Choosing a Cover for My Travel Memoir…Can You Help?

Want to win a free copy of my soon-to-be published book? Please keep reading and help me choose a cover image and title/subtitle combo!

Finally Finished!

First, I want to tell you how happy I am to be finished with the book, a travel memoir; the final major and minor edits are done. Yay! Now it’s time to finalize the cover and title/subtitle.

Then comes proofreading, formatting, etc. When it’s all completed, I’ll be publishing a digital version for Kindle (and other e-readers) and hopefully, not long after that, a paperback version via CreateSpace. Publishing date: around January 23rd (my dad’s birthday)!

Amazon Kindle eBook Reader

Now that I’ve made it this far, I could use help with some decisions. And I’m offering a prize* to those who participate–a copy of the book!

Winners will be:

–1 commenter chosen randomly
–1 commenter whose suggestions help me the most

*Paperback if you’re in the U.S. and a digital version if you’re not; sorry, but I’m way over budget at this point. ☺

Book Basics

What It’s About

The book, Magic Carpet Seduction, is about my romance with the road–specifically with off-the-beaten-path travel and its unique way of putting me in the moment, which leads to self-discovery.

As with this site and the ChickyBus concept, the stories are humorous, quirky, deep and a bit zen-like. And there’s a heavy emphasis on meeting/interacting with the locals.

By the way, one of the stories in the book is called…ChickyBus. Another is Magic Carpet Seduction. They’re two of my favorites!

How It’s Set Up

The travel tales–’rides on the carpet’–are like the posts on this site (ie, ‘rides on the bus’). There are 4 main sections, referred to as ‘rides on the carpet’ and the chapters are called ‘journeys.’ You, the reader, are a ‘passenger’ who’s there with me on each trip, having random experiences, meeting the locals and finding misadventure along the way.

9 Countries/4 Regions

This book has changed a bit since I first completed it (the rough draft, that is) last year. Two sections that I’d mentioned in that post–about South Africa and the Southwestern U.S.–were removed and may be in another book.

The book now covers 9 countries (China, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon). Here’s an expanded table of contents, which doubles as a synopsis:

Ride #1: Silence is Golden (People’s Republic of China)

Itinerary: My simple English-teaching mission in the province where Chairman Mao was born gets complicated by lingdaos (young Communist Party leader-students) and a mysterious chalk drawing in my classroom. Join me for a Mission Impossible experience as I struggle with freedom of speech issues while attempting to connect with my students’ hearts and minds.

Chapter 1: Good Luck, Bad Luck
Chapter 2: A Welcome and a Warning
Chapter 3: Lingdao Wabi Sabi
Chapter 4: The Risk of Connection
Chapter 5: Silence is Golden

Ride #2: Viva la Revolución (Central America/Mexico)

Itinerary: Join me and a friend on a month-long journey from Nicaragua up to Mexico and vicariously experience younger-man temptation, heart-warming encounters with locals and yes, a 12-hour chicken bus ride full of quirky characters. You—and your butt—will never be the same!

Chapter 6: The Light Within
Chapter 7: La Casa Nuestra
Chapter 8: Destination: Paradise…Transportation: ‘85 Datsun
Chapter 9: Sex on the Beach
Chapter 10: Chicky Bus
Chapter 11: The Great Escape
Chapter 12: Monterrico Madness, Mischief and a Pissy Pelican
Chapter 13: The Soul of Chamula
Chapter 14: Las Dos Camitas (Two Little Beds)

Ride #3: Magic Carpet Seduction (Turkey)

Itinerary: Step into a black comedy with a dash of romance (imagine if Woody Allen and Pedro Almodóvar, the Spanish director, worked together). Sleep in a fairy chimney cave, meet the Carpet Casanovas and pass through terrorist checkpoints on a Turkish chicken bus equivalent. The climax will leave you wanting a cigarette…and a stiff drink!

Chapter 15: Bazaar Afternoon
Chapter 16: Magic Carpet Seduction
Chapter 17: The Soul of the Blanket
Chapter 18: Pigeon Valley’s Protector
Chapter 19: Breaking the Ice…With Mozarella
Chapter 20: Motley Crew Does Mt. Nemrut
Chapter 21: Mad About Mardin
Chapter 22: Savoring Savur
Chapter 23: Loose Ends
Chapter 24: Men Only
Chapter 25: Together
Chapter 26: Turkish Delight

Ride #4: 40 Arabian Nights (The Middle East)

Itinerary: Wonder what it’s like for a woman to travel solo in the Middle East? Join me for a quirky homestay with a Circassian family in Jordan, followed by Arabic classes and work as an extra on a TV show in ‘bad-boy’ Syria. The final stop, in Lebanon, is a quest to meet a mysterious hermit who may hold the key to understanding one’s self and life’s important questions.

Chapter 27: The Kevin Bacon Game, Circassian Style
Chapter 28: A Day in Their Lives
Chapter 29: Realizations
Chapter 30: Breaking Up—Not So Hard to Do
Chapter 31: Lost in a Castle
Chapter 32: Door of Clouds
Chapter 33: Lebanese Love Mojo
Chapter 34: Paradox of the Hermit

Cover Options

Here are the covers I’m considering. Based on what you’ve read so far, can you tell me which one/s you like the best—and why? If one seems almost right, then please share your input, too, re: how you would modify it to make it work.

