Thursday, September 13, 2007

Covers That Get Around, by Bronwyn Jameson

It's always fun to receive translations of my books in the mail, or even to find a new translation on one of Harlequin's foreign websites. Sometimes they carry the same cover as the original publication, but even these look new and shiny with the office's own cover treatment. Other times they come dressed in different cover art and I asked the Managing Editor of Harlequin Australia, Jackie Johnson, about the how and why of cover art selection. Here's what the always-helpful Jackie had to say.

"We have a data-base that is open to all of the overseas offices which holds every artwork commissioned for series books. We can, and do, use different artwork when we need to -- this can happen if the artwork commissioned for a particular title is unsuitable, or when we use single title product in the series line, etc. These would be chosen (usually) by marketing after an art brief has been supplied by an editor. In the case of our office, I am in essence, both editor and marketing function for covers, so I take care of this.

Whilst this happens on a couple of titles each month, I order the artwork commissioned for the specific title for the majority of titles from North America or the UK. For duo books I order the most appealing image of the two titles. The only art we select locally from stock photo-libraries appear on Sexy Sensations and Ultimate Collections. These are generic images and are sourced monthly. The only artwork we order from the UK offices are Medical.

Each overseas office has a different art strategy depending on how that particular series performs in their market (eg. The UK use more photographic images on certain series, the French design from scratch for a more sophisticated look etc.)"
It is fun and especially delightful when one of the foreign offices chooses a cover image which captures the characters or the book's tone better than the original. When the cover art is recognisable -- for example, because it's been featured on the cover of a good friend's book or because it's been staring at me from the cover of a favourite on my keeper's shelf -- then that can be slightly strange...but still fun in a different way.

Last week I received copies of the Dutch translations of my Princes of the Outback trilogy, beautifully packaged as a single and a duo under the flag of Love in the Outback. The cover of The Rugged Lover (left, below) is beautiful. This could be Tomas and Angelina. I love it! Next I looked at the duo cover (centre, below) and didn't need to check my keeper's shelf. This is the cover originally used on Taylor's Temptation, Suzanne Brockmann, from 2001-ish. (I'm kinda glad the shorts are cut from mine! *g*)

Recently my Bought-And-Paid-For Wife came out in the UK, using the original cover art from the other book in the duo, Patricia Kay's One-Week Wife. My book's art was used the same month on another Desire Duo, and I have to say it was funny seeing "my" cover on another book (see right).

When another author sent me a link to the German site, where Bought-And-Paid-For Wife is a September release, my eyes were drawn to another familiar cover. First seen on Trish Morey's Virgin For The Taking, this is one of my favourite romantic covers -- and one of my favourites of Trish's wonderful books -- which is why it caught my eye. This time around it's gracing Pat Kay's One-Week Wife and the couple are walking a romantic stretch of Mexican beach, rather than Broome, Western Australia, as in Trish's book. Wherever that beach is, it's gorgeous, isn't it?

Covers, they do get around. *g*

Do you have any favourite cover images which do a fabulous job of depicting the characters and the story inside the book?


Lois said...

Well, off hand I can't think of any covers that repeated, but as a matter of fact, recently I noticed a cover model that has been repeated, and it's a little strange.

I started reading the latest book in the six book Boscastle series of Jillian Hunter's, Emma's book, the sister of the brothers of the other books. And the stepback cover (right, that's the inside picture?) has her and her guy. The guy is the same person as the brother from the cover of the very first book. So to me, it's a little strange that purely coverwise, Emma's hero looks exactly like her brother. ;)


Bronwyn Jameson said...

The same models do pop up on covers -- a lot! -- and mostly that's fine because they have different looks and the books have no relationship. But, wow Lois, I can see why that instance would seem a little odd.


Lois said...

Oh, I definitely realize there are just so many cover models and I'm sure there are plenty of other books over there that have the same guys on them. But when I saw this one, I was actually surprise with it because it's the same series. I would think there they'd watch who they use, but anyway, it's no real biggie, just noticeable. Still love the inside, and yep, he's still pretty cute too. LOL


Maureen said...

I don't pay a lot of attention to the covers but I like the prettier ones with pictures or landscapses.

Nathalie said...

I like the ones with the landscape too! I find it sometimes embarrassing to read in public when there is a couple embracing on the cover!

Lily said...

i didn't even now they were real models... I thought they were digitalized sketches or paintings!

Annie West said...

Bron, how cool that you and Trish share that wonderful cover! I love that one and I had no idea that they'd used it for your translation too! Lucky woman!


Anne McAllister said...

Amazing, isn't it, Bron? I once got a cover from my previous Presents on the UK cover of a book from the same line. Boggled my mind. I guess they thought, well, she liked that cover, we'll just give it to her again. No matter that the book it fit was set on a Caribbean island and the book the UK put it on took place in Brooklyn!

tam said...

I have seen repeated covers before but can't think of the name right now. It doesn't matter to me what is on the cover, if it is too much I will just make a plain brown book cover for it. It wouldn't be the first time. I've even done it when we've had company come over with teen age boys, I didn't think should be picking up the book I may be reading that just might happen to be out on the table somewhere.