There is a half-dressed man, leaning over an equally half-dressed woman. They’re half-sitting, half-lying on a sofa positioned in front of an open window or perhaps they’re in a field, with the grass flowing around them. In either case, both have their hair flying away from their faces, streaming in the wind in opposite directions of each other. They look like they’re in the throes of passion or about to sneeze, we can’t really tell. What’s very clear are his muscles, he has them everywhere from neck to fingers, her breasts and her legs. Incredibly their clothes have fallen off just enough to show their best features but still leave them dressed.
It’s a vague description but that’s the cover of most historical romance novels and even some contemporary. For me, it begs the question: Did they think readers would like that? Well, I was going to get the Nora Roberts’ book but now that I see the muscles on this guy, I’ll change my mind.
Personally, those covers aren’t my thing. In fact, I try and hide them when they happen to be on the book I’m reading. They’re not just ugly, they’re embarrassing. I can’t imagine how cover artists, publicists and literary agents (people who work in the publishing industry) think they are a good idea. I bet I’m not alone. Did these people ever speak to their readers?
I’d like to bet that most of us (readers) would like books to have a minimum amount of dignity. They don’t have to be as serious as the Bible. We’ll just settle for not embarrassing.
I’ve seen covers that are both beautiful and elegant. I know that traditionally published authors have literally no say on what goes on the front of their book. The cover is not up to them. I self-published so I got a cover done just the way I liked it. I love the cover on Olivia’s Choice. More than that, I’ll tell you who did it. Dara England. Here’s the link: http://mycoverart.com. She was absolutely amazing. Great to work with, professional and she knew just what I wanted. But don’t take my word for it, check out the awards she’s won on her site. The woman is awesome.
I would also recommend David C. Cassidy. http://davidccassidy.com/graphic-designer/ebook-covers/. He’s simply amazing and one of the nicest people I know. Hands down.
Covers are important. They draw the reader to your book…or away. I know they say: never judge a book by its cover…but I think it’s hard to look past a semi-naked couple embracing in the park.