Grabbing Your Reader with a Great Cover by Janie Franz

I don’t know how many times I’ve walked through a bookstore or browsed one online and a book cover just popped out and grabbed me. That’s the first thing I notice and then the title, the author, and the first line of the book. If each of those gets its hooks into me, I’ll buy it—and read it.

A book’s cover tells me a lot about the story, though there are exceptions. In my two decades as a book reviewer, I have found marvelous stories inside ho-hum covers and once in awhile I’ll find a story I never expected at all because the cover told me a different tale.

I’ve been very privileged to work with some really great cover artists, especially my current one, Cora Graphics, in Italy. Cora joined my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, just a few months ago. I was one of the first authors to work with her. She has been amazing!

I was nervous about having someone take the lead in three reissues for my Bowdancer Saga. MuseItUp acquired the contracts from my first publisher after they expired and is bringing the first three books under the MuseItUp roof to join The Lost Song Trilogy, the rest of the saga so far. My original publisher used a stock photo for the cover of first book, The Bowdancer. Most cover artists do use them. But to my horror, I found that same photo on two other books after my own was published. Mine was slightly different but not by much.

I also wanted to work with someone who would create a new logo for The Bowdancer Saga to go on the books and to really represent this important (to me) series. Cora and I communicated through email for a couple of days. She asked lots of questions and wanted examples of pictures of things I thought were vital to portray the story.

When she showed me the mock up of The Bowdancer, it took my breath away. We tweaked a couple of things and the finished product was stunning.

Then when The Wayfarer’s Road was ready for its cover, we again shot emails back and forth. I had no idea what she’d come up with and I nearly cried when I saw the cover. She had captured the heart of the story! It is about a mother and her daughter on the Wayfarer’s Road. Yes the woman meets a man but that isn’t the story. And Cora understood without even reading a word of the book. She has an uncanny gift.

I’m eager to see what she will do with Warrior Women, the last of the reissues. I know I won’t be disappointed. And I do think my readers will be very pleased as well.

The Bowdancer Saga continues in The Wayfarer’s Road. Healer Jan-nell, now a woman traveling alone with her precocious young daughter on the Wayfarer’s Road, meets a handsome wandering bard. But he is carrying his own secrets along with the priceless chance at hope for her and her child to belong.

Healer Jan-nell and her precocious daughter meet a handsome wandering bard, carrying secrets and the hope of belonging.


The stranger stepped a bit further into the room and pulled back the wet hood of her sodden, brown cloak, revealing a delicate, fair face. A thick chestnut braid curved across one suede-covered shoulder like a docile snake.

“It is the changing moon,” her soft voice answered. She untied the laces of her cloak and pulled the cloth free from her other shoulder, revealing the black curls of a three-year-old child against her thigh-length tunic. The girl’s little arms wrapped protectively around the woman’s brown leggings.

The traveler shook the water from her cloak and asked, “Might I have a dry bed, sir?”

The innkeeper’s eyes narrowed. “We be not offering beds to women alone. This be a respectable place.”

“I am not alone,” the woman answered, smoothing the child’s curls from off her face. “Would you deny a child a dry blanket?”

The innkeeper frowned. “Good woman, if that indeed be what you are, it is not seemly to be housed here without your man.”

“I take care of myself,” she said and struck her great staff against the floor for emphasis, ignoring the customers’ mumbled responses.

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Author Bio

Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Honed by the frigid Northern Plains and the high desert of New Mexico, as well as a degree in anthropology, her writing skill and curiosity generated thousands of feature and cover articles over a vast range of topics for more than a hundred regional, national, and international publications.

She co-wrote two books with Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox (The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book), and self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid!

She is a professional speaker and occasionally still reviews books, CDs, and concerts. Previously, she ran her own online music publication, Refrain Magazine, and was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor