Going Cover Wild!

Being a newly published author, a new book cover is big excitement in my house. I spotted the email titled MAVERICK WILD Cover and called the famly in so we could all catch that first glimpse together. It’s a nerve-wracking thing, waiting to see how they’ve packaged your baby. It got me thinking about all my book cover preferences and hang-ups(loved Linda’s post on cover models). During my six years of pre-published struggles I’d often daydreamed about what my book covers might someday look like, and would send up a little prayer each time of, “Lord, please let it be scenery.” My other P&P posts likely give away my fetish for western landscape, so it’s noOne Wish wonder my favorite western romance cover of all time is Linda Lael Miller’s ONE WISH. One glimpse of that cover stopped me in my grocery-shopping tracks and had me slapping down an extra seven bucks–and certainly delivered hours of reading splendor. Didn’t matter that the scenery on the cover isn’t actually in the story—in MY ideal world the best book covers have splashes of ambiance and leave the character building to the author and the reader’s mind. I have even been known to grab a trusty marker and black out faces before they can tamper with the image the words on the page create in my mind. I was totally into the ‘cover trend’ in 2000, when I started reading romance novels, which seemed to be big names and titles with a few flowers or dangling spurs or another little prop. I do believe the toon covers hit shortly after that…and westerns became plain hard to find no matter the cover. The Larkspur Library makes my heart bubble with all those western covers. 

Having such a strong cover preference as a reader had me sweating bullets last October as I waited to see what Harlequin had whipped up for my very first cover. That first book is like a miracle and I couldn’t wait to actually hold it, and hug it, and stroke it, and…well, I kept telling myself I’d love it even if there were strangers staring back at me on the cover. I couldn’t rightly black out faces on my own books. While authors do get to send in Art Sheets with suggestions for the cover, when all is said and done, the cover art is truly up to the art/marketing folks, as that is their area of expertise. When I sat down with my Art Sheets for MUSTANG WILD, I was surprised to realize I actually wanted my heroine Mustang Wildon the cover. I felt like she embodied the book,  the title representing her wild nature—so I asked for a rear view of a cowgirl holding her saddle and a rope and wrote in bold letters–on every page– PLEASE DON’T SHOW ANY FACES. I was pleasantly surprised with their version—front view, partially headless heroine—I loved it!

When the Art Sheets arrived for the sequel, I still included my now routine plea of “No Faces”, and asked for a headless cowBOY, since the Maverick in MAVERICK WILD is the hero, Chance Morgan.  Fairly certain I’d get Chance on the cover, I held my breath while I waited for my first glimpse to appear on the screen, hoping like mad that he’d at least come close to the MAVERICK WILDimage in my mind–we have dial-up, so it was a slow unveiling…bit by little bit.  I have to tell you, as I let out a happy squeal, my husband’s first comment was, “Hey, they forgot to button his shirt!”

They sure did 😉   My boys are calling it my Ambercrombie cover  🙂

My MAVERICK bookmarks just arrived today!  I’ll drop one in the mail to any of our readers who’d like a little MAVERICK preview. Just email your address to stacey@staceykayne.com.

Is there a certain type of cover that really grabs your attention? Open ranges?  Blue skies? Hunky heroes ? Those sweeping romantic embraces?

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34 thoughts on “Going Cover Wild!”

  1. Stacey, I have to say I’m lovin’ that Mavirick cover!!! And I am so glad they forgot to button his shirt 🙂

    I love just about all types of covers, but a hunky guy will always grab my attention.

  2. Ooooohhhhh Stacey…Maverick’s cover is HOT! Heavens! Why would anyone want to cover that up by buttoning a shirt over it! Yummy!

    Let’s just hope when I get my hands on the book I don’t drool all over it! LOL

    Now, covers that get my attention vary. It can be the hunk on the front, or like you too, beautiful scenery or great art and colors gets me. A lot of times though if I’ve heard of the story before seeing the cover, or if it’s one of my favorite authors, I’ll pick it up anyway.

  3. Love that cover, Stacey!! Wow! Like Buffie, I’m glad they forgot to button his shirt. 😉

    I also love all types of covers, but those with HOT guys on the front really stand out. And I really like “no faces”, too. I like to keep what they look like in my mind’s eye.

  4. Wow, what a great cover. Very sexy. I like all types of covers. A cover with a hot guy will draw my attention every time. 😉

  5. Hi Stacey! Your people covers are standout gorgeous! They grabbed my attention long before I saw them on this post. I’m with you on “no faces.” Too many times I’ve been reading when something the author has written about one of the characters prompts me to turn the book over and look at the cover again. Most of the time, the description doesn’t fit. It’s distracting.

