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Covers

Ironically, even in the digital age covers still play a role in stirring interest in books because one of the first things people see when looking for an eBook is the cover image.

I see some compliments come into my inbox or in comment sections of blog posts from time to time about my covers, and I have to be honest, I cannot take credit.

Here is a quick overview of how my covers came to be and a bit about the ladies who saved me from myself:

My first cover I made myself.

Intentions of the Earl Book Cover

 

My second cover I made myself as well.

LibertyforPaulbookcoverreal

 

However, two weeks or so after I used this cover, I found two more books with the same lady/background so when an author friend of mine (Ava Stone) volunteered to help me find something else, I took her up on it.

Liberty for Paul

 

I have to admit that I’m thrilled with her help. I have no seen the original lady on more than 12 books.

My third book, I made the cover for. But not without adjusting the font coloring and positioning for a while.

ToWinHisWaywardWifepossible500x750

 

With the Groom Series I was at a loss. I’d made my others, but frankly, I’m not very creative. In a bind, and unsure what I was going to do, I jokingly put up the following–to which came emails begging me not to really use this.

Her Sudden Groom Cover

 

Frankly, I hadn’t planned on it. My husband who can paint  said he’d paint me a cover. Unfortunately, he waited so long he didn’t have the time and drew me one…

HSG Pt4 500X700

 

This time it wasn’t readers begging me not to use that, it was another author who wanted to have a frank discussion! So as the days neared, I got worried and started looking again. The idea that perhaps I could use silhouettes of a historic couple for the books in the series became an idea and I created another…

Her Sudden Groom Cover

 

Not great, but it could have certainly been worse, I imagine.

Defeated, I contacted a cover artist. I’d never used one before and was a bit unsure. But, it had to be done so I sent an email to Dara England who is also an author and does cover art.

With literally days before the release of Her Sudden Groom, she sent me the following:

Her Sudden Groom

Her Reluctant Groom

Her Secondhand Groom

At the time, I didn’t yet have plans for a fourth book, but two days later I did and she sent over the fourth cover that afternoon:

Her Imperfect Groom

 

There were a few changes such as she originally had Emma in green (to match her eyes like the blue on Caroline’s book matches hers) and Juliet in purple. I wanted those switched since Emma and Marcus put on a musicale (hence, the piano in the background) and Juliet in green since she wears a green dress the night her husband finally sees her as a woman. To make these covers, she gave me a questionnaire to fill out. One of the questions was: what do you picture on the cover? My answer was, no generous view of the bosom. Caroline is Alex’s wife and he might feel her breasts are for his viewing pleasure only, not that of the world.

As many of you might remember with my more recent two series I’ve had a few changes. The covers I presently have and the ones I plan to keep were all made by Lily Smith.

We discussed what my previous covers had in common and the trademark I’d made for my self: beautiful dress, little to no face, no heaving bosoms.

The first cover for my Banks Brothers’ Brides series, I had that photo and had been “sitting on it” for a while, waiting to use it. The moment I saw it, I knew it was Regina. However…as you can tell by my previous attempts at cover art, I’m really not good at merging a lot of elements and manipulating photos. I sent her the woman, she merged her into the background. The others in the series she found the pictures and  put them together.

Red Beauty

Red Beauty

Red Beauty

Red Beauty

 

It took a few tries (mainly on Jilted) but we got it.

Lily also did my Officer Series books. We switched around the names on two of them, but other than that, these were her original selections and she had very little comments from me.

Red Beauty

Red Beauty

 

 

Clearly my cover-making days are over. How could I possibly compete?! Fortunately, both Dara England and Lily Smith are both still designing and doing a wonderful job at it.

Dara England:  http://mycoverart.com

Lily Smith: http://www.coversbylily.com/#!home/mainPage

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15 thoughts on “Covers

  1. Beautiful covers, Rose. And when do authors really have TIME to make good covers? I have no doubt I could eventually figure out how to use a good program to make covers. But my job is writing. Anya’s job is making my covers. That works out nicely. 🙂

    I LOVE the beautiful dresses on your covers. Sometimes, I wish we still wore those kinds…never mind. They look nice, but the discomfort…. 😦

    • Thanks, Lauralynn. I manipulated the cover to one of my books to merge the back of the dress with another background but it took me like three hours because I had to “cut” the dress out of one picture then paste it into another. I can write anywhere from 1,000-1,500 words in an hour so it’s not worth it to me to fuss with.

      I have the SAME thoughts regarding the dresses. Look gorgeous, but probably were horribly uncomfortable.

  2. I could not help but to notice that with only one or two exceptions, there are NO HEADS OR FACES in these covers. That bothers me. Too many back views for my personal taste. On my book covers there are no backs; everyone is either front facing or profile facing. Personal taste, but I have heard many other history people make the same remark.

    • I’m glad your covers are the way you like them.

      Just like the content of a book varies from book to book, enjoyment of a book varies from person to person and so does taste in covers. Many of my readers have expressed that they prefer not to see faces because it helps them to imagine the heroine as they’d like to picture them and sometimes what I think is an attractive person or matches how I envision the character to look, someone else might not see them that way.

      Taste is very subjective. Thank you for stopping in to share your thoughts on what you like to see in covers.

  3. I personally like to see the beholder (face) of the one wearing the beautiful gowns. Any thoughts?

    • Sometimes the face isn’t what you think… If you ever go look at stock photos, sometimes the faces look rather off-putting because the model is trying too hard, or making a funny face, or doesn’t look right. There aren’t a lot of pictures to choose from that have ladies (or men) wearing historical costumes anyway, then to find one that has the exact same features as the heroine (or hero) of the book is nearly impossible. That’s another point in the favor of cutting off the face at the lips. It doesn’t matter what color eyes she has or if she wears glasses, etc.

      Mass Market paperbacks–like from Avon, Pocket, St. Martins, Kensington etc, often pay someone to come in and paint a cover for that book (or have a private photo shoot with a model who resembles the hero/heroine). So it’s unique and never used again and it will match the character(s) better. That’s expensive. Thousands of dollars. For those with small publishers or no publisher, that’s unrealistic.

  4. Covers are one of those things that are either easy (the idea for them and pictures seem to pop up in a few minutes) or extremely difficult (months of looking and thinking). I’ll never understand why some books are easier than others to get the right cover for, but the same is true with titles. They seem to either come to you right away or take time. LOL Nothing about the writing business is boring, is it?

    Your covers are all very beautiful. 😀

    • Thanks! I’m glad you like my covers. I cannot look at an image and see what it could become with just a little of this and a little of that. I’m VERY straightforward and logical. I see a picture and think: okay, there it is. That’s why I hire people to help me. LOL

      Oh, but I do agree, some books are easy to get a cover for. Kind of like with titles. Some books are really hard to title.

      Nope, nothing about writing is boring. EVER.

  5. I love your cover art and you are very correct even with E-books cover art is so important, sometimes I give a book a chance because I love the cover so much while other books I don’t even read about because of the cover art. Great book covers, so happy that you have a team that brings your characters to life for us all!

      • So very true, I was just having this discussion on my author blog about how your cover can make or break you. I unfortunately judge books by their covers all the time, although I try not to, it just happens that way, what can I say, I like my Kindle Shelf to look pretty! LOL

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