Tuesday, January 01, 2008


This is my new cover. I'm very happy with it. I like the action, I like the scenery, I like the horses. I like the way the sun shines from the corner as the name of the resort in the book is Puerta Del Sol, or door of the sun. I like the looks of the hero and heroine and the way they seem to be galloping right off the cover.

However, in the book, the hero and heroine are both light haired. She's very blond, he's described, I believe as "fair" or maybe "sandy." These people look dark haired to me. At first I was a little stunned and then I decided to be practical and reasonable and let's face it, there's nothing I can do about it anyway.

Then I decided to try to picture these people on this cover with light hair. Not good. They would disappear.

So, this is my cover and I am back to my first response which was, I love it. And I have to hope that it is the first response of the reader, as well, the response that has her lifting the book for a glance at the back cover where my editor hopefully wows them with a pitch they can't wait to explore...

This weekend in the Parade section of my newspaper there was a question in the people section asking the editors why the female leads of shows like CSI show so much cleavage. One actress was quoted as saying something along the lines of, "You don't honestly think we get to dress ourselves, do you? That's wardrobe's department." And that's what I thought as I pictured my readers reacting to the first description of my heroine, for instance. I can see her flipping the book and looking again at the cover and shaking her head. I hope she doesn't hold it against me.

How much does a cover influence you as a reader and if you have published, how have you felt about your covers? I know some of you are able to design your own covers. What's that like? If you are pre-published, how much say do you hope to have in the cover that graces your first novel? I have to say that I have been very pleased with almost all of my covers and this one especially -- wrong hair color or not. If my book doesn't sell, I don't think I can blame the artist.


Paty Jager said...

I agree! AWESOME cover!

I don't look at the color of the hair on the cover models. If the cover intrigues me then I pick up the book read the back cover blurb and the first few pages. If all that keeps my interest I buy the book.

I've been lucky to have some input on my book covers. I still wasn't happy with a couple, but the cover artists are getting better and they have allowed me to send pics to use for the series covers.

LOL- I read that same thing in Parade and thought those characters are no different than the ones we dress!

You're right! It isn't the cover that will make a reader pick up your next book- it's what's inside.

Cool Blog! And love that cover!

Paty Jager said...

PS: My company's gone and I'm going to write the rest of the day. Toodles!

Barbara said...

I like that cover, too, Alice. It speaks of action and romance. And you show a very mature attitude in your response to it. I'm guessing that comes from many years of successful experience. Naturally, the cover draws my eye if the book is displayed with the cover showing, but I'm like Paty--I read the back cover and the first couple of pages, and those determine whether or not I buy the book much more so than the cover. Congratulations on having another book ready to market!

Karen Duvall said...

Fabulous cover, Alice! I really, really love how the couple seems to gallop off the cover. The artist did a great job with that effect.

I've designed all three of my books' covers, but only because the alternative was unacceptable. If a decent artist is available to do the job, I have no problem turning over the cover design to them. I'd never interfere with my cover's design if a professional was involved. I have yet for that to happen, so until then, I'll continue to create my own covers. I'm really glad, Paty, that you're happy with how TWRP has been doing with your recent covers.

It's rare that I browse bookstore shelves for books to buy, so I don't select based on a book's cover. I base my choices on referrals and book reviews.

Alice Sharpe said...

Thanks Barbara.

I agree, I don't buy a book for the cover. The title always influences me more than the art, and word of mouth and favorite authors and all the rest. But if there are pictures of the characters on the cover, I will find myself flipping now and again to "see" them when I read the descriptions. (If it's of a building or an island, I'll do the same thing.)

Paty, I was under the impression you designed your covers though now that I say that, I recall you saying something about not being happy about the size of a lantern or lamp or something like that in the original MIP book. Or do I have that wrong? LOL with the Parade thing, you're right, it is just like us.

Karen, your attitude is very professional, too. I think you are right in that a company as an art department and it's their job to know how to package and market, my job to come up with a story.

Speaking of that, back to work. Hope now that the company has waved their last farewells, you get a lot done.

Oh, and Karen, I forgot to congratulate you on finishing your book! Wahoo!!!!

Paty Jager said...

Ahhh... it's good to be back writing! 10 pages today! If I can keep that up I should be done by the time I head to Alaska! That is my goal, but we'll see how well that goes! I have a 4-H field trip tomorrow and a friend and I are going shopping on Friday. Looking for that western dress than can be dressed up or down depending on the situation.

Alice, my daughters and I have staged photos that they are using for the covers of the Petticoat books, but the other covers were done by the art dept. I have never liked the cover for Gambling on an Angel but I could only complain so many times and they said tough.

Christine Young said...

Alice, I love your cover. It's great. Until Rebel Heart I had input on the cover. Judith always asked for my ideas. I am seriously thinking about designing my own covers after Highland Song. I could put some of those expensive advertising design classes I took in college to use.


Danita Cahill said...

It is a great cover, Alice. And you're right -- you have been fortunate in the cover department. I pulled out all the books on my Alice Sharpe shelf, and they are all intriging.

I also agree that, although wrong, fair-haired people would not have looked so striking with the color scheme.

As for choosing books in relation to their covers, I don't think a cover persuades me one way or another. I usually shop for a certain type of book -- intrique, thriller, mystery, literary -- depending on my mood. Or I pick up books by certain authors I adore. I don't think the cover carries much weight for me. You know, cheerio, never judge a book by its cover and all that rot.