Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Book Cover Request Forms - Authors Really Get A Vote On Their Cover Art

Myths have circled the romance writing world since I began writing back in the Stone Age.

They include things such as authors don't get a say what their book's title is, what their cover art is, romance writers always get more sex than the average mortal...

Well, we hope the third is true for sure even if we don't like to be leered at by sleazy men.

A lot of things have changed since I first began writing. For one, epublishing arrived and even the big boys are playing now.

Two things I leaned early on: author titles usually stay with their books and authors get a say in their cover art. That is not to say ALWAYS.

When I submitted my first two or three books I

didn't think titles mattered, that no matter what I named my books, the publisher would change their names. Guess what? The publisher didn't change them even though I wish they would have. Now, I have to be more careful naming my books. :)

All of my publishers have asked my opinion regarding cover art for my books. That is not to say I always get my wish. That is either because I h

ad crappy ideas or maybe I didn't express myself well enough, or because the artist had a better idea.

I go with the flow when it comes to titles and

covers. I figure the publisher knows best and even if for some reason they don't, the publisher still owns the company, not me.

Just in case you've never seen a cover art request form and you're the curious sort, here are a list of the questions I received from one of my publishers. I don't think they'll mind if I show you as long as I removed their name. The questions a

re generic.

Ø Title of Book -

Ø Series Name (if applicable) -

Ø Author name –

Ø Genre -

Ø Time Period -

Ø Book length (word count) –

Ø Tag/hook (this is the sentence that sums up the story in one line and hooks your readers into wanting to read more) -

Ø Cover Blurb

Ø Reader Advisory (this is the line that we

add to the bottom of the blurb if there are scenes that need more explanation than just the genre – e.g. This book contains scenes of F/F intimacy, and menage or more sex or This book is best read in sequence as part of a series) Please add any notes that you think we should be aware of

regarding specific scenes in your book so that we may make a decision as to whether any reader advisory is necessary.

Ø New book or re-release –

Ø Where the story is set –

Ø Hero Description (Whatever details will help the art department) –

Ø Heroine Description (Whatever details will help the art department) -

Ø Short Summary of Story –

Ø Is there anything you would specifically like to see on your cover or any comments -

Ø Is there anything you don’t want on the cover or any comments –

In addition to my written response, I usually include pictures of my hero and heroine to give the cover artist a better idea. Of course the artist can only use pictures that are public domain or that they have special permission to use, they hopefully will find people who look similar on my covers. Since I learned that one of my publishers usually uses stock photos, I "shop" through their other covers instead of opening my search to everybody online, so unfortunately, I don't send pics of Julia Roberts or Adam Lambert.

Below are some of the questions if you'd like to see. Since I have to fill out a cover art request form now, I'm going to skeedaddle so I can get it done.

Here's the cover to my story "Charity's Auction" that will be released in the "Caught in the Middle" anthology that will be released at Total-E-Bound Monday May 11, 2009.

I didn't get an input on the cover of Caught in the Middle. That's because it's an anthology put together by the publisher. But I'm fine with it. I love this cover! TEB has some of the prettiest book covers.

I'm happy the publisher didn't ask all six authors featured in this anthology what we'd like to see on the cover. A few years ago, a different publisher asked our anthology group what we'd like on the cover and as everybody wanted an element to represent their story, it was a mess.

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


ND_Green said...

Great post. I was just wondering this very thing. We're supposed to start work on my cover soon. I'm so excited!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for this!! I love learning all these inside details!! I so hope to one day need this info!!

Molly Daniels said...

My first cover sucks, and so does the title. I told them what I wanted, and they sent me the picture. I was naive enough to say, 'Okay, we'll go with that...' instead of insisting on something better.

And the title! I wish someone had suggested something better! That first year I promoted it, people were asking me if this was my AA project, or the story of my life as an alcoholic! I had to keep explaining that no, it was FICTION and based on a former roommate:)

Hopefully I've done better with my other two, and will be fortunate in future titles/cover art.

Unknown said...

I thought it would be interesting to tell some of the behind the scenes stuff and also to learn how other authors and publishers do things.

My publisher changed "Doggy Style" on me - oops! I need to change the title in my side bar. It's now "Dog Days of Summer". I'm not totally surprised she didn't like DS. :)

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