Why? Because I thought the original was a little too harsh and I could soften it up. I like it very much but I'm not sure it's the perfect cover if I have to depend on the cover alone to sell the book. I've seen a book about an adult paparazzi and it's pretty tame--white background, woman holding a camera. There's a YA and it's what you think it should be, a young woman holding a camera. Actually they are the same, aren't they?
If photography is about light, then I wanted to do something with a lighting effect. Maybe that's too deep. Maybe I should have just taken a photo of my old Nikon. Wait. I have an old photo of me with my Nikon F that I took. I could have used that. Of course, it's a slide so I would have needed to transfer it somehow. (Like I'd want to be on the cover of a book.)
Do readers really need to be taken by the hand--"This book is about a photographer". Kip does photography but the book is about her life and love. How do you convey that in an image? You can't. So look for an image that says something about the theme, the sense of the book. I know we're somewhat limited although I'm sure tradpub uses many of the same stock photo sites we can. Of course they can afford Getty Images and we can't.
OTOH I think Avalon spent a buck fifty on the cover of Love In The Air and I mean $1.50 not $150.
Update: Mark Coker just published a free ebook The Secrets of Ebook Publishing so maybe we'll learn something.
Uptheupdate: I sorta skimmed/read the book. It was hard to read in Calibre--no margins. He says the most successful books are over 70,000 words.
"A book is as long as it takes to tell the story"--Jean Karl my first editor (really famous for being a topflight juvenile editor)
You have to do what is comfortable and what works for you. If all that social media works for you, and you like it, do it. I don't so I don't.