Friday, June 13, 2008

From Foreign Climes!

by Anna Campbell

One of the fun bits about writing romance is that it's a worldwide industry. That means an author gradually starts to see foreign translations of her books. So far, I've sold books to Germany, Australia, Italy, Russia and Japan, apart from my U.S. editions. I wanted to share some of the lovely European covers with you (nothing as yet for Japan!).

What prompted this column is that I've only just seen my German cover for the book that comes out in the U.S. next January as TEMPT THE DEVIL. VERBOTENE UMARMUNG translates as "Forbidden Embrace" which I rather like. And I just adore this cover with its gorgeous aubergine and that breathtakingly sexy clinch. The picture looks exactly like my characters too! AKA The Earl of Erith is a handsome devil like this guy!

Here are my other two German covers. I'd say, at a guess, the Germans really like a sexy bedroom scene! Or perhaps that's just what they do for my books! I love the solid colors under the pictures. REBELLISCHE KUSSE translates as "Rebellious Kisses" and ZART WIE DIE NACHT translates as "Tender as the Night." Wonder what F. Scott Fitzgerald thinks of that! Finding out what the foreign titles are is always a fun part of this particular game too!

This month, CLAIMING THE COURTESAN comes out in Russia and Italy. Someone told me that the Russian title translates as WINNING THE HIGH-CLASS PROSTITUTE which made me laugh. I guess you could say that's "claiming the courtesan"! I love the Russian cover. It's so exotic and fairytale-looking. Although the Scottish Highlands suddenly look VERY Swiss in their white jagged iciness! Is that the Matterhorn in the background? I also like the idea of being AHHA. Not sure why! Perhaps Aha sounds like I know what I'm talking about!

IL CUORE DI UNA CORTIGIANA translates as "The Heart of a Courtesan" which is marvellously romantic! This cover makes me smile, not just because it's so pretty, but also because my heroine is kissing my hero and he's turning away. If any of you have read CTC, you'll know that's not precisely the plot!

So let's talk about covers. What sort of covers do you like? We've seen so many fashions over the years. There's the classic clinch (all of my covers so far fall into this category and I must say I love them!). These divide into the dressed and undressed category in my mind! There's the girl on her own. There's the hero on his own. There's a 'bit' of somebody - a torso or a shot from the chin down or some bare legs sliding out of a bed. There's the non-person cover. You know, champagne glasses or a locket or some other object of significance to the story. There's the landscape covers - often with a country house in the distance. Are you embarrassed to be seen reading a romance in public, because of the covers? I used to be. Must say I'm over that now! Are there any covers you'd like to see more of?


Annie West said...

Hi Anna, congratulations on the collection of covers. Isn't it grand when the foreign ones come in? As you know I love your Russian cover. The colours and the fairy tale richness are just lovely.

One of my personal faves is a Korean cover I have of a fantastic living room but no people in it. I figure Ronan and Marina had ducked out to pose in the pool for the sultry embrace that appears on the covers of other editions! And I've just seen a new German cover for my 2nd sheikh book and I've fallen in love - with the beautiful mosaic tiled wall behind the lovers. Just as I imagined! Sometimes it's the little things that count.

Overall though I'd have to say that when it comes to covers the main thing is the thrill of having them! Of knowing my stories have made it into print for others to read.


Christine Wells said...

Hi, Anna! How lovely to have such an abundance of beautiful covers for each book! Those German ones are fantastic, aren't they?Actually, I was chatting with some other historical authors about covers the other day and we all have different ideas about what works and what doesn't. I'd love to see some hard data on the subject.

Liz Carlyle has had some fab covers over the years, with those One Little...etc and also the Devil series she did. Must admit I have a soft spot for man behind heroine kissing her neck. Loved SEP's Match Me if You Can--really flirty and fun. I suppose I like a cover that fits the book. Loretta Chase's Mr Impossible was a perfect example of that. I also think having a block of colour is nice and eye-catching.