    Like you, I sweated my cover. I didn’t want a person/s. I was sooo happy when I saw the rearing stallion with the mountains/desert in the background. It screams “western” (though maybe not so much “romance”) and that was fine with me.

    I would love to have a hot guy on a cover someday, as long as his face is hidden. I’m not one of those who tacks up a photo or envisions an actor for my character while I’m writing. He’s strictly all my imagination.

    Great post! I love both your “Wild” covers!

  6. I don’t really have a specific cover I love. Although the cover you got for MAVERICK WILD is one that will def. catch my eye! 😉

    I do know what I hate~that silhouette running couple that was on every cover in 2006! LOL

  7. Stacey – Nice covers for both of your books. I have no preference to covers really. Sometimes, a hottie hits me just right, sometimes I love a
    great backdrop and title. I’m not overly fond of
    “houses” as the main theme on the cover. My favorite western cover I rec’d was for Renegade Wife, where we see my rancher hero’s backside and it’s a great view!

  8. I’m pretty eclectic about what strikes me as an awesome cover. As long as it’s a “beautiful” blend of color and imagery, it works for me. I don’t care for photographs. Neither do I like cartoons. Just my taste, but I prefer that people have heads. Headless people just rub my sense of aesthetics the wrong way, like a crooked picture on the wall or body parts out of proportion. I want to fix it or finish it. I lean more toward romantic colors and objects like pearls and houses, but I like people, too.

    I always defer to the marketing team who is in the business of selling books, so if I get a cover that’s not my favorite look, I’m okay with it. They always grow on me.

    My last one, The Preacher’s Daughter was exactly the cover I asked for, down to the muted colors and the romantic flowing dress. It’s probably one of my favorites.

  9. Thanks, Taryn!! LOL 🙂

    I agree about the colors. Have you noticed more vibrant colors on covers lately? Like on Maureen’s latest A REASON TO SIN–those colors seem to pop 😉

  10. Thank you Andrea and Crystal 🙂

    I’m a E. Lowell fan, and when I first discovered her Only series, they had very plain covers, a leave on one, a heart on another, and a dove…… I stopped into a used book store a while later and was shocked to see that they were reprints and the orginal covers were these gorgeous sweeping images of the heroes and heroines–and was stunned to see that Whip Moran and Caleb Black had mastashes! Somehow, I had shaved them 😉 Reno Moran’s menacing black stash was always quite vivid in my mind…but I couldn’t shake the my smooth faced images of Whip and Caleb 🙂

  11. Thanks Pam! You know, on the back of the book, the cowboy has his hands tucked in his pockets and he’s looking down….and he sure looks an awful lot like your Untamed Cowboy 😉 There’s another FAB cover with a gorgeous array of colors!

  12. I love your cover, Devon! That white stallion really stands out and screams WESTERN ADVENTURE to me 🙂 Can’t wait to read it…looking forward to diving into a TBR pile after I get this next book turned in 😉 One great thing about getting the cover, is ya know that’s a FINISHED book 😉

  13. Too funny about the running couple of 2006, Tracy. 2008 is shaping up to be the year of hot abs 😉 Kensington has some mighty fine specimens 🙂 Rugged bad boys ya wanna spank and hug in equal turns 😉

  14. Charlene, Renegade Wife is a favorite of mine as well! The chaps…the gun…oh yeah 😉 I also loved your cover for Abducted at the Alter…the gun setting atop a wedding dress…definitely caught MY eye 😉

  15. Your covers are both eye catchers, Stacey. I don’t really have a preference of covers other than I want them to be pleasing to look at and the title easy to read. My first book has a plain, easy to look at cover. My second book, I don’t care for. The third which will be out in November I like the cover, but I didn’t jump up and down. Now the book coming out next year! I love that cover. It is of a horse by a stream with clothes, rifle, boots set around like someone is taking a swim.

  16. Congratulations, Stacey!! Wow, what a cover. You have a right to walking on air. I loved your first one too and you know I didn’t even miss the head. 🙂 That’s an awesome cowgirl. It screamed strength and determination. And now you have a guy and he’s just gorgeous. I don’t miss him not having a head either. We have much more to be looking at. lol You’ve been blessed by the cover gods!! I know your new release is gonna sell like hotcakes.