Also, please keep in mind that the book, just like this site, is not just for women. Having said this, I’m sure they’re a major market since nearly 70% of all book buyers are women (according to what I’ve read.) Even so, I would like to attract some male readers if possible. A couple men have agreed to read and review the book, which I think will be helpful.

(Please note: I am not going to be using the the subhead you currently see on the covers; that will change and is discussed in the next section.)

Also, I’ve included super tiny (smaller than standard sized) thumbnails. Thought it would help in some way.

Cover 1A
MCS Cover 7

MCS Cover 7

Cover 1B

MCS Cover 3

MCS Cover 3

Cover 1C

MCS Cover 2

MCS Cover 2

Cover 1D


MCS Cover 2

Cover 1E

MCS Cover 5

MCS Cover 5

Cover 1F

MCS Cover 1

MCS Cover 1

Credits: The art for covers 1 and 2 was done by my sister, Cynthia Egle. Here’s her site. The designs for the other covers (and type/graphics for all the covers) were done by Derek Murphy, a book cover designer. His site: Creative Indie Covers. Thanks to both of them for the great job they did!

Title + Subhead

I decided on the title, ‘Magic Carpet Seduction,’ a while back. The big decision at this point is whether or not to include ‘and other travel tales’ in that title–or not–and how to handle the subtitle.

Here’s what I’m curious about…

Do you prefer the 3-word title? Is it best to keep it as short as possible? Then let the subtitle do the rest of the work?

Or would you like knowing that the name is of just one story and that there are other ‘tales’? I like that idea, but I know it makes the title longer. Is that a problem? Remember–there will still be a subtitle. And that could be a lot of words cluttering up the cover.

Please take a look at these combos and let me know which one/s you like best and why. Also, if you think of a variation you prefer, please share it. I’m open to suggestions or ideas I hadn’t thought of.

Title/Subhead Combinations

2A: Magic Carpet Seduction
A memoir of off-the-beaten-path travel zen

2B: Magic Carpet Seduction
Travel tales from off the beaten path

2C: Magic Carpet Seduction
Discovering the zen of off-the-beaten-path travel

2D: Magic Carpet Seduction and Other Travel Tales
Loving the road, finding the zen

2E: Magic Carpet Seduction and Other Travel Tales
One woman’s quest to find herself off the beaten path

2F: Magic Carpet Seduction and Other Travel Tales
One woman’s romance with the road

2G: Magic Carpet Seduction
Travel tales from far-flung places*

*This final subhead, suggested by Jodi of Legal Nomads, was added to the list two days after the post came out.

And the Winners of the Giveaway Are…

To be announced.

Thanks for Your Help!

I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read this. It means a lot to me. I look forward to your advice and to giving away a couple copies of the book.

In a week or two, I may ask for help with the back cover blurb. I’ll give away more books then, of course.

Don’t miss the bus (or the carpet)!

If you’d like to get on my e-mail list, please sign up here. I’ll be setting up free chapter downloads and giving away more books there at some point. You can also follow this blog via RSS and I’d love it if you joined me over on Facebook.


67 Responses to Choosing a Cover for My Travel Memoir…Can You Help?
  1. Val Hamer
    December 13, 2012 | 6:47 am

    Hi Lisa, I am sooooo excited that you are close to publishing. That will sort all my birthday present buying for next year!

    I love cover 1E because it is less gender specific than some.

    The original title (and subs) are great but as you want suggestions I’d go for 2B.

    • CB Driver
      December 13, 2012 | 9:19 am

      Hi, Val! Long time no see…and great to see you again! I’m thrilled that you would consider the book for b’day gifts. That is so cool!

      Thanks for those suggestions–appreciate them. So you like the flip flops? Interesting. That’s been quite popular in my informal surveys done with friends and random strangers.

      Do you think the flip flops are too nice? Another commenter said she’d prefer to see them slightly worn out. I think they’re nice as is and love the idea that this style of shoe wear has been around since Ancient Egypt. Kinda cool, right?

      Anyway, 1 E and 2 B…good to know. Thanks so much!

  2. Lizzie
    December 13, 2012 | 6:49 am

    Hi Lisa! I love design (particularly book design) so felt compelled to comment :)

    I love, love, love cover 1B – it’s simple yet interesting (and a bit mysterious which kind of fits, I guess) and the text is really easy to read.

    For the sub headings, I like ‘One woman’s romance with the road’, but seeing as you’re aiming it at men as well it might put them off a bit (plus the cover leans towards being more feminine so you might want to add something to balance it out). Because of this, I would perhaps choose ‘Travel tales from off the beaten path’ – it’s short and snappy and quickly describes what is going to be inside the book.

    If I saw cover 1B with that subheading I would definitely pick it up off the shelf and consider giving it a read – but then again that’s just me :) Looking forward to seeing others’ opinions and the final outcome!