Notice they're doing a lot of faces at the moment. What do you think about that?

Christine Wells said...

Oh, yes, and I love my cover for The Dangerous Duke! Sorry, had to do some shameless self-promotion there. But actually, it's true.

Helen said...

Anna the covers are beautiful
I like covers that show the hero and heroine on them for the most and I am not at all ashamed to be seen reading some of the hot and steamy ones in public.
The only thing that I don't like much is when the hero or heroine is pictured on the cover with different coloured hair than they have in the book, but other than that I think that most covers are very good but they won't make me buy a book even if I love the cover I need to read th blurb or have read about it on the net or from recomendations.
Great post Anna
Have Fun

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Look at the covers--there much diff from the ones I'm used to for you books, but not so diff from some other authors in NA publications... when do you get your for NA?

PJ said...

Those are great covers, Anna. I love the rich, vibrant colors!

I like a variety of covers, some with clinches and others without. Like Helen, what drives me around the bend is when the h/h on the cover are the direct opposite of their description in the story.

I think Elizabeth Hoyt has a beautiful cover for Taste of Temptation and I love Donna MacMeans's cover for The Trouble With Moonlight. Joanna Bourne has a beautiful cover for the upcoming My Lord and Spymaster.

Anna, your wonderful US covers perfectly set the tone for your Regency Noir stories.

Christine, I adore the cover for The Dangerous Duke. It evokes gentle breezes, light floral fragrances, soft murmurs and a book I can't wait to get my hands on.

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, always lovely to see you. Thanks for popping by. Actually I've seen that Korean cover and I think it's gorgeous. But I think you've been pretty lucky with your covers - the two Sheikh ones are gorgeous. And you're right - it is such a thrill to think of people all over the world picking up our books, isn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, thanks for your comment. I agree about your Dangerous Duke cover. It's beautiful. One of the prettiest I've ever seen. I remember the Liz Carlyle ones (I own most of them!). They were spectacular. You're right about just a face on the cover. Some of those are lovely, aren't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, thanks for popping over from the Banditas to check out my blog. I must admit I have a very soft spot for a clinch cover. That's always said 'romance' to me.

Hi Tiffany! Always great to see you. I should get the US cover soon. I'll put it up on the website then and you can check it out!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, I'm with you! I hate it when they don't look like they come from the book I'm reading. It tends to make me feel undervalued as a reader! And I don't like it when there's an incident that has absolutely nothing to do with the story. I remember a story that was firmly set in Regency London featuring a naked (well, implied naked!) hero and heroine on the front under a waterfall. Um, in Hyde Park? Perhaps at Almack's? I think not! And thanks for saying you like my US covers. So do I! ;-)

braible said...

I like the bit of somebody covers. I'm partial to torsos or behinds. And I like cool colors that make a mood!! My pet peeve, like everyone else seems to be, is when what you can see doesn't match the story. I hate a blond cover model for a book about a redhead darn it. What is up with that! Currently, I feel like paranormals are getting my favorite covers but that changes. :) You have great covers, I looked them up.

Estella said...

Your covers are very colorful.
I don't have a favorite type of cover. Covers are not the reason I buy a book, the author is.

Anna Campbell said...

Becky, thanks for popping by and also thanks for checking out my US covers. They're SOOO romantic, aren't they?

Estella, I must admit a really stunning cover has drawn me to pick up a book in a bookshop. Especially if it's a book by a writer I don't know. As you say, if you read a lot of romance, you have autobuys and honestly, they could come out in a paperbag and I'd still buy them. Thanks for your comment!

Jane said...

Wow, your foreign covers are gorgeous. I love the cinch covers, but my favorite are the shadowy silhouettes, popular on covers of romantic suspenses. I enjooy the torso covers, too.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Late to the party but just had to pop by and say, Fo I LURVE all your covers! The colors are so lush, and that edition of Tempt the Devil with those lavendars is esp. YUMMY!

