However, having read Unending Devotion in manuscript form, I think #3 best fits the story. Even though I tend to agree with those who don't like the fact that the hood is up, I know there's a reason for that. ;-) I don't like #2 for this particular book because it looks too much like your first two books, and this story is different. That said, they are all three stunning covers!

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  45. I like #2. It fits the visual themes of your previous books and while I like the sense of loneliness and isolation from the other two, I think your heroine comes across as a much stronger woman in the second cover; there's a fantastic defiant look in her eyes, which I think fits the blurb well.

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  46. Definitely #1

    I love the snow so I'm always drawn to winter landscapes, plus the cover tells a little bit more of a story than just a close up of the woman like in #2.

    p.s. Maybe I have leftover memories from the Wizard of Oz haunting me (where the trees came to life), but in #1 and #3, the tree branches are swooping downwards and look more ominous, whereas in #2 they are pointing upward, toward the sky. Thus, #'s 1 & 3 feel more urgent to me—like I need to find out what's so foreboding! (I'm weird, I know..)

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  47. Jumping in a little late, but I guess you're still counting votes. Number 3 would work for me, but the depth of field of the background elements is killing it for me. They look very photoshopped for me. Sorry... a pet peeve.

    I would like number 2 more if the model had a vignette like your first two books. She's too crisp, also the lettering is that grey color and makes it harder to read.

    Number 1 was my favorite from the start, although that vignette from the earlier novels would make it more vintage for me.

    Nice covers all three, but I'm sticking with #1.

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  48. #1
    The other two look too much like Little Red Riding Hood (especially the third one).

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  49. Wow... now this is a tough choice. All three are gorgeous and I'm finding myself really torn. #2 struck me as my initial favourite, partly I think becuase it feels like one of your books and is in line with your other covers. And while I love the colouring in #3, I'm not as wild about the Little Red Riding Hood hood look. #1 really does strike me as being right for the location and the feel. I guess my vote goes to #1, although #2 is a close second right behind it.

    Isn't it wonderful that you've got so many fantastic options to choose from? :)

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  50. I love number 2 because you actually see the girl's dedication. In the others, the main character seems like she's cowering against the landscape instead of taking charge - which is what she sounds like she's doing in the blurb.

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  51. Definitely number two. I don't care for number one much at all. Number three would be my second choice, but I don't think the cabin area is busy enough to convey a lumber camp. Either the girl or the lumber camp needs to be prominent and neither are on number three.

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  52. I already posted on facebook but will give my two cents again over here. :) Covers two and three are my favorite. The only things I would change are the title color on book two-maybe instead of gray make it blue to stand out more-and I'd pull back the cloak over the girl's head on cover three. That would make it less "red riding hood" looking imo. I really like both options though, so would be happy to pick up either one. The design team has done a great job with all of them! Kudos to their originality!

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  53. I don't care for 2 because it seems like it should be about Red Riding Hood or another fairy tale. One is beautiful, but I have no idea what the book is about. So I like three the best because of the cabins and logs. Goes with the story. :)

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  54. Can we smash two of them together? I like #1 but I think, given the logging aspect, that the inclusion of the log cabins on #3 is appropo. But the woman on #3 looks like Little Red Riding Hood, an image I'd avoid given the recent Hollywood movie.

    So can we add the cabins from #3 to #1 to make a truly stunning cover?

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  55. I like #3. The woman leaves more to the imagination, and the tree branches swooping down lend a sense of omen.

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  56. I'd say, #1 captures the feel. I agree with the "looks like MI" comments. At first I liked #3, but the setting emotion seems to be in conflict with the title.

    I'm looking forward to reading it! Thanks for letting us vote!
    Jennie

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  57. I like number 2 alright but it doesn't jump out at me like number 3. However, there is something about the hood on her head that I'm not crazy about. Otherwise, though, number 3 calls to me the most.

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  58. I actually like the first and second ones best. I like the second one because it's more like the covers of your first two books. I love the girls and the trees on all three covers. They are all beautifully done.

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  59. Cover number 1.

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  60. I would say #2. It looks the most hopeful.

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  61. They are all beautiful. #1 would be my pick for the best. But honestly, I don't get a feel for the story from any of them.

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  62. After some deliberation, I think Cover #2!

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  63. #1 is good, but I like #2 the best. But, honestly, I'd rather see her in blue than in the red/pink combo.

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  64. They are all lovely, but my personal favorites are 2 and 3!