    Lizzie recently posted..5 Lessons that Harry Potter can Teach us About TravelMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 13, 2012 | 9:17 am

      Thank you, Lizzie–love your ideas. They’re excellent! I’m also a huge fan of cover 1 B, which my sister created. I should reduce the size to see what it will look like as a thumbnail.

      Good point re: balancing out the femininity with a neutral subtitle. Will keep that in mind…

  3. Jodi
    December 13, 2012 | 7:07 am

    My 2 cents:
    - Covers are a bit too cluttered if you’re thinking of releasing via CreateSpace and for Kindle – simple is best!
    - So I’d go with 1B but move the subhead to the bottom (removing 1 woman, 11 continents part) above your name 11
    1E but remove the 4 bottom photos + then instead of “and other travel tales” move the subhead (whatever it might be) to where the 4 photos are now?
    - Not sold on any of the subhead combos, to be honest. What about “travel tales from far-flung places”?
    Jodi recently posted..My first (delicious) impressions of VietnamMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 13, 2012 | 9:15 am

      Thanks, Jodi–appreciate your 2 cents. They’re worth a lot! :)

      I like your specific recommendations; they make a lot of sense. And know what? They’re kind of my favorites, too. Sometimes I like the photos at the bottom, and sometimes I don’t. My initial reaction was that they added some clutter. Perhaps that would be the place for the subtitle. And re: the subtitle…definitely a struggle. I like the one you came up with and will add it to my list of those I’m considering.

      Thanks so much…will keep your suggestions in mind as I move forward with this!

      And maybe I’ll add in some thumbnails to make it easier to see what they will look like smaller.

  4. Dyanne@TravelnLass
    December 13, 2012 | 7:24 am

    W.O.W. Lisa – I’m impressed! The chapters and the way you’ve broken it into the 4 sections sounds wonderful! Good for you girlfriend – NICELY DONE!

    Now then, the cover dilemma. Hmmmm… I’ll have to give it some more thought, but for starters (just off the top of my head):

    1A – waaaay too busy. No way. No how.
    1F – likewise busy, but at least I like the colors better. I also like the floppys in 1F better than…

    1D and 1E – sorry but those floppys are waaaaaay to nice ‘n new to be the least bit “travel-worthy”. Shoot, those hummers look like they’ve not been ANYWHERE save maybe on a… day I say – cruise? Just sayin’…

    I mean, at least the floppys (which I believe are a super icon symbol for off-grid traveling) in 1F look a smidge WORN. Like maybe they’ve been to… oh I dunno, maybe to Jamaica, or Santorini. But probably not Syria, and most certainly not Nicaragua. ;)

    Hard to say… I like the notion of including a (more stylized, travel-torn “magic carpet” like in 1E. But with likewise travel-worn floppys as in 1F.

    In fact, I believe 1E gets my vote (incl. the plain blue sky), but with older/more worn floppys and carpet plus I rather like the idea of the 4 travel pics at the base. Only… surely you can come up with something more exotic than a lotus flower, yes?

    That said. All’s I can add is…

    Yippity-skippity! A contest with a prize that I might even be able to GET (delivered) here in Vietnam! ;)
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Mozambique LobsterMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 13, 2012 | 9:12 am

      Dyanne–Hi and thanks for stopping by! Glad we’re on the Internet. Makes it all so much faster! :)

      So you like the little photos at the bottom? I’m sort of torn about them. Sometimes I think they clutter up the cover. Other times, I think they’re nice because they show a variety of places. Unfortunately, people won’t notice them in a thumbnail–only when they click. PS: there was a different photo on the bottom left, but I asked for the lotus because of the China section of the book. I make some specific references to a floating lily….

      I like the idea of the more worn flip flops, too, but…the white ones don’t really jump out at you as flip flops when the image is smaller. Hmmmm.

      Maybe I should include some thumbnails so we can see just how small they’ll look…

      Thanks again, Dyanne! And if you win, it will be a simple click to deliver it to you–nice, right? :)

  5. Tracy Antonioli
    December 13, 2012 | 8:43 am

    Wow–SO MANY decisions to be made! I’m commenting because, as an English teacher, I really appreciate how a book’s cover affects readership; try giving an 8th grader a book with a cartoon pony on the cover and see what happens! (Side note: I also go to Book Expo every year and bring home piles of ARCs for my classes to check out; I’ve had advance copies of books that because SUPER POPULAR go unread because of the blank cover on the ARC. Kids are super picky!)

    Anyway…now that I’m done rambling…to address the title thing first–when I got to the second cover (1B) I was like ‘oh that SO needed the ‘and other travel tales’ part’! So I’m voting to keep that. Thus, I choose Title/Subhead combo 2E the most; it is concise and the subhead refers back to the main title. Love it.

    The covers are all great, though if I had to pick a least favorite it would be 1A. I think my love it tied between 1B, 1D and 1C. And, oddly, given my love for 1B, I don’t love 1F (which is a combination of B and C). I’ve been scrolling back up over and over and cannot, for the life of me, choose a favorite between those three. If someone held a gun to my head, I suppose I would choose 1D; it is the most professional looking.