Madame Wells, I have said before but will say again The Dangerous Duke is one of THE MOST GORGEOUS covers I've ever seen! Yes, that even includes MINE, which I do LURVE, but yours is like an elegant painting!

Estella, glad to hear that you do not buy a book based strictly on its cover, since we authors often have no say so whatsoever on them.

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, they're terrifically sexy, aren't they? Thank you. Especially that new one. I was so happy when I saw it. As Aunty Cindy points out, we authors have very little say in what we get.

Cindy, as always, lovely to see you. Thanks for popping by to say hello. I think your cover for THE WILD SIGHT is fantastic. So atmospheric. Sort of romantic and creepy at the same time. Wow!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Anna! You've gotten a collection of very fine covers! I really like rich colors and gorgeous gowns for historicals. The clinch covers are classic, of course, and I usually enjoy those, but it does still make me giggle when the guy is gratuitously half-naked and the woman's gown is falling off her gorgeously bare shoulder :) On the more contemporary stories, I do like those bare chest with the guy's face in half shadow sort of covers--mmm... But I do agree with Helen, it drives me bonkers when the description inside doesn't match the art outside--grrr!! What's up with that???

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Fedora! Yes, I must say I respond really strongly to beautiful colors in a cover - which is why those German ones are so striking, I think, especially the latest one. There were a couple of Candice Hearns with beautiful gowns on the front that I thought were stunning. And Christine has already mentioned the lovely Liz Carlyles. I love the really mysterious clinch ones they do for some of the paranormals - like J.R. Ward's or Kathryn Smith's. Thanks for popping over to say hello!

Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Ms. "Ahha,"

Love this particular take on your
name! It certainly is different.
I tend to like the heroine and
hero together in a lovely embrace.
Isn't that what the story is about?
Bringing them together, after
working out their point of conflict?

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, I've got to say for all the gorgeous hims on his own and hers on her own and houses and horse and lockets and bits of bodies, my favorite is still a really romantic clinch! I think we must look at romance novels the same way!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually I really like the new Julia Quinn cover, THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAM. I think that's really romantic and it makes me think of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy for some reason. Nice colors too.

GregPreston said...

Hi Ahha, you're Russian cover made me giggle. I thought it a cross between Heidi, The Sound of Music and the covers of all my childhood fairy tale books- none of which bring to mind your particular brand of Regency Noir. Such a pretty picture to go with the title of 'Winning the High-Class Prostitute'. I loved it!

Have to admit, I like a nice clinch on the cover. Having said that though, I do like Anne Gracie's covers... and the simplicity of the Georgette Heyer's.

Michelle Douglas

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, how does Greg Preston turn into Michelle Douglas? Michelle, lovely to hear from you. Annie West, my CP, just adores the Russian cover because it is so fairytale. I think it's mighty pretty! I LOVE the Anne Gracie covers. I think they do the symbolic object thing really well.

kimmyl said...

I love the covers they are great.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Kimmy! Thought they might make some pretty pictures for a blog ;-)

Jennie Lucas said...

What a fun post, Anna! I loved all the foreign covers.

And in answer to your question--I'm never embarrassed to be reading a romance novel in public, no matter what the cover looks like. I'm completely defiant about it. If someone objects to passion and ultimate love, then they've obviously got bigger problems then a clinch cover shot.

Terri Brisbin said...

Anna --

I love to see the foreign releases -- the titles and covers can be very interesting...

I think that Russian one is actually an old Zebra cover of a romance set in frontier America...I can almost see the book...if I find it on my shelf, I'll let you know which one...

Enjoy the world-wide fun!


Anna Campbell said...

Jennie, the foreign covers ARE fun, aren't they? Interesting to see the different cultural takes on the story. And I love your response to the embarrassed to be seen reading romance question! Makes me want to mount the barricades! ;-)

Hey, Terri, lovely to see you here! Just about to check out your Scottish post now. How interesting that the Russian cover is a Western romance diddled up to look like a Regency!