Friday, November 27, 2009

The Cover Gods Have Been Busy

I've been blessed by the cover art gods. Not just with one new cover, but three.

I came home from Black Friday shopping today to find this gem in my mail box.

"Crazy In Love" is a Lust Bite (for those of you unfamiliar with what a "Lust Bite" is, it is TEB's short stories) that will be released in March 2010. Lust Bite covers are all the same - one for M/F and a different one for M/M. We authors don't get a say for Lust Bite covers like we do for covers of novels and novelettes. Luckily, TEB always has beautiful covers and I think this one is gorgeous.

The next cover is for "Pirate's Booty" a short MMF which will be released by Ellora's Cave December 9th. Again I'm pleased with the cover.I love the colors.

The last cover I'm going to show today belongs to "Take A Chance" which is a free story I wrote for The Long and Short Reviews. I didn't expect to have a unique cover made for a free story, but I'm thrilled that LASR made a cover and a beautiful one at that.

This Thanksgiving themed story is available now for your reading pleasure at:


It's more usual that I am asked for input on my covers. When one of my stories is accepted for publication, before the final contract is even sent, I must fill out the cover art request and return it.

These requests ask specific questions such as:

"What is the book's title?"

"Is this book part of a series? If yes, what is the series name?"

"Describe the heroine."

"Describe the hero."

"What do you want shown on your cover?"

"Is there anything you don't want shown on your cover?"

"