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  65. I'm going with # 3.
    I read the blurb, so I understand the story setting is a logging camp. And #3 gives me more of a glimpse of that. While I like #2, there's no sense of setting.
    #1 doesn't grab me -- it almost looks like the woman is walking off the cover of the book -- out of the scene.
    In #3, I like the colors, I like how the red in the title matches the red of her cloak.
    That artist could almost add a bit more to the background scenery -- the buildings or the logs.
    OK, enough said.
    Can't wait to read your third book!

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  66. Yes, I agree with what Beth said, number 3. Looking forward to the new book!!

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  67. Definitely #3. Looking forward to the new read!

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  68. I prefer #2. The others are kind of creepy with the tree branches--more like a mystery.

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  69. I like the second one. She looks so strong there :)

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  70. Sounds like a wonderful story! I like cover #1.

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  71. I think #2 matches your other books the best if that is what they are looking fo, but I like #3 the best.

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  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  73. I love them!! I love the log cabins in 3 but I wish they could put them in #1--that would be perfect!

    I like #1 the best overall, but I would pick up any of them, trust me!

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  74. They're all great for different reasons, but I think I like 2 the best.

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  75. #3. Can't really explain it. It just 'feels' right. Maybe because the buildings in the background hint at something inside? Don't know, just really like this one.

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  76. I like them all. My vote would be for #1. It seems to capture the right mood. #2 is (sorry) maybe a little cheesy? I really like #3 but it is darker. I don't know if that's what you are going for.

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  77. Wow. There are certainly many differing opinions, Jody! This will be a tough call. I voted on fb but thought I'd put my two cents in here as well...whether you want it or not. :) I guess when I read your description of the book, I'd still vote with #2. #3 would be my second choice.

    The reason for #2 is because it really does go with the series even if it is a different kind of book. I'm just thinking of it sitting on my bookshelf with the other two books. Plus I really would pick up that book in the bookstore because of the cover. Then, I'd read the back cover. To be honest, I don't think I'd pick up the other two.

    Plus #2 makes me think (since she is a photographer assistant) that she may have been caught by the photographer doing something that made her look suspicious. Or, maybe that is just my imagination gone wild! :)

    Just know whichever is chosen, I'll certainly be reading Unending Devotion.

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  78. I was immediately drawn to #3 for its visual strength & high contrast but I think you should go with #2. The second one stays consistent with the other two books where the female character takes such prominance on the cover. From far away or at quick glance, it stands out. Compositionally 1 and 3 bother me because I feel the woman should be on the right side, not the left side where she looks like she is walking off the page. But, take that last comment with a grain of salt. I am an art teacher..... Good luck! The book sounds interesting and I loved The Doctors Wife!

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  79. The third. It tells a story all by itself which the first just falls short of. And the second is too modern a face and too similar to your old covers.

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  80. Beautiful covers. One and three catch my interest the most. I think 3 would have to be my final vote though:)

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  81. #1 all the way! Even though #3 is the most eye-catching, it's too demure for the (modestly) revolutionary spirit of the blurb and #1 captures that sensibility best.

    I dislike #2 because I hate when book covers show me exactly what a character is supposed to look like, which biases me (usually) against the character I prefer to create in my head or see cast in a movie.

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  82. Like the tree best in number 2, overall number 3

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  83. I would say #2 by far, it's got more focus - in the other two, my eye isn't quite sure where it's supposed to be looking. But then, I love fantasy novels, so maybe the things that are putting others off about it wouldn't put me off.

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  84. Number 1 gets an *absolutely NOT* from me. Numbers 2 and 3 are both pretty good, but I think number 2 is the best.

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  85. Sorry to come so late to the discussion, but even if you've chosen I can't resist a book cover discussion.

    #2 is out straightaway. The expression on the model's face is off-putting, and it's hard to read the title.

    #1 is a bit too bland. All that white doesn't suit your style of fiction.

    #3 is the best - the colors are richer, more eye-catching. It has the best placement of the title and author name. Still not crazy about the model's glum expression, though! It conveys neither strength nor longing nor anything except "I hate this place." And this version would NOT work for an e-book cover imho. I feel like the vision has been drawn back to get the trees into the picture, and while the trees are cool I don't really see that they convey anything strongly enough to warrant their use.

    Hate to be a party pooper, but I can't help feeling that the reason your publisher can't decide between the three is that none of them are quite right for the book. I know that's the last thing you want to hear, but I say it because I want your books to do well.

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  86. #3 is the most eye catching and goes along with your writing style.

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  87. Although I do like #1, #3 is my favorite. I love the dark sky and the ominous branches; it catches my eye better then either of the others. The red cape works well with the other dark colors, and I like that the cabins and trees give a hint of what the book may be about.

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  88. I like #3 but I think #2 should be it. It just feels like Judy Hedlund.

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