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 no 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 on 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 image 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a certain type of cover that really grabs your attention? Open ranges? Blue skies? Hunky heroes ? Those sweeping romantic embraces?