    Best of luck in choosing! Clearly I couldn’t make a decision!
    Tracy Antonioli recently posted..Jefferson’s Grapes: Virginia Wine CountryMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 13, 2012 | 9:06 am

      Tracy–thanks so much for taking the time to leave your comment. Great feedback there! It’s fascinating to see what you and others think. It really is a tricky decision. I’ve asked random people in Starbucks and Whole Foods and they tend to like the flip flops. Specifically, they liked 1 D, too! I personally love 1 B and not just because my sister created the art. I think it’s pretty wild looking and cool. But I’m not sure that’s what people looking to read a travel memoir expect to see. From the others I’ve looked at, the covers tend to be photo-oriented. But not always.

      Anyway, thanks again–I truly appreciate hearing your thoughts!

  6. Corinne
    December 13, 2012 | 10:26 am

    Good Luck! Here are my votes: 1E for cover…needs a carpet…I like the drawn one, except for the footsteps.
    For the title I like 2E. Everyone loves a quest. (I think “zen” is becoming cliche – just my two cents).
    Again Good luck!

    • CB Driver
      December 13, 2012 | 10:42 am

      Thanks, Corrine. It seems that 1E is quite popular! Will keep the zen cliche in mind. It’s tricky, however, because as much as I’d like to use the word ‘spiritual,’ that has another connotation that (I think) might be off-putting in other ways.

      Anyway, thanks so much for the feedback!!

  7. Jen McConnel
    December 13, 2012 | 12:09 pm

    I LOVE cover 1C. Can’t wait to read your misadventures! Let me know if you’d like to be featured on Writers on Wednesday on my blog in the future.
    Jen McConnel recently posted..Guest post and promo: I HAVE PEOPLE by Taylor DeanMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 14, 2012 | 9:50 am

      Hi, Jen–and thanks for joining us in this discussion/letting me know which one you like! I appreciate your offer to be featured in W on W…let’s keep in touch and perhaps once the book is out and finished, I can do that. Sounds cool!

  8. Robert Watson
    December 13, 2012 | 3:44 pm

    The “purpose” of a cover on a book in a bookstore is to get the potential buyer to pick up the book. In that sense, I find covers 1D and 1E fitting that bill nicely. The four photos across the bottom give a sense of what lies within. None of the other covers do that.

    2B and 2E work best for me. Agree that ‘zen’ is a cliche :-(

    Cheers from Down Under :-)

    • CB Driver
      December 14, 2012 | 9:48 am

      Hello, Robert, from New Jersey! :) I’ve gone back and forth on the photos at the bottom. For the paperback version, they seem fine, but for the digital one, they might add clutter. Perhaps for that version, they could go on the back–if that’s the version I choose.

      Not a fan of the word ‘zen’? Hmmm. What about ‘spiritual’? Just curious…

      • Robert Watson
        December 14, 2012 | 5:30 pm

        I am glad you responded and asked, because this has caused me to think! When I say ‘zen’ is a cliche, what I mean is that when it is used on a cover, I instantly feel that it is a marketing tool. Now, brace yourself for a laugh…
        Why don’t you call the book 50 Sheckels of Grey Kilims.
        So, #1: zen and spiritual just sound cheap and cheesy

        Next is that I am not a zen or particularly spiritual person, so while your book about 11 countries definitely interests me, the word zen or spiritual on the cover would say, “This is not the style of book for you Robert.” How many travel book readers would be turned off? It might be 10% or less.
        So, #2: zen and spiritual will turn away some readers who simply want a book about interesting and unusual places.

        Now, the book marketing people would say that the front cover of a book does not have to totally cover all aspects of the book itself. You can choose to add ‘zen’ so it appeals to zen people, or you can choose to leave ‘zen’ off, so the book has wider appeal and sells more. Almost always, authors opt for greater sales.

        So, #3: maximizing your book sales is normally what any author wants

        Do I think too hard? LOL Cheers, R

        • CB Driver
          December 15, 2012 | 9:46 am

          You think pretty hard, but so do I–and that’s cool! Your advice makes sense. Perhaps, if I bring up ‘zen’ or anything like it, I could save that for the back cover. The more I think about it, I want to keep the title + subtitle short, too.

          50 Sheckels of Grey Kilims is hilarious! :)

          Thank you.

  9. Anita
    December 13, 2012 | 5:47 pm

    Some great comments already. I agree that simple is better, and vote for 1E, sans the “1 woman…33 misadventures” line and row of thumbnails. I also like Jodi’s suggested sub-title about far-flung places. Congratulations on the upcoming publication of your book…looking forward to reading it!
    Anita recently posted..Through the lens: Modena, ItalyMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 14, 2012 | 9:47 am

      Hi, Anita, and thank you! The subtitle that Jodi suggested is really growing on me–so much so that I’ve added it to the list that I’m considering. It will be interesting to see what others say now that it’s actually in the post.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion–so glad you did–and I look forward to the day the book is available and you can actually read it! Cheers!

