Guest Blogger – Renee Ryan on Cover Art

 

Thanks to the fillies for inviting me back to guest blog with some of my favorite authors.  It’s always a pleasure.  I’ve decided to talk about a topic that’s been on my mind lately.  Cover art.  You have no idea how many questions I get about my Love Inspired covers, mainly from people wondering how much control I have over the final product.  Well, it depends.

Here’s the process.  About a year before one of my books hits the shelves I fill out the Art Fact Sheet (AFS) for the book.  That means I have to go a website hosted by the publisher and answer pages of questions about the story.  The questions fall under several categories, such as: Characters, Scenes, Synopsis, as well as a detailed page with basic questions surrounding theme, story hooks, date, setting, story timeline, etc.  The character questions range from superficial things such as physical traits to deeper issues such as psychological wounds.  The synopsis is basically a short and sweet summary of the story, something I would tell a friend at a party or sitting in the stands at a football game.

Most of the above is both easy and fun.  However, I find the section about scene description difficult at best.  The publisher wants three very distinct, yet detailed scene descriptions.  This should be easy for me.  I love putting my setting in my books.  But knowing that a real artist will be using my words to create a picture suddenly makes the ideas freeze in my head.  That’s why I love the last and final portion of my job in the cover art process—creating a separate file of the images I think best evoke the mood of my story.  I get to cruise the Internet looking for pictures of my hero and heroine, as well as possible scenes or other similar book covers I think will work for my book as well, especially in terms of overall tone.

This final component really makes the story come alive for me in my head.  It’s so effective that I now try to capture many of those types of images before I start writing a book rather than after. 

I spent most of my time on this last phase for my current release, MISTAKEN BRIDE.  The final product is one of my best covers yet.  Well, in my opinion, anyway.  In case you’re wondering, I chose images of Alex O’Loughlin and Kate Beckinsale for my hero and heroine. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because the three books in the Love Inspired Historical Irish Brides series are so closely connected (each story highlights one of three sisters) the art department decided to create closely connected covers.  If you look at Book 1: THE WEDDING JOURNEY by Cheryl St. John next to Book 2: MISTAKEN BRIDE by Renee Ryan beside Book 3: A BABY BETWEEN THEM you will see that all three covers have a similar color scheme, feel and overall tone.  Each scene depicts the heroine of the story and a ship in some form or another. 

What do you think of the three covers for the Irish Brides Series?  Did the art department knock it out of the park, or what?  Leave a comment and you’ll be included in a drawing to win one of three copies of MISTAKEN BRIDE.  An additional grand prize winner will receive all three books in the Irish Brides series.

Renee Ryan writes for Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired.  Her fabulous editor is Melissa Endlich.  For more information, you can visit Renee at renee@reneeryan.com

 

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26 thoughts on “Guest Blogger – Renee Ryan on Cover Art”

  1. I agree with you Renee. The covers are gorgeous! Eye catching color: bright blue and sunlike golden yellow. Pretty woman, ships, water, you definitely want to hop on board and tag along for the adventure!!

    Congrats on your story MISTAKEN BRIDE!

    The whole series sounds perfect!

    johns lake at usa dot com

  2. Hi Renee, All three covers are gorgeous! The big ships and the big dresses shout “adventure” and “romance” all rolled into one package. They definitely used your picture of the heroine–her expression, the general look. Awesome!

  3. Oh my! All three covers are absolutely beautiful! I am always drawn to a cover and sometimes buy a book just for the cover alone. I then find the meat of the book even more beautiful! 🙂 I would love to be entered to win. They all three look romantic and adventurous.

    😀 Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  4. Love all three covers, and would pick up every one based on the covers alone. I also found the information on how covers are created very interesting. Gotta confess I am drawn to the detail in the historic gowns.

  5. I love this series already! I have to admit that before I’d even heard of the synopsis of the series, I fell in love with the covers when I saw them! I love the covers and the ladies! You are right, the art dept. did a fabulous job! I happen to be one of those who looks at the covers of books and really “judges” the book if I don’t happen to know the author! I loved the first book in this series and can’t wait to continue reading the second book – yours! I would love to win it!

    Valri

  6. Welcome back, Renee! We’re so happy to have you blog again. And what a good topic. I love the covers for all three of the Irish Brides books. They did a great job. I think covers make the difference in selling or not selling. It’s very important to get one that helps sell the book.

    Wishing you much success!

  7. Hello! I’m here at last, after driving across country following my son’s wedding last weekend. I drove from Nebraska to Savannah. We live in a very LARGE country. Phew!

    Laurie, I’m with you. Very pretty cover model. They did a nice job of matching Bridget to my vision.

    Waving to Vicki, my previous continuity buddy. I especially like how the art department followed a theme for these three books.

    Hi Cindy, you’re entered in the drawing. Fingers crossed for you. 😉

    Judy, the gowns are great, aren’t they? The editor emailed me early in the process and asked if I could send pictures of dresses I thought fit the mood of the story. The one the art department had originally was very, very plain. Can’t express how glad I am they didn’t go with that one!

  8. Beautiful covers, you completely feel the connection between the three books while at the same time they look unique to the three sisters pictured.

  9. Hi Valri!!! I’m with you. The cover makes a difference when I’m buying a new author. Thanks for stopping by today. I loved Cheryl’s book, too. A hard act to follow! She kicked off the series with a homerun.

    Waving to you, Linda. I agree. The covers matter.

    Thanks for stopping by today, Rebecca. 😉

  10. These covers are lovely. The creamy yellow in all three brightens them and ties them together as much as the theme does. I’ve not yet read the series but I will. From the blurbs I have read of the books, these stories parallel the way my father’s ancestors came over, although they came into Canada during the Potato Famine. I was surprised how important Canada was for the escape and survival of so many Irish during that time. Although they often didn’t have much of a choice, it still took courage to embark on such a journey to an unknown future. For women alone, the future was even more in question. I look forward to reading the series.

    I hope this series has done well and the release of MISTAKEN BRIDE was a success.

  11. All three covers are beautifully done! The colors stand out nicely… each one shows that it has an interesting story to share about the woman on the cover. They did a truly wonderful job on the cover art! 😀

  12. Hi Patricia! I love your Irish connection. I didn’t realize so many escaped to Canada. I hope you enjoy the series. It was a lot of fun working with Cheryl and Winnie!

    Colleen, couldn’t agree more. I was in Walmart recently and my eyes tracked straight for Cheryl’s book. Now I need to go check and see if I have the same reaction with mine. 😉

  13. I love the covers you have here,they are really eye catching,,an makes me want to open an read more,,they did a great job an love the story lines too!

  14. Congrats on your son’s wedding! I’m sure that was a very nice event! Our son’s wedding was in Arizona – in the summer in 2008 – was 110 degrees! We were melting! Hope yours was cooler! But, we just got our first grandchild so THAT was fantastic!

  15. Hi Renee What gorgeous covers. I love them. The art department did an awesome job on these covers.

  16. I like the covers especially the middle one. Can’t wait to read the words between the covers.
    Interesting process

  17. Renee,

    All the covers are just gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing the process. How fun to watch and art department bring your words into art.

  18. I Loooooooooove the covers. I already have Cheryl’s book can’t wait for yours. I love series books and I love your stories.

  19. The covers appeal to me. I really like the balance between the heroine and the background. I get a sense of the era right away. Fantastic covers!

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