Covers are the bane of any author’s existence. . and the bliss, too, when done well. Nothing gives an author more reasons for angst (well, other than titles, reviews, editing, synopsis-writing, and so on) than waiting to see how their publisher’s art, marketing and editorial departments envisioned their story. Did they pick up on the conflict? Do the hero and heroine actually LOOK like they’re supposed to? Hair color? Age? Body type? Sometimes they’re spot on and sometimes, well, they’re not at all.
Last year, I put together a presentation for an event about the mysteries and possibilities of romance novel coverart and I collected examples of many — some beautiful, some questionable and some downright horrendous covers to show to my audience. I talked about author branding, marketing concepts, reader/story expectations and the one thing that the attendees could simply not believe was that authors have little or no control over covers. It’s true but after having input on the four covers of my recently republished books, I can say that I think I’m grateful for not having been involved in all those others! LOL!
Actually, that’s not completely true — working with the cover artist/graphic designer on my covers forced me (FORCED!) to sift through dozens and dozens possibly hundreds of photos of gorgeous young men. It was a terrible experience, comparing their eyes and faces and . . . other bits, trying to find the perfect representation for my heroes. As I explained to my husband who was wondering why I was looking at gorgeous young men for hours and hours, it was my responsibility to find the right one from among all the wrong ones.
So, back to the other covers — the ones designed and created by my publishers. I have been blessed with mostly fabulous covers over the years. Lovely ones, gorgeous ones for the most part, across time periods, with hunky Highlanders, Saxon maidens, Regency duchesses and earls, and a few headless women, too. More than a few headless people–LOL! To capitalize on the trend for my books to feature headless heroines (THE COUNTESS BRIDE, MAID OF LORN, THE BETROTHAL, THE CONQUEROR’S LADY, and all of my Bravas) then headless heroes (THE NORMAN’S BRIDE, TAMING THE HIGHLANDER, SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER, etc), I even held a website contest to guess what the next cover would be!
Well, today I got the first peek at my next Harlequin Historical’s cover and I am blown away by it! I think it’s the best one yet — but I may be biased. What do you think?
When you look for a romance novel, in stores or online, what do you like on the cover? Are you partial to clinches? Hero-only? Heroine-only? Naked manly chests? Images not people? And which of mine (found here ) do you think is the best? This new one or one of the others? Post a comment and I’m going to choose two people who will each receive a signed book (from this weekend’s Desert Dreams Conference in Phoenix AZ).
Terri is on her way to the Desert Dreams conference this weekend where she’ll be presenting a workshop and signing at the conference bookfair. The bookfair on Saturday is open to the public. Stop by if you’re in the area!