  10. Susan
    December 14, 2012 | 12:39 am

    Hi Lisa,
    This is awesome! anyway this is my choice.. for the cover I like 1B. This art work is eye catching, bold, and seems spiritual, Fun & exciting at the same time. I will likely to be curious about this book to read. For the other covers, although it was great art work, it really didn’t work for me. 1A – too airy..and looks way too spiritual. 1C, ID, 1E – rather looks like a teenage book (especially 1C)..unless you are targeting younger market… 1F was little too busy… for the Title & subhead, I like 2C. Wish you lots of luck Lisa! Exciting!!

    • CB Driver
      December 14, 2012 | 9:45 am

      Thanks so much, Susan. Your input on this is excellent. Good to know your thoughts re: the age groups, etc. I like your choices and thank you for sharing your ideas! And thanks for your enthusiasm, etc–appreciate it!

  11. Limo VIP Bus
    December 14, 2012 | 7:31 am

    Great list.
    Actually, its hard to choose.
    All of them looks great.
    So either one of them I think.

  12. Nancy Sathre-Vogel
    December 15, 2012 | 3:00 am

    I like cover 1B the best, BUT only if you can shrink the design a bit. As is, it’s way too busy, but I love the design. Shrink it down and extend the solid color out in order to give the cover some empty space.
    Nancy Sathre-Vogel recently posted..Lessons learned from adventures in rural FranceMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 15, 2012 | 9:42 am

      Thanks for the ideas, Nancy! Do you mean shrink the image of the bus and woman? And then replace some of the design with color?

      • Nancy Sathre-Vogel
        December 15, 2012 | 12:37 pm

        Yes, just make the bus design smaller and extend the solid color out to the edges. You might keep the bus in the center, or you could move it off-center – I’d have to play with that to see how it looks. I love the design, it’s just that the cover is too busy with the bus and title and subtitle and author. Reducing the size of the graphic, creating more solid color should reduce that busy-ness.
        Nancy Sathre-Vogel recently posted..Lessons learned from adventures in rural FranceMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          December 15, 2012 | 1:35 pm

          Thanks so much, Nancy–great ideas! If that becomes the cover, I’ll do my best to go with a shorter title, etc. I like the one Jodi suggested. Magic Carpet Seduction: Travel Tales from Far-Flung Places. Fewer words would help, too, I’m sure.

  13. Maria
    December 15, 2012 | 1:48 pm

    Lisa, I choose:
    Clean and clear. Having worked for an independent bookseller before I can tell you the cover is important. So many bought based on that. 1D is enticing while clean/easy to “read” and visually sparks interest with the back ground (distant vista), shoes and the thumbnails below.

    The bus is cool because of Chicky Bus but the overlay of scrolling vine-like graphics makes it a bit busy and *I* think most people will skip it or think it’s purely a book for women.

    2E says it all! Love the play on finding yourself off the beaten path – as in the middle of nowhere AND the twist, you found yourself while off the beaten path. It works both ways and from all the posts I’ve read on your site, that really is what’s happened. You did find that you were off the beaten path and then you found yourself while there. :-)

    • CB Driver
      December 15, 2012 | 1:52 pm

      Thanks, Maria–great suggestions! Would you delete the little thumbnail photos at the bottom of 1D? Or leave them? Do they make it look busy? Would they be better on the back cover perhaps?

      Thanks for the feedback on 2E. It’s definitely a contender…still thinking on that. Tricky decisions, no? :)

      Had no idea you used to work for an indie bookseller. Cool!

  14. Maria
    December 15, 2012 | 2:03 pm

    Lisa, I’d leave the thumbnails at the bottom of the front cover on D1. They serve as a tease and honestly, would make me open the book and read a page or two before hitting the checkout.

    Oh yeah, one of the many jobs that paid for the undergraduate degree. Ah retail, the stories there.

    Don’t worry too much about the back cover.
    What’s gonna show in a bookstore is the front and the spine.
    Online it would just be the front.

    Imagine yourself walking into a bookstore. As you open the door to cross the threshold you see a table (I prefer rounders) about 4 feet inside. Book displays on it in a pie wedge configuration. Each wedge is a different book from a diff genre and at the center they’ve created a center piece with each book facing out.

    Now, ask yourself – which cover do you want to see?
    I want to see D1

    • CB Driver
      December 15, 2012 | 2:12 pm


      It would be wonderful for my book to be in some bookstores–not sure about how to make that happen at this point. I’m mostly targeting the digital market and putting out a paperback because I know some people only read that way.

      I do agree that the thumbnails are nice for an actual paperback–for sure! Hmmm… :)

      Thanks again!

    • CB Driver
      December 15, 2012 | 2:17 pm

      I also like 1B. Think it’s too busy? What if it were modified to be less busy? Could it work? It is unique, right?

  15. Maria
    December 15, 2012 | 2:22 pm

    Digital is a similar image. People will see the face (front cover) but imagine the store for the “Wow” effect and that’ll guide you – even if you disagree w/me *laugh*

    If your self-publishing then schlep those books in person to local venues – had a coworker in Montana who did that. She even went to used bookstores and got a few to carry a dozen or so as a test. Between online and brick/mortar she did well enough that she’s now on her 3rd in a series.

