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How to beguile: eye-catching moments or hints of mystery?

I’m a reader. I love to read, and I choose my next reading experience from the blurb. But before that, I am already searching in the genres that I love the most, and have picked a cover that most likely meets my expectations. I enjoy a good mystery, I adore family stories, and history is my favourite.

As a genealogist, I combine my three favourite genres: mystery, family and history into my reading choices – and into my writing. I’m not one to read paranormal, fantasy or sci-fi, nor do I select horror and gory thrillers, instantly recognisable by their cover styles within their genre category.

What do you look for?

If you follow my social media posts, then you will know that I am considering updating the covers for my books. Studying the current trends has raised some interesting points about branding, colours, covers with people or without, and with faces or looking away. Each genre has its own style.

From earlier trends, I chose to brand myself as a historical fiction author because I write soul-searching, multi-generation sagas about early immigrants to New Zealand overcoming the odds. Hence, the current ‘look-alike’ cover designs.

Each story comes to me in a different way, but all are driven by a mystery from the past, all are about family, all include the history of the time.

The issue that has arisen now is that not all my stories have a historical setting. Two are contemporary narratives driven by the protagonists search for their past, two are dual-timeline novels, one has three time-lines, and two are entirely historical.

Have I confused you?

I asked for advice from some experts and for one of my contemporary narratives they’ve offered an eye-catching design – I’d love to know what you think of it.

My dilemma now, is whether to update my covers according to their own genre and forego the branded author look, or try to come up with a totally new look as an author of contemporary fiction, women’s literary fiction, and historical fiction.

Maybe I should write another book instead. I think the task is easier.

Do you search by author, by genre, or by image?

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