    You know, I was talking with an editor about covers and hunky guys and she said that they’ve found readers don’t want to see eyes staring back at them, that it makes them uncomfortable. And if you notice, on “Give Me a Texan” Nathan Kamp’s hat shades his face and he’s looking down. You can’t see anything much except his nose and mouth. That also makes him very mysterious. But, my question is, who in the world looks at his face anyway with that gorgeous body.

    I really don’t have a big preference other than the nudity part. I’ve seen covers for eroticas that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination and that turns me off big time. I don’t want to see naked people, I’m sorry. But I love scenery ones and ones with guys. I agree that Charlene’s “Abducted at the Altar” cover was exceptional and set the tone of the book before you ever opened a page.

    Big congrats again on Maverick Wild!! 🙂

  17. Thanks, Stacey! I asked for a black stallion cause that’s what’s in the book. But…oh, well. No westerner in his right mind (who’s trying to keep a low profile and dodge the baddies) would ride a white horse. LOL!

    I’m with Cheryl on the photogragh and cartoon covers. I’m not even going into the cartoon cover issue because to each his own, but I don’t like them. And if they want to use an actual photo, then why not put a filter on it or smudge the edges a little to make it look more like a painting. To me, actual photo images are too real, too stark. Too definite. That’s just my opinion.

    I noticed the colors on Jodi Thomas’s upcoming book are absolutely electric neon. And on the cover for Maureen McKade’s “A Reason to Sin,” the focal point is those red garters.

  18. Oh gosh, Devon! Beautiful as it is, a change like that had to take a few minutes to get over. Like you, when the story doesn’t match the cover, I’m one who stops and does the comparison thing and a bit of grumbling 🙂 I will tell you, my one major cover irk has been the color of my cowboys’ hats — so far it’s been wrong on two covers. Now, a cowboy’s hat is a statement of sorts, and you don’t just go around swapping a man’s identity that way. On the cover of BRIDE, Jed has a brown hat…he is a BLACK HAT hero to the depths of his hard soul. Now Chance on the other hand, he’s a softer sort and black just clashes with his ora, and guess who got the black hat? Yep–on the back cover Chance is wearing Jed’s hat 😉 LOL

    I’ve also never seen a picture of my characters in a magazine or in the movies, so the face thing is a big hang-up of mine. When I turned in MAVERICK WILD, I worried my herroine, described by my villainess as “pleasantly plump”, may not go over with my editors. I my sheer delight, they found her to be endearing 🙂

  19. Linda, one of my hubby’s favorite western covers is your THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING — it has a special spot on my shelf and he’s always telling me, “Just tell your editors you want a cover like that.” 🙂 There hasn’t yet been any stage coaches in my books 😉

    I do love those mysterious hero poses–where their looking down or to the side, those facial features just out of reach…until you read the book 😉

  20. Those are great covers!! I kinda like the ones with the hot guys on them. I know I’m shallow, but that’s ok. Really it doesn’t matter if it has a couple, house or whatever as long as it sounds good.

  21. Cheryl! Somehow I missed your post. I can see why The Preacher’s Daughter is a favorite–it’s absoulutely beautiful, like a painting in an art gallery 🙂 I agree with you about the cartoon covers, although I do think they have their place. Terri Garey is an author of whitty/edgy paranormal contemporaries the toon covers look great. But for historicals…I found them confusing. LOL

  22. Thank you, Tanya and Stacy!

    Funny thing is, I think most authors get more input about what goes on the front of the cover than they do for the blurb on the back 😉 I’m alway anxious and intersted to see what aspects of the story they chose to touch on when the coverflat arrives 🙂

  23. I love your new cover, Stacey! And I know what you mean about waiting for that jpeg to hit the inbox, then the looong wait for dail up to load. I was so glad when I gove that email this week, and my next cover captured the tone and character of my hero. Whew! I used to sorta cringe at clinch covers, but they’ve never stopped me from buying books. 🙂

  24. Hi Janette! Gotta say, I’m loving the tone your new gives off too 😉

    I have seen some gorgeous clinch covers. Generally, if I like an author, I’m a loyal reader and have never been detoured by a cover. But when it comes to random shelf appeal…it’s the mountians and cowboys that draw me in every time 🙂

  25. Like you, I love scenery. I make the characters someone familiar to me as I read, but having the place pictured gives me a backdrop for the stage of the book.

    Your covers are perfect for your stories.

    I can’t wait to get my copy of Maverick Wild!

  26. Stacey the cover of the book is very eye catching I can’t wait to read it. It looks very hot I hope we can keep our hands on it long enough to read it. LOL
    I love covers that are real looking and not fake looking.

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