I've been gazing at the cover for my April release, The Sexorcist, (because those are some highly gaze-able abs, baby). It's got me wondering: What does my cover say to you? (Hopefully it says Pick me up and take me home with you! but besides that...) Light/dark? Playful/sensual? Paranormal? What do you think the story is about?
I've been pondering the mysterious art of romance covers. I feel I should preface this by saying I have the utmost respect for cover artists and I profess to know nothing of what sells on the front of a book. I'm just a reader and a writer. Marketing ain't my thing. I once heard Sue Grimshaw (of Borders True Romance fame) talking about cover art and my mind boggled at all the ways her definition of a great cover differed from my own.
You see, I want something that captures the feel of the book. Something that gives me a sense of tone. Playful book, playful cover. Serious dark story, serious dark cover. Sensual, body-parts-a-flyin' book, well then lets see some body parts a-flyin' on that cover!
But, from what Sue Grimshaw said, I'm not so sure others share my cover preferences. So I'm asking: What do you look for in a romance cover? Sexy manflesh? Something demure that won't embarrass you at the checkout line? A couple in a torrid embrace? An iconic image like a flower or a high heel? What catches your eye when you're browsing your bookseller of choice?
My cover has manflesh in abundance, and there is many a manflesh cover out there that would lend credence to the idea that manflesh sells... but would you believe me if I said The Sexorcist was a paranormal romantic comedy? Does it look funny?
I've been thinking about what humor looks like on the front of a book and I'm curious about what others see when they look at covers. I've grabbed eight books of similar genre to my own from the last few years and slapped their covers down below here. Judging these books purely by their covers: Which one looks funniest to you? Which one would make you pick it up and flip to read more? And (perhaps most importantly) which one would you be most likely to shell out your hard earned cash for?
Ready? Here are the candidates!