  16. Maria
    December 15, 2012 | 2:30 pm

    I dig the bus idea because of your site. But yeah, the scolling vine design and the yin/yangs are a bit much for my eye. Makes me think back to stuff like Griffin and Sabine (hadn’t thought of that in a while).

    How about 1C with a chicken bus just behind her (you don’t even need the entire bus, just enough to be recognizable to most people)? I think that would be a very cool cover.

    • CB Driver
      December 15, 2012 | 2:56 pm

      Hmmm…interesting re: the bus. So it’s a bit busy? OK.

      I like your idea re: C, but I’m at the point where I can’t go back to the conceptual stage. Thanks, however!

  17. Suhana
    December 15, 2012 | 2:35 pm

    Hey! Congrats, Lisa! You are such an inspiration!

    Here are my favorite covers in order of fave to least fave, but I like all of these:
    1B – looks seductive & intriguing
    1A – mysterious & intriguing
    1E – exotic & playful

    • CB Driver
      December 15, 2012 | 2:55 pm

      Thanks, Suhana! I appreciate the feedback and will keep it in mind!

  18. Maria
    December 15, 2012 | 3:00 pm

    Gotcha! Lisa they’re all catchy in one way or another and in the end it’ll be content that sells it. Your stories are interesting and fun.
    Kudos on getting so far – I’m thrilled for you. *hug*

    • CB Driver
      December 16, 2012 | 7:45 am

      Thank you, Maria–and hug for you. You’re been incredibly supportive and I truly appreciate it!

  19. Erik
    December 15, 2012 | 10:40 pm

    I like cover 1D the best!

    Sign me up, I want one of the first copies!!!!
    Erik recently posted..New Zealand- Chapter 22- From Taupo to Rotorua (pt.1)My Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 16, 2012 | 7:46 am

      Thanks, Erik. It seems like that’s the most gender-neutral one, right? Does 1B seem to chick-oriented? Just wondering. And thanks for your interest and enthusiasm. I’m so happy to see it!

  20. Lisa | LLworldtour
    December 16, 2012 | 9:39 am

    Excellent!! Congrats on coming this far. You are almost there.

    I’ve tried not to read most of the comments here and not be swayed.
    Covers: I like 1B and 1E. I think I would make 1B lighter color palatte though…more like 1Es so it’s not so dark. But while I like that bus image, I also personally prefer the clean-ness of 1E and it shows the ‘carpet’. I would take away the thumbnails at the bottom completely and keep it simple.

    2B …simple and appeals to all…
    Lisa | LLworldtour recently posted..Photo Essay: California Eatin’ by InstagramMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 16, 2012 | 11:45 am

      Thanks so much, Lisa! Yes…almost…must.keep.going… :)

      Glad you didn’t read the other comments; sometimes it’s better that way!

      And I think that your suggestion re: 1B makes sense. That may, in fact, be the solution (if I choose that one.) Lighter colors would make the images and type pop more, I think.

      You would take away those little thumbnails in 1 E (which, by the way, is beating 1B in terms of popularity at the moment; they are close, however)? Good to know. I could always have them on the back cover, right? As much as I’m looking forward to having the book come out as a paperback, I’ll mostly be promoting it to those who own e-readers. And so, the cover must be simple.


  21. Michelle Sauer
    December 16, 2012 | 5:16 pm

    I love the title Magic Carpet Seduction!! and my favorite cover is 1C — it shows that the book is non-fiction but has the appeal to get men interested in reading it as well as women. 1E is a second choice because your name in a different color sets it apart from the title. (hey, we could compare books, I’ll link mine to you so you can take a look at it. I just finished the sequel to it and have to go over it with a friend who briefly edited it for me)

    • CB Driver
      December 16, 2012 | 6:46 pm

      So glad you like the title, Michelle! It was challenging for me to narrow it down and settle on one. Thanks for your input and suggestions!

      Cool re: your book…I look forward to checking it out!!

  22. Michaela
    December 16, 2012 | 7:20 pm

    Congrats on finishing your book! Your title is very catchy and pulls me in with just the subtitle used in the cover designs. Extra words in your subtitle will crowd the cover.

    It would be just as useful to potential readers to have the ideas that you’ve portrayed in alternate subtitles included in your introductions or preface instead.

    I love covers 1B and 1C. 1B is more whimsical and seems to correlate to the idea of your book, but 1C is more intriguing. I want to know where that lady has been and where she’s going – we do live in the generation of reality TV!

    Good Luck and I can’t wait to read your book!
    Michaela recently posted..Tips on Visiting Washington, DC – Inauguration EditionMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 17, 2012 | 10:59 pm

      Hi, Michaela–and thanks so much for joining this conversation! Glad you find the title catchy. Very cool. Your ideas are really good. I also love cover 1B. Not sure I’m going to be able to use it because it will require some redoing. My sister did it back when I had two additional sections in the book and some of the symbols represent that and are no longer relevant. There’s another drawing that’s more current, but it would require more work. There’s also been some feedback re: it being cluttered. So I’m not sure I’m going to be able to use it.

