Sunday, May 2, 2021

Cover Art Confidential by Joan Reeves and Friends #RomanceGems

Image by John Iglar, Pixabay
Once upon a time, cover art was created this way.

An artist posed live models and created a painting, based on the art description form submtted  by the author.

The painting was photographed, and the photo was then used by a typesetter to add title, author's name, and any other text that would appear on the cover.

Paint and a brush, as is humrously shown in this image, are passé.

Graphic artists now create amazing images using a computer, mouse, and digital illustration software like Adobe Photoshop.

Authors work hard to pick a cover that not only visually represents the characters accurately but also the story in terms of plot, premise, theme, or tone.

Getting a cover that does all that is nearly impossible so an author has to choose which of those elements are most important and can be represented by cover art.

In addition to all of that, authors want the cover to be appealing to readers. They want it to shout, "Pick me, pick me!"

This Month's Question for Authors

What were your reasons in choosing the cover art for your book, including the fonts used for title, author name, series title if that applies, and your author credit line?

Lucinda Race, author of Breathe.

The cover art for Breathe was inspired by the winery, but I didn't want it to be the main focus as this is a romance set in the Finger Lakes region of NY.

I like the layered look as the book has layers in the story with the family dynamic at play.

Relationships, like slowly ripening vineyards, take time. But Max has been keeping a secret from Tessa, one that could destroy her hopes for their future.

Will a terrible accident force Tessa and Max to face how much they have to lose, or tear apart their budding relationship forever? Sometimes a romance is like a fine wine. To be its best, it just needs time to breathe.

M.J. Schiller, author of Rocked by Grace

Why this cover art?

I feel the reason I chose this is pretty self-evident. The man's gorgeous! But the challenge I had with this series is that I found premade covers from two different artists that I wanted to use. 

Luckily they worked together to keep the branding consistent, and they used the logo for the band my son designed! I chose the title fonts that I liked best from the four covers and they coordinated that. I love the mixture of print and script and that one word of the title is in a bright color to catch the eye.

When videos hit the Internet of rock star Zane Sanders and a random fan performing what he says is a spontaneous dance, no one believes it’s unrehearsed. Zane doesn't want their onstage magic to end, but when Grace runs off without leaving a last name, Zane has no way to contact her. Will he ever be able to be ROCKED BY GRACE again?

Jan Scarbrough, author of Liz, The Dawsons of Montana

Facebook | Find More Books by Jan

Why this cover art?

I trust my cover artist to brand my series. For The Dawsons of Montana, the colors are vibrant. 

My name is at the bottom in the same font. The title of the book is above my name and series title. 

All of the titles are in the same font. For the cover of Liz, it was important to have a picture of a woman who might be 55. She needed to look older. I think my cover artist Kim Killion succeeded.

It’s good to be in love, whatever age. Sometimes second chances come when least expected. Can Liz and Chaz take a leap of faith…together?

Kathleen Lawless, author of A Bride for Riley

Why this cover art?

I have 2 releases this month, and they are both part of different Multi Author Series. This means the series’ creator chooses a look that suits the theme and time period.

Individually, we authors work with the designer to find the model best suited to our story. In this instance, my model is much plainer than the other heroines as she is on her way to become a nun.

The theme is Mistaken Identity Brides. The advantages are that readers who are following the series can easily identify the latest releases. This also makes it easy for me to focus on my story as someone else has done the heavy lifting as far as researching and determining the best look for the market we’re going after. Key words such as Mail Order or Bride are also used in the title to feed Amazon’s search engines. 

She was on her way to the convent. How did she wind up married instead?

Raised in an orphanage, Lucinda never felt she truly had the calling to be a nun. Like a miracle, her prayers are answered when confusion at the train station leads her to the marriage altar instead of the convent.

Peggy Jaeger, author of It's a Trust Thing

Why this cover art?

Since It's a Trust Thing is the second book in the dotcomgirls series, I wanted to keep the covers consistent for brand recognition. 

The first cover for DIRTY DAMSELS showed a stark red background with the Hero and Heroine locked in a steamy hug, full-body pose.

The fonts were all in yellow to help the title stand out against the red. So, for It's a Trust Thing, I went with the same look. A stark black background this time, the hero and heroine locked in an embrace in full-body position, and the fonts all yellow and the same as the first book. I found the couple for this book in stock photos on Deposit Photos.

For Nell, trust is life, and in love.

Marcia King-Gamble, author of This Way Home

Why this cover art?

I wanted a more modern look for This Way Home. I wrote the book in 2003 and got the rights back.

My heroine is a cover model that falls on hard times. It was important to me that she at least look like one of today’s models. Covers sell books, and the author’s name should be prominent, hence the font chosen. I chose colors that would pop and get the readers’ attention.

Liza Hamilton left her hometown to chase her dreams. Success as a supermodel ended when she was mugged in Central Park. Then long-lost stepbrother Eric puts down roots there as well, and strange things begin happening in their respective homes.

Joan Reeves, author of The Key To Kristina

Why this cover art?

While this is a romance, it's a mystery where keys play a prominent part. I loved that my cover artist, Adina Mayo, made the down stroke of the capital K in Key look like an actual key.

The flames that nearly obscure the key represent the dangers and the hidden truths that are the key to her past. 

I always have an idea of what I want a cover to look like, and Adina helps me bring it to life.

A suspicious death, and an inheritance. A key and a clue lead to a Quest that becomes the adventure of a lifetime!

As they say in Hollywood, that's a wrap!

We hope you enjoyed this look into how authors choose cover art. The next time you see a cover that makes you buy a book, mention that in the review.


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  1. I love learning why we choose the covers we choose! Most people are intrigued first by the cover of a book, then by the blurb, so we all know how important the right cover is for people to want to take a chance and read our books! Great post, always!

    1. Thanks, Peggy. Glad you enjoyed it. I too like knowing the decisions an author makes when it comes to cover art.

  2. A great post, and some beautiful covers.

  3. I love just looking at all the beautiful covers. Indeed hard to choose a fav.

    1. I'm always impressed how authors nail it when it comes to covers.

  4. I also find the thought processes in choosing covers interesting. Especially when people describe what didn't work for a cover and the changes it went through to become the final product. Thanks for sharing! And happy May!

  5. Great post. I lovr hearing everyone's thought process.

  6. I love cover art, and I love knowing why authors pick what they do. It's so interesting to see what's important to everyone. These are all wonderful covers, very striking and very pretty at the same time.


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