Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cover art



For twenty years – ever since my first book, An Image of You, was published — I’ve been obsessing about cover art. That first cover was so pleasing that it would have been difficult for any of those that followed to match it.

The hero was suitably mature, the heroine had the right colour hair and the African backdrop was perfect.

Since then, covers have been a bit of a roller-coaster. One or two have brought tears to my eyes — and not of joy.

Now, with three of my early books reverted to me, I’ve been on a cover image hunt of my own and suddenly I’m feeling a lot more sympathetic for those guys in Toronto who have to produce 50+ every month. It’s a bit like a car assembly line; you don’t want to be the last one of the day.

The three books I’m working on were a mixed bag. Old Desires was pretty enough, although the hero was too young. Dangerous Flirtation was cute and got everything right. A Stranger’s Kiss was a disaster with a heroine so hard-faced that any man would have run a mile and the hero wasn't wearing one of those ridiculous collars and I was really looking forward to giving that one a makeover.

Replacing them with something that truly appeals to me has not, however, been the piece of cake I fondly imagined it would be. Flirting and kissing are just about nailed, but Old Desires? How on earth can I demonstrate that in a cover appealing enough, sexy enough to have the reader hitting the one-click!

Any suggestions gratefully received – and downloads of Eloping With Emmy for those that inspire me, or make me laugh!

16 comments:

  1. I'm glad you are releasing your backlist. Makes it easier to find. I haven't read these three though the blurb for A Stranger's Kiss made my brows rise. Will be interested to see how that one turns out. Can't help you on the cover but I love the one for Emmy.

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  2. Thanks, Fiona! These are quite early books that were only issued in the book club in the US, although had a wide distribution elsewhere. It'll be fun to re-issue them as eBooks.

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  3. Liz I loved the early book covers I think because it reminds me of my teenage years.I think it's great M&B are asking readers (RIVA) but I wish they would get rid of the photo's on the UK (MODERN) as the US presents are more inviting with the artist impressions.

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  4. Liz, I know you've found the Jimmy Thomas site as he's on the cover of one of your Kindle books, but have you tried this site?http://www.dreamstime.com/

    I found some lovely covers there. Like you I've had problems finding the right cover for books I'm putting onto Kindle. If the heroine looks right, the hero looks 12! If the hero looks right, the heroine is hard-faced or looks like she's on the game. But Dreamstime have thousands to choose from, so there is invariably something that works.

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  5. Hi Liz,

    Is there something from the couple's past that they could be fondly gazing back at? His arm around her waist with a smile on their faces.

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  6. I suppose Old Desires could show an elderly couple gazing suggestively at a double bed...? Sorry, can't help, I am rubbish at the whole Cover Art thing, I get an image in my head while I'm writing the book, which I think is just right, and then my cover artist comes up with something different but BETTER, and I just collapse in a heap of confusion. Best of luck with yours!

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  7. I agree, Samantha - I've never liked photographic covers.

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  8. Yes, Sally, I've looked at Dreamtime? Getty is my favourite - some fabulous images on there, but v. expensive!

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  9. Laurie, the Old Desires is a reference to the past - but not theirs! I've found lovely pics of old piles of love letters, that sort of thing, but experience suggests that the sexier the image the better the sales. That Jimmy Thomas cover for Wild Justice has received more notice than anything else. :)

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  10. Laughing, Jane... but sadly the couple in the book are the next generation. There is a four-poster bed but sadly all the pics I found have been a bit sleazy.

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  11. My vision of a cover for Old Desires
    shows a young couple, gazing into a
    mirror, visualizing not themselves
    but a scene from that past generation.
    Of course, when I look into a mirror
    these days, expecting to see the 'Me'
    of yesteryear, all I see is a gray-
    haired older woman. Where did she
    come from?

    Pat C.

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  12. A cover for old desires could consist of the woman/man looking longingly but angrily at the other one. Possibly they could have their hands on their hips and pointing a finger at each other.

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  14. Lovely image, Pat! And yes, oddly the woman in my mirror appears to be my mother. :)

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  15. Well, Cathy, they certainly have their moments!

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  16. Thanks for much for all the great comments. If anyone want a download of Eloping With Emmy email me (liz at lizfielding dot com) with the title in the subject line and I'll get a copy to you.

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