Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sometimes It's All in the Packaging


If you publish enough books you'll sooner or later have a cover designed for your book you detest. Perhaps it will not faithfully depict the characters or their world. It could even be something so simple as a color scheme you don't like. The font used for the title and your name might be of a style you fear won't call attention to the title. Perhaps the cover art appears too dark for a novel meant to be light-hearted or the other way around. My least favorite cover was for my third futuristic romance novel, A Ruthless Good. The hot, hot picture of an unclothed male could only lead possible readers to believe this was an erotic romance when it was not at all. It made it very difficult for me to market not matter how great the model's body was.

But then sometimes you get a cover so nearly perfect you want to paste to every email, snail mail and any spot some one might see it. A cover so fantastic you wish months of your life away so the book gets released right now instead of next year. I was very happy with the cover for my first book in The Futhark Chronicles, my epic fantasy series with Medallion Press. The Keepers of Sulbreth's cover won praise from many readers and I loved it. But a few days ago I received the cover art for the second book in the series, Beyond the Gate. This wonderful depiction of the fantasy world I've created and the sense of danger and tension in the scene selected sent me shouted around my office. Love isn't a strong enough word for this cover. I can't wait to see it on shelves next January.

Have you ever had a really perfect cover as an author or have you been stuck with a perfectly horrid one? As a reader is there a particular book you bought because of the cover art?

9 comments:

Arianna Skye said...

I've only had one cover so far, and it was a pleasant experience. The artist even used the same model that I envisioned my hero looked like. The heroine was very pretty too. Every says she looks like Cate Blanchett. I'm not complaining about that at all!

Cate Masters said...

Oh, I was hoping you'd post this Susan. It's a great cover! Everything's in there - the couple's solidary, the tension in standing against the ogrelike army... wow.
And your cover's great too, Arianna! She actually reminds me of the queen in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Cate Masters said...

Oops, fingers slipped. Solidary isn't a word, but solidarity is. :)

Susan Kelley said...

Ilove your cover, Arianna. I see the Cate Blanchett resemblence. Thanks for the analysis, Cate. You said it just right.

Cate Masters said...

Btw, Susan, I grabbed it to put in the blog rotation. It should show up soon!

Susan Kelley said...

Thanks, Cate. Our group has so many great covers.

Jon Sprunk said...

I love Susan's cover. I also feel fortunate with my own (created by Michael Kormack).

Susan Kelley said...

I love your cover too, Jon. I can wait to read your book.

Laurie J. Edwards said...

Cool cover, Susan! For my first romance (under a pseudonym), I thought the cover the publisher sent wouldn't work. I guess I wasn't very enthusiastic in thanking the cover artist, because she emailed to ask if I'd like her to do something different. I eagerly told her my ideas. She did her best to do what I'd asked, but it still wasn't what I'd envisioned. Several months later it dawned on me that her original cover idea would have had more marketing appeal. That taught me not to visualize what I think the cover should be, but to trust the artist to do his/her job.