      However, I may use that image as the new logo for this website in the future. I think it’s perfect because of the bus.

      As for the title/subtitle, I’ve decided to keep it short, based on what people have been saying. Glad I’ve made that decision!

      Thanks again–and I look forward to the day when you can read the book!

  23. Sprite
    December 18, 2012 | 9:09 pm

    1D and 1F are my favorites :)

    • Sprite
      December 18, 2012 | 9:27 pm

      or 1E, but without the pictures at the bottom of any, I concur to drop the “and” from before 33 misadventures, then 2B or 2G for subtitles. Can’t wait for the book – I got goosebumps seeing your name on the cover!

      • CB Driver
        December 19, 2012 | 1:41 pm

        Thanks for the advice–appreciate it. And awesome that you’re getting all goosebumpy. Very cool!

    • CB Driver
      December 19, 2012 | 1:41 pm

      I think 1D is doing very well in this competition.

  24. Jenna
    December 20, 2012 | 1:58 am

    I like Cover 1D
    I like titles 2G or 2B.
    Jenna recently posted..My holiday giveaway: AFAR Magazine SubscriptionMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 20, 2012 | 8:21 am

      Thanks, Jenna–good to know!

  25. Ellen
    December 20, 2012 | 3:06 pm

    This is so exciting,Lisa! You’re such a great writer and I can’t wait to read this. Here are my thoughts for what they’re worth…
    I like cover 1E, but without the thumbnails at the bottom. I think they take away from the drama of the cover. Let the reader’s natural curiosity make them pick it up to see what’s inside. To me, it looks like a real book cover. As far as title and subtitle, I would go with 2B, but I might massage it a little like–traveling off the beaten path or just “off the beaten path.” Landing/touching down/going off the beaten path? (playing off of magic carpet). Oh well, you get the idea.

    This is so cool. I’ll come see you on your first book tour!

    • CB Driver
      December 21, 2012 | 9:13 am

      Ellen–Hi and thank you so for much for your kind words and fantastic advice!

      So you like 1E? Seems that is very popular. And it’s good for me to know that. Also, I agree with you re: the thumbnails. Perhaps they could go on the back cover. And I like the word ‘landing’ a lot. Very cool! I do think that the word ‘tales’ should probably appear on the cover. But I’ll certainly consider your suggestions.

      By the way, the set-up of the book is interesting (but made a few things challenging.) Although there are approximately 33 tales, two of them are told over multiple chapters. Also, there are connections between stories. Because of this, I decided to go with numbered chapters. It’s not the kind of book one can jump around in. That’s why, unfortunately, I can’t use the 1 woman, 9 countries, 33 tales subtitle. A friend who read the book was confused by that. She thought she could read about whichever country she wanted first, which is not the case.

      Anyway, thanks again and I will definitely invite you to the book signing!! :)

  26. Leektone
    December 21, 2012 | 2:48 pm

    I dig the first two covers, because they look very 1970′s-psychdedelic. They are kind of a double entendre on the word “trip.” Get it?

    I especially like the big eyeball. I can never get enough of those.

    • CB Driver
      December 25, 2012 | 9:47 am

      Hi, LT. Thanks for the feedback! I like those two, also. However, the first one was never really finished. And the second one would need a lot of work to make it work.

      I also like the double entendre possibilities. It’s trippy, isn’t it? :)

  27. Naomi
    December 25, 2012 | 1:21 am

    My vote’s with 1B cover, I think the colours and graphic really stand out (your sister’s the bomb!!), and it’s simple and not too busy. 1C made me cringe, so stereotypically chick lit cover, then again…..
    I like 1E with the carpet, but along with the title as well you’re steering it too much toward the middle eastern adventures when you actually encompass much more of the world, so it’s perhaps misleading. I don’t mind 1F but I prefer the colours in 1B.

    I don’t like the 1 woman, 11 countries, 33 misadventures line, it kind of grates and doesn’t really roll well off the tongue but I do think it’s the right direction to go for a subtitle. I don’t like any of the suggested subtitles in 2, both “off the beaten track” and “zen” are so cliched, and you’re not! I think you should keep “and other travel tales”, and perhaps a subtitle like “how many misadventures can one woman have?” as a kind of hook or something. or ” a woman’s misadventures in far flung places”. actually, why are they misadventures? Aren’t they adventures??

    anyway, muchos congratulations on getting this far, and I’ll definitely be buying your book as soon as it’s out.
    Naomi recently posted..Regaining inspirationMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 25, 2012 | 9:44 am

      Hi, Naomi! I’m with you on cover #3 (too chick-oriented) and like you, I love 1B. For so many reasons. Unfortunately, it would need to be redone with lighter colors and less detail because of how small the thumbnail would appear. Not sure I’ll be able to get that work done in time because it involves two other people. I may make that the logo for the website!

      So the cover may be 1E. As for it possibly seeming more Middle Eastern oriented, I’m not sure. The idea of a magic carpet, in my mind, is sort of general and could mean traveling anywhere. I guess the main thing is that people are intrigued. Then, the subtitle and back cover could explain further.

