Romance Covers - The Romance Zone
The Wrap That Sells the Gift!
Christmas is coming!
Hanukkah’s almost here!
Kwanzaa is close behind!
Nearly time to tear into that pretty paper under your tree, or wherever your holiday surprises wait. A gorgeously wrapped gift is such a tease. It’s like they’re flirting, ‘Look at me! Don’t you wanna know what’s inside me? C’mon, you know you do.’
One of my favorite gifts, and one I make sure to give myself this time of year, is a (okay, several) new romances. What a lovely escape from the buzz of preparations and the pressure to make this the perfect holiday.
How do I choose these gifts to myself? Several ways--favorite author, trusted publisher, favorite genre, recommendations from bloggers and friends, a great blurb.
But nothing shouts ‘Read Me Next!’ like a gorgeous manly chest or magnetic pair of eyes beckoning to me from a cover. Even a female, if she’s someone whose teeny bikini or sexy spacesuit I’d love to slip into so I can experience her world.
A cover should express the story’s mood, heat level and tell me if the book part of a series.
It’s not always easy for authors to get their share of cover love.
Art departments come up with the best artwork they can to represent a story, but sometimes stuff happens. My first book, Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bryght, featured hot shifter love among the stars. When I received the cover, I swooned with joy. The gorgeous nude couple against the backdrop of planets tells readers this story is erotic sci fi romance.
Perfect! Except … another Samhain author had been given that same couple (with their clothes on) for an historical romance debuting the same month. A scramble ensued to come up with a different look for Tyger. This cover became the signature look for the entire Orion Series, but … I had already fallen hard for the first cover.
Yes, I got over it, especially when I received the cover for Orion Rising, the print anthology coming in July 2013 with Tyger and Her Commander. Visit my website for a sneak peek!
Kim Killion creates the gorgeous covers for my current Hawaiian paranormals. Kanaxa and Angela Waters are two more talented artists teaming up with Samhain to tempt us to read, read, read. And there are many more.
But what about the new crop of self-published authors? Where do they find the delicious wrappers for their romances? I decided to ask a few.
Terry Spear’s paranormal shifter romances are USA Today bestsellers. Pretty sure her fabulous covers have something to do with this. And she has a big hand in their creation.
Terry says “I love choosing covers for my self-published books. Sometimes, a picture will spawn a book as in The Winged Fae, Book 3 of The World of Fae YA series. I always try to find an unusual looking girl.”
“Collecting covers is addictive! Black Friday half-off sale? Four new pictures to turn into covers!! And premade covers, too. When the cover art is ready first, I can tease readers with what’s to come. And when I finish the book, it’s ready to go. I may also use the picture to give me an idea of what to write, and as an incentive to write The End! For me, writing the book is just one part of the creative process. Adding a cover is the finishing touch.”
Terry’s Heart of the Wolf was one of Publishers Weekly ‘Best Books of the Year’. Now, the cover didn’t bring her that coveted award, but it can’t hurt, right? To find more of Terry’s gorgeous covers and the romances within, visit http://www.terryspear.com
Historical romance writers like artistic control, too. Victoria Vane has decided to return to a tradition of the late 1800’s and illustrate scenes inside her new books.
According to Victoria, “When I first conceived A Wild Night’s Bride, a Georgian set, Hangover-inspired romantic comedy, I had no idea that one devilish secondary character would spawn an entire series. But Ludovic … captured the hearts of so many fans, I decided to continue the series, and recently commissioned full color illustrations.”
“The first (and just in time for all those glorious full color and graphics-capable Christmas e-readers), is a Georgian romp in the tradition of Fielding's Tom Jones and a prequel to my award winning Devil DeVere series. Devil in the Making: The Illustrated Edition will be available in e-book early December 2012. A print anthology will follow later in 2013.”
Intrigued, historical fans? For more info, visit http://www.authorvictoriavane.com
Then there’s historical romance author Delilah Marvelle—who has not only has beautiful covers on her own books, she ended up on a cover!
Delilah laughingly confessed, “At RomCon 2011, I joined a Victorian fashion show and modeled some amazing ensembles. Kim from Hot Damn Designs took a few photos and asked if she could use one. I said, "Sure, whatever." I didn't think she'd actually use it! I ended up on the cover of Colleen Coble’s reprint of her inspirational, To Love a Stranger. Now, I write *really* steamy historical romance, so to me, I couldn't believe I'd end up on an inspirational, lol. But I'm proud to say I'm on a romance cover!”
A successful Harlequin and Kensington author who has won RT's Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and Booklist's TOP 10 Romances of 2012, Delilah has a Christmas novella this season. All I Want for Christmas is a Duke debuts Dec 3rd for Entangled’s new Scandalous historical romance line. Talk about holiday wrap!
In March, she’ll self-publish more of her popular School of Gallantry series. Visit her at http://www.delilahmarvelle.com or her blog, which explores the naughtier side of history, at http://www.delilahmarvelle.blogspot.com.
Merry Christmas from my corner of the romance world to yours!
I hope you enjoyed this sampling of how romances get those fabulous covers. And remember, gift yourself with some romances to unwrap this holiday season, whether in paper or e-ink. Because you know the wrapping will tempt you.
Columnist: Cathryn Cade writes red hot romance for Samhain Publishing. Her erotic paranormal romances will take you from Hawaii to galaxies far away, with heroes who are more than men, and heroines who are woman enough for any adventure. She loves to hear from readers, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter and email. Stop by her website at http://www.cathryncade.com for these links, and to see her complete book list, read excerpts and fabulous reviews, and sign up for her newsletter.