Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Cover art -- Kandy Shepherd

 Covers are so important, aren’t they? For books and magazines they are the first meeting between publisher and reader and do a lot to entice readers to buy the book—or at the least pick it up.

In my former life as a magazine editor-in-chief I was fanatical about covers, knowing what an influence they had on sales. We spent so much time on getting covers as right as we could get them. Our circulations people who would let the editorial team know in no uncertain terms why they thoughts sales had dipped or peaked.

When I edited a gardening magazine we had to plan our covers a year ahead. If, for example, we wanted to feature lilac on the cover we had to photograph a lilac cover in spring one year to feature on the next spring cover. The production cycle being what it was, we were getting those covers ready in the winter when lilac bushes were totally dormant! Same with rose covers (often best-sellers!), pansies or tulips.

Roses go well on the covers of gardening magazines (these are from my garden)

On food magazines, we had to do the same thing with seasonal fruit and vegetables. Cherries were a particular problem. Cherries are a favorite fruit at Christmas in Australia (Christmas is in summer Down Under) and we really liked to have fresh cherries in our Christmas recipes. So again, cherry covers had to be shot a year ahead. Christmas issues are usually worked on in September. There is not a fresh cherry to be found in either hemisphere of the world at that time. I know from experience!

You have to plan ahead for cherries on a food magazine cover (also from my garden) 

When I self-published novels I was determined to have good covers. I’m sure The Castaway Bride would not have been the best-seller it was without the lovely cover! (It was designed by the amazing Kim Killion at the The Killion Group.)

 I have truly been blessed by the cover gods for The Tycoon and The Wedding Planner my July 2014 release from Harlequin Romance. I just love this cover. To me it is deeply romantic and sensual in a subtle way. I love the way the cover models represent the story and I especially love the heroine’s gorgeous hair.

The Australian edition of the novel used the same image in a slightly different way. Again I love it!

The UK cover is also romantic and lovely and beautifully represents the story inside

How important are covers to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m giving away a signed copy of The Tycoon and The Wedding Planner. To be in the draw, please include your e-mail address in your comment.

Kandy’s second Dolphin Bay story for Harlequin Romance, The Tycoon and The Wedding Planner is on sale now.

Kandy Shepherd is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her family and a menagerie of four-legged friends.

Visit Kandy at her website

Connect with Kandy on Facebook and Twitter


erin said...

oooh... I try and not be superficial but I'm a cover ho :) Love 'em! I try and not let them cloud my impression of the book, but there have been a few times where I thought the book was going to be awesome b/c the cover was and I was disappointed. And the opposite, where I passed on what looked like a home photoshop job but turned out to be a fantastic story. I chide myself on being so particular still, especially since most of my reading is on the kindle!!! Congrats on the new release and such a pretty cover!!!

Cindy Hamilton said...

When covers are attractive and catch my eye I am more likely to check them out. Especially when there is a hot man on it!

Kandy Shepherd said...

I would echo everything you said about covers, Erin! It's interesting how the design of book covers now has to keep in mind how the cover will look on an e-book site.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Agree, Cindy Hamilton. Nothing like a hot guy to catch the eye!

amy o'neal said...

yea a cover determines if i'll buy a book

amy o'neal said...

that is if its a new author. if its one I already read I don't care what the cover looks like

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks Amy for pointing out (via Facebook!) that I'd asked commenters to put their snail mail address on their comment if they wanted to be in the draw for a free book. Of course I meant to put "email" address. No way would I expect anyone to put their snail mail address here!

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thanks, Kandy! I seriously dig cover art. I participate in The Cover Cafe, a website for those who love both romance cover art and sounding off about it. You're welcome to check it out:

Do covers matter? I say yes! What's on the front cover of a book, the title and art, will catch my eye and snag my attention. But what sells the book is the description on the back of a paperback, the inner flap of a hardcover, or the synopsis on Amazon or a blog. The premise of the story must appeal to me before I'll buy the book. But often I would never have found out about it if not for an attractive cover.

Have I ever bought and read a book simply because I loved the cover art? Yes. Once. Never again!

No need to enter me in the giveaway; I'm already reading "The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner". And so far so good!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks Mary Anne, I must check out The Cover Cafe, I notice they had the cover of my first Harlequin Romance, The Summer They Never Forgot, as an example of a trend in having harbor-front docks on covers. I started to notice docks everywhere on covers then! I'm with you on the blurb for the story, it can really make it or break it for me. And they're so darn difficult to get right! I'm delighted that you are enjoying The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner.

penney said...

The covers are a must for me I love them, they tell so much of the book, Congratulations on your new book I can't wait to read it.

Katrina Whittaker said...

While browsing at times we stop to window shop - a cover catches our eye you read the blurb and often spur of the moment think I want to read that.. The blurb has to sound intriguing or the cover quiet often slips through my fingers.

Im cover love kinda girl - the intial first impression on a new cover new author will draw me in , not always determine my purchase however.

Like mentioned above Many a times I have been recomended a book with a very dull cover and it has been fantastic.

If I know the author and there work then its instant for me I know the book is always great and the cover is a beautiful addition to my bookshelf..
Love all these covers for this book Kandy just finished it last night and as expected a beautifully crafted piece of work;)
I have a copy ;) just loved this second book in the series.

Kat ;)