Birth of a Cover . . . Take 2

A few weeks ago, I shared with you some wonderful behind-the-scenes photos my editor sent me of the cover shoot they did for my upcoming release, Stealing the Preacher.

Well, about a week before Christmas, I received an email from my editor. They”re changing the cover. Not just a few touch-ups here and there with computer magic. Nope. They”re doing a whole new photo shoot.


As it turns out, some of the bigger retailers gave them some negative feedback.

  • They didn”t like the praying hands – thought they were too silly
  • The heroine needed a new dress – something more elegant, more in keeping with some of my other covers (see below)
  • They wanted a cover that readers would immediately associate with my brand – something more in keeping with my other designs.


So what did they come up with? Well, I am pleased to unveil the brand new cover for Stealing the Preacher!

Da, da, da, Daaaa (trumpet fanfare) . . . 

 So, what do you think?

Those who know me will tell you that I”m usually very resistant to change. However, I really like this second version. Both cover designs are fun and playful, but this one steps up the elegance, and the country church in the background is exactly as I described it in the book. It”s perfect!

The heroine”s dress is gorgeous and really draws the eye.  And even though I can”t see my handsome hero”s face, he still makes a strong impression.

And best of all, it matches the feel of my other covers. The only thing I miss is having my preacher tied up. (He

is actually lassoed in the book.) I still think that would have been fun.


Which cover do you prefer?

How much difference, if any, does a cover make to you when you”re choosing a book?


Stealing the Preacher is available for pre-order at a pretty good discount at Amazon. Click on the book cover to order.

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at:

44 thoughts on “Birth of a Cover . . . Take 2”

  1. Karen, I think they nailed it with the new cover. Just looking between the two the second really catches the eye and the playful tone really comes through. Although, I have to agree a lassoed preacher on the cover would be eye-catching, as well. 🙂


  2. It does “fit in” with the other covers better. I love the dress, the first thing I noticed. The dresses on the other covers are also lovely. I didn’t like the tied hands in the first one, but a lasso around him at elbow height would have been good rather than her tugging his sleeve. The first cover was OK, but this one will catch the eye more. I am looking forward to reading it.

  3. Love the second cover tho I agree with Patricia B. that a lass elbow high would have tied in with the story! Covers do matter if I don’t know the author

  4. I love the dress in the new cover Karen, but I don’t like that they leave the heads out. I don’t understand their reasoning for this. Hope all of your books sell big numbers! Maxie

  5. Thanks everyone! I really am pleased with how it all turned out.

    Maxie – about the heads on the covers…I’ve had 5 covers now and 3 have had no faces and 2 have faces. Not sure what the determining factor is when it comes to choosing where to cut the photo. However, part of me kind of likes not having the faces. Just because as I reader I like to imagine the hero and heroine to my own taste, and not having a picture of the faces gives me the most freedom. On the other hand, if the faces are right, the whole package is perfecet.

  6. I must admit, I like the new cover better. I think it is a little bolder and eye catching. Although I thought the praying hands was rather cute. A cover is the first thing a reader sees, and it should stand out to make us want to pick up the books and see what is inside.. Or course who writes the book is a biggie for me and also the title should be a a catch for the book too..

  7. I would totally vote for the second cover! The dress is better, but the ‘sass’ too! Even though on the first cover we can see the hero, in this case I think it’s stronger not to show! Love the ‘no-jacket-thing’ too, fits more into your other books now.

  8. OH MY GOSH YES! I loved the first cover but this one… the impish smile, the “catching” of his sleeve and his rather stubborn stance (which totally fits Crockett!)… LOVE LOVE LOVE. Can’t wait to read it!

  9. I love the new cover. It would not have been the same feeling to actually be able to see their faces. The fun of your books is that we get to draw their faces in our minds from your disctiption of them, or at least for me its easier to put me in the herione’s place. LOL. I know silly.

