This is going to sound just terrible, but as a reader, I rarely shop for books by the cover art. When I go shopping for books, I almost always have a list of books I’ve culled from favorite authors’ websites, or recommendations from readers I trust. I can appreciate all of the lovely covers on the shelves in the store–though I will profess a bit of a bias against all the copy-cat covers on erotic romances these days–fruit and flowers? Those do not scream “hot romance” to me. Give me a hot, shirtless hero on the cover, whether he’s alone or with his heroine. I am, after all, a romance fanatic.
That is one big reason why the cover for my book HUNTING MEDUSA makes me so happy when I look at it. (And, okay, I might have petted it a few thousand times.) But it isn’t just the mostly-naked hunk looking all broody and dangerous. No, the talented artist who worked on my cover art managed to work a bit of the setting into the background, and there’s the heroine, defiant and still vulnerable. Plus there’s a nifty little symbol tucked into the corner that will continue throughout the trilogy, and that makes me smile. The first time I saw it absolutely thrilled me, seeing all those little touches put together after all the work I’d put into the book. Plus, seeing the cover art made the book feel even more real than everything leading up to that point.
The colors and the whole composition set the right sort of tone for the story: a bit dark, with the woods in the foreground, and one gets the idea that the setting is remote, where danger lurks; the hero standing off to one side, watching the heroine, and a reader might think he poses a serious threat to her; while the heroine is looking directly at the reader, fully aware of the danger nearby and ready to take it on. Just talking about this cover makes me want to go grab one of my promo cover flats and pet it again. (I can’t be the only author who pets her cover, right? Right?)
I love my cover so much, my husband knew the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day would be a poster-size version, which is framed and hanging in our living room, where I can admire it as many times as I pass through the room every day. (I don’t think I actually noticed the hunk on the cover was fully naked, just, um, hidden behind the forest, until I got a gander at the framed poster, and I’m not sure my husband has realized it yet. I don’t intend to mention it either!)
So, what kind of cover art grabs you when you’re looking for a romance novel? Classic clinches? Abstract objects? Something completely different?
About Elizabeth Andrews
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