Readers are unsure how much work actually goes into the writing and then publishing of a novel.
It's a lot. Hours, days and months for me. If you add in the cover, it can be a very large investment in not only time but consideration.
I've been thinking about the cover for NLM2 for about 6 months. I'm not an artist but I was a photographer earlier in life with a photography major in college so that seemed the way to go.
I wound up getting a new camera--the old one was for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting Patterns--and have spent the last few weeks doing test photos. This is one of the tests. Maybe I'll even use it inside. While right now most dedicated reading devices are B&W, in another year or so I think that'll change. More people will be using tablet computers as readers and the graphics are fantastic in those. I think some illustrations will be enjoyable.