  10. Like the new one so much better, Karen. It gives a more mischievous and independent take on that adorable heroine. The first one is nice, but you lucked out on the second one. That book should fly off the shelves!

  11. I really like the new cover. It does fit with your other books. And for me, the cover does persuade my decision to buy a book, especially if it’s a new author. It catches my eye, I pick it up and read what it’s about. I can’t wait to read this one!

  12. Karen, your books could be wrapped in brown paper bags and I would STILL be first in line to buy them on release day!!! 🙂

    When you revealed the first cover, I remember thinking it was quite different from your “brand,” but that it did fit the plot points very well. Seeing this new cover, however, I am completely sold. It’s perfect! No red dress (because I know how much you loved that! 🙂 ), and perfectly in keeping with your other cover styles. And I’m 100% with you on the faces-versus-no-faces argument; I don’t mind a little hint, but I prefer to imagine the characters’ appearances for myself.

    Well done, BHP! Reshooting was the right choice. 🙂

  13. Karen, I LOVE the second cover! The first one was fine but this one jumps out at you. It kinda matches your other books also. I think it’ll do very well. You’re so lucky to have a publisher who goes the extra mile for you.

    Wishing you much success, Filly sister!!

  14. Wow – you ladies are so wonderufl! Thanks for all the comments. It’s seems cover 2 leads the race.

    Jaime – I agree about the catching of the sleeve. I love that. And the fact that she’s leaning back and so obviously trying to drag him somewhere he’s not quite ready to go. It’s perfect!

    Rachel – It’s not silly at all. When I write, I’m always putting myself in the heroine’s place. Where’s the fun in writing romance if I can’t fall a little bit in love with the hero? 🙂

    Nancy – I judge books by their covers all the time. Don’t we all? I’m so thankful to have a publisher that listens to feedback and is not afraid to go back to the drawing board and make changes.

    Amy – A brown paper bag? 🙂 I love it! You’re such a sweetie!

  15. I like your new cover although I pre-ordered my copy with my gift card I got for Christmas. I love your books.

  16. Hi, anon 1001. – Thanks so much for spending some of your Christmas money on my books. I know how precious book money is. My daughter and I spent two hours at our local bookstore spending her Christmas money. And, ahem, I spent a decent chunk myself. Bookstores are dangerous places. 🙂

  17. Hi Karen – Well I have to say.. this new cover is so much fun. It stands out and says humor and fun and flirty. I also love the dress. I would say.. the art dept got it right the second time!!

  18. Hi Karen– I love the new revised cover for your new book, “Stealing The Preacher”. It is very eye catching!!!
    When choosing a book, the cover has lots to do with choosing the book. If I don’t like the cover, I don’t even check the back of the book for the preview. While reading, I can’t tell you how many times I turn to the cover just to get another glimpse of the main characters. With the e-books it just isn’t the same.You have always had beautiful and “eye catching” covers. I have all of them. Your books are wonderful!!!!!God Bless, Pat Hines

  19. LOVE the second one much better. It’s just like the “Karen Witemeyer” brand ( have a brand!). I would see it on a shelf and immediately know it was one of your books. Love her dress and the playful act much better. I do agree with the criticism of the praying hands…and I love that the faces were cut off in the second shot (much like the other books as well). Can’t wait to read! <3

  20. Thanks, Pat! I feel very blessed to have a publisher with such a fabulous cover art team. Wouldn’t trade them for the world!

    And I know what you mean about e-books. They need to have a quick flip to cover option while you’re reading don’t they? I do the same thing with the books I read.

  21. I’ve got several of your earlier books on my keeper shelf as well as in my kindle. I think the second cover is much better because it goes along with the concept in the first two of showing the heroines dress and just the body not the face of the hero. I didn’t like the first cover because both the heroine and hero look too comical for the natural subject matter you cover. Can’t wait to read this one! Glad you got an updated cover it would attract me to read it if I didn’t already know your work better than the first! God’s Blessings…

  22. *Squeal* I’m so excited about this book!
    I admit, when I saw the first cover, I thought, Now, that just doesn’t look like a Karen Witemeyer book.
    I do like the tied-up preacher in the first, but not seeing the character’s face–especially the hero’s–is a big part of my enjoying the book, since I always imagine the hero different than cover photos.
    This new one is perfect. <3
    Can't wait.

  23. Well I will admit that the new cover does blend in better with the other books… it is really beautiful. Nothing against the first one and all the work that went into it, that one was well done too… but I see how the newest one sits well with the other two covers.

  24. Love it! I must admit that I bought your first book because of the cover! Can’t wait to read this one.

  25. Love it, Karen! Somewhere I saw this second cover and it just jumped out at me – especially because it compliments your other covers so well. When I saw the post – that the cover had changed, I thought they were changing the one I already loved and I was bummed! I’m happy to see that the one I love is actually the second one! Very beautiful and I love the playfulness depicted. Can’t wait to read it – I’ve read all your others. 🙂

  26. I love the new cover! Well…for one I have the same hair It looks more like your books in my opinion. I thought the 1st one was too plain and the praying hands were a bit silly…just my opinion though. Her dress looked plain. The reason I picked up your first book was because of the cover..and loved the dress…sounds silly..but when I do not know authors…the cover of the book is what draws me. I like historical…so of course the content is most important…but the cover is what catches my eye…and I LOVE the new cover…congratulations! Can’t wait to read it

  27. I LOVE the new cover. It is way more eye-catching and in keeping with your other covers. I wouldn’t mind seeing the leading lady’s pretty face, but this is gorgeous. I saw the old one on Goodreads & the new one on Amazon, so I am so happy that this one was the finished design!

    Can’t wait to read about Crockett. Love those Archer brothers 🙂

  28. I like the second one too. The dress is beautiful and I like being able to see the church in the picture. I agree that the praying hands made her look silly.

    A cover is important to me. If I saw the first one in the store, I would most likely ignore it. The second one makes want to find out more and pick up the book.

  29. The first cover is cute, but doesn’t really say “Karen Witemeyer” to me. One reason is the heroine has a full face showing! Now, the new cover is absolutely you! From a graphics standpoint it is very well done with the placement of characters and the church. And overall it is visually stunning. I love the colors and the elegance. I must say that I prefer the preacher in his shirtsleeves and suspenders rather than with the overcoat (too dark).


  30. LOVE the new cover! It has a sassy feel to it and I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations! I have mixed emotions on showing faces – I think on this cover hers is pretty expressive and it’s kind of fun not seeing his. Definitely makes me want to read and paint his picture in my mind. imagination is a good thing!

  31. Love the new cover, Karen! The other cover was fun and flirty but the second cover’s dress is great! I miss seeing the faces too but I guess you can’t see everything, huh? Good luck with the book!

  32. Love, Love, Love the new cover. i like not seeing the faces on the cover. I think it allows you to create a picture of the characters in the mind.

  33. Oh, Karen, you don’t know how happy I am! I have loved all your books and all your covers, but this one just turned me off. Could not warm up to that hero photo (sorry!).

    But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new cover! Yay!

    Can’t wait to buy it now!!

    Big thanks to the cover angels. (Boy, you’d think it was my cover or something. Geesh!)

    So happy for you!

    Sue (a big fan!)

  34. Hi Karen. I like both covers but I really do LOVE the new cover. It does depict your brand very well.

    Covers do make a big difference for me when choosing a book, IF I have never read an author before. I am drawn into picking up a book if the cover reaches out to me. Then I read the blurb on the back and if it sounds good, off I go with my new purchase. 🙂

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  35. I like the first one but, the second one is just it . it does go alone with your other covers . Just should be able to see the preacher’s face. Looks like it will be very good. I have read The Short Straw Bride & ohhh so good. I am now reading To Win Her Heart. It is also good. Looking forward to reading this new one. Thanks love your books.

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