Sunday, March 06, 2011

A Tale of Two Covers - Kate Walker

This week I've enjoyed one of the best things about being a published writer of romance-. That's the experience of seeing my brand new book (The Proud Wife) in the book shops for the first time. It's always a thrill, a feeling of excitement  and achievement that never goes away even though this is the  58th title I've had published ( the 60th, if you count my  how to books The 12 Point Guide and A Straightforward Guide to Writing Romance.)

This was also a different sort of first for me as here in the UK this was the first book I've had published since Harlequin Mills and Boon  changed to covers and put out the new designs for all the different romance lines. I was at an event in a bookshop last night - to celebrate World Book Night   - and the books they'd got hold of for me to sign really showed this  change to strong effect. 

You see, my last book  looked like this  in the UK  ---->

And my new title  looks like this

I like both of them, they're both attractive, appealing covers.  But the cover of The Good  Greek Wife  is much more representative of the story in the book that I wrote.  And I suppose, as an author that is important to me.

But the cover of The Proud Wife is a beautiful cover - don't you think? Lots of people commented on it last night, and other people have said how much impact it has had when they've seen it.   It is beautifu l - but  it's not my heroine, Marina . She doesn't appear in an elegant silvery silk dress,  she's been  working, earning her living, since she separated from her husvband - not reclining elegantly on an ornamental couch, looking like she hasn't done a day's work in her life.   And she's also a feisty readhead, with green eyes - and a voluptuous figure.

In fact, she looks a lot more like the Marina who appears on the American, Presents Extra edition of The Proud Wife  which is coming to the shops in April. That's it's cover here ----> 

That's much more like the Marina I saw in my head as aI wrote her story - and I like the fact that this cover has the husband  she's separated from in this picture too. (Yes, I know  they don;t look very separarated - but this scene isn't from the beginning of the story. Things move quite quickly from the moment they first meet up again. If you want to know what happens - read that book!)  After all, this both Marina and Pietro's story so I like seeing them together.

But if I'm honest, I have to admit that the UK cover of The Proud Wife is the one that would make me reach for the book if I saw it on a shelf.  It looks intriguing - and it is very attractive.  But I can't help wondering if it makes Marina look calm and controlled . . . or cold and distant. 

At least it seems to be selling very well. Over on the Mills &Boon site, this book has been a #1 in their best selling list for a couple of weeks now!  I don't know yet how the USA cov er will attract readers - the book isn't out until April       . Over on the eHarlequin site, the ebook version is selling well, but that  doesn't need the cover to draw people in.

I suppose the answer is that, no matter how hard the art department works, they must rarely,m if ever, produce a cover that matches up to the image  of the characters that an author has in her head when she's writing.  We just have to be grateful if we don't really hate it!

So what do you think? Do you like the new style Mills & Boon covers? Or  love the  long-established and so familiar Presents version?    Do you think the USA covers need a makeover like  the UK ones - or would you  prefer it if they stayed the same?

You can read more about The Proud Wife  over on my web site  and you can learn all about my news and get all the really up to date stuff on my blog.  I have some really great news that I'd love to be able to share with you there - but I can't quite yet. Maybe next month.


S.P. Laws said...

Congrats! What a great moment!

Nas Dean said...

Congratulations! And The Proud Wife is #1 on M&B Bestseller list for weeks now!

And here's another cover of THE PROUD WIFE...

Kate Walker said...

Hi S P - and thank you. It is a great moment - and it always feels so good to see the book as reality

Kate Walker said...

Hello Nas - and thank you for that link. I'd forgotten that the Australian edition was out too - and I really like the way that this cover takes the small section of the Presents Extra cover and puts in all the rest of the picture - in the board room setting. The dress is all wrong but you can't have everything!

Nas Dean said...

Kate, a reader emailed me recently, asking that how can you tell about the books as on the eHarlequin forum we talk about Presents and the authors have the Presents covers on their Blogs, yet we see these covers here, Australia, New Zealand and The Pacific Island countries?

I replied "by the authors names!"

But it is a question worth thinking about!

Kaelee said...

Hi Kate,

Thanks Kate and Nas. I went and looked at the Australian cover and I like it the best. I would be sad to see the NA version of the Presents covers go by the wayside. Somehow that white cover with a couple in a circle just epitomizes romance to me but then my mom was reading Presents from the time they came out until 1998 when she passed away.

parv said...

Congrats on roosting in the #1 spot, Kate. IMO covers attract readers but what's inside will always be key. Now we have e-book "covers" and my favourites, the Japanese editions with delicate violins or room settings featured. Valerie