The first book in my new Hanger’s Horsemen series released last Tuesday, and I’m so excited to have a cover that features a rugged cowboy hero. I’ve had a few heroes make appearances on other covers, but they were always the supporting cast to the heroine.
I have three covers where the heroes get an arm and a leg in the picture. (Although you gotta admit that arm on Levi is pretty nice.)
My first hero only got his leg in the picture.
I did get nearly an entire hero on three of my covers, but the heroine remains the focal point.
So having my cowboy hero front and center this time was an exciting change. And I love the model they chose as well as the addition of the horse as the supporting actor.
However, when I asked my publisher if they had any cover mock-ups that failed to make the final cut, I was surprised to find an entirely different cowboy on the cover. One with a shy smile, rugged physique, and a lot more facial hair.
Here are a few of the first version mock-ups. Notice the different poses, the different backgrounds, even different hat colors.
If I had to pick one of these iterations, I think I would take the bottom middle. I like the hat tip, the smile, and the sunset in the background. Although, I strongly prefer the font and series designation of the one at the top left, which is most similar to the final copy.
All in all, I think they made the right call. I really like the final cover.
Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger’s Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler’s bullet leaves one of them at death’s door, they’re the ones in need of saving.
- If you were to select one of the runner-up covers for this book, which would you pick?
- What do you think of having a hero-centric cover? Is it less romantic without the heroine?