      As for subtitles, thanks for your suggestions! I’m definitely not using the one that appears on the sample covers (1 woman, 9 countries, etc.). Long story there, but it has to do with the number of chapters vs the number of ‘tales.’ A couple tales span more than one chapter and so, I don’t want anyone to be confused by the chapters vs tales. Also, it’s not a book where you can jump around. The chapters are numbered and need to be read consecutively. So that subtitle is off the table. So is the word zen.

      Thanks again for everything–especially for visiting my blog as often as you do–and I look forward to the day when I can say, Hey, Naomi–the book is really done and available! :)

  28. Laura
    December 26, 2012 | 9:55 pm

    I like 1D and 2E

    I picked 1D because if I walking past it in a bookstore, that cover would catch my eye. :)

    • CB Driver
      December 27, 2012 | 9:39 am

      Laura–thanks for your feedback. PS: You’re on the right track. Looks like it will probably be 1D!

  29. Helene
    December 26, 2012 | 10:17 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    Congratulations on completing the book, can’t wait to read it. I agree with all the comments that say simple is better. As a result my choice of cover (although each has different merits) is 1E as it reflects the carpet in the title, is not as busy as the others and is not gender specific.
    The headings I think need fewer words (that ‘less is more thing’ again) so I have 2 choices either a modified version of 2D (to read) ‘Magic Carpet Seduction. Loving the road, finding the Zen’ or
    2G, love the simplicity of this one.
    Congrats and more cheers from Down Under.

    • CB Driver
      December 27, 2012 | 9:39 am

      Thanks for your interest in the book–I’m excited that you’re excited! :) And yes, the consensus has been to keep it simple and to get rid of clutter.

      I like ‘Loving the Road, Finding the Zen,’ but for some reason, people seem to be turned off to the word ‘zen.’ That’s a shame because I thought it was a good word to use.

      Anyway, the title is probably going to be 2D and I’m almost there with the subtitle. Thanks again!

  30. Pamm
    December 26, 2012 | 11:50 pm

    Well done on getting the book finished!!!

    As a solo woman traveling around the world, I have collected my share of misadventures as well, so I am looking forward to a good read.

    I think cover D or E work best. Without the small photos at the bottom. I really like E because of the carpet tie in, but the more I looked at it, D really began to sing.

    I would, without question, keep the sub heading of 1 Woman 11 countries and 33 misadventures. The other ones are just…..well…..ordinary. The 1, 11, 33 one had me smiling and remembering my own travel ‘issues’. Clear, concise, and a tease of what the book is about.

    Good luck with it – I am anxious to read it.

    And if you miss the 1-23 deadline, just go for the 27th (my brother’s birthday) or the 29th (my niece’s birthday).

    • CB Driver
      December 27, 2012 | 9:36 am

      Hi, Pam–thanks! It’s been a long road getting to this point–more work than I ever imagined–and I can’t wait to be in the next phase of the process.

      I really wish I could keep the subtitle that you saw. It was my favorite, too, but there were a couple issues with it. First, I wouldn’t want anyone to think they were romantic misadventures since they weren’t. Also, a couple readers had trouble with it because the book actually has chapters (and should be read consecutively) and not tales you can jump around between. Two of the stories are told over 6 chapters, so the number of chapters and tales is different and could be misleading (32 vs 38 or something like that). Shame, right? I may just go with ‘Travel Tales from Off the Beaten Path.’ It doesn’t say how many and this what the book is.

      Anyway, I’m quite sure I’m gong with 1D! I had the same experience you did, btw. I liked 1E because of the carpet, but then realized, it really isn’t necessary. I like the blurry background image of the sandy path leading somewhere. It’s less cluttered and I think it pulls you in.

      Thanks so much for your interest–and funny re: the other birthdays! If I don’t get enough done over the next couple weeks, it could be Valentine’s Day when I release it! :)

  31. Andrea
    December 27, 2012 | 3:38 am


    1a) Looks a bit homemade and not in an inspiring way – (apologies to your sister). Think it might be the colours and the footprints.
    1b) LOVE it! Although some may wonder why you’re getting in the back of the bus ;-)
    1c) Seems that it would lead to the most commercial success if your target market is the armchair travelling female – which in my opinion it probably should be because those that travel themselves have their own similar memories and are unlikely to pay for yours.
    1d &e) I don’t like that the shoes are new – doesn’t give the impression that they have been any where. But then who wants to look at dirty old travelling shoes?
    1f) seems a bit confused – did you wear flip flops or high-heels? What kind of journey am I buying into???

    2D is the winning title for me

    Anyway, hopefully there’s some food for thought for you here!

    Best of luck,

    • CB Driver
      December 27, 2012 | 9:30 am

      Andrea–Hi and thanks for the feedback! No prob re: 1A…my sister had not technically finished it and told me that, so it’s cool. It still had too many lines and a sketch-like feel. I agree re: the high heels and know what you mean re: dirty shoes. I think they pretty/new ones should be OK.

      Anyway, very interesting that you like 2D the most. I’m 99% sure at this point that it will be the cover (minus the small pics at the bottom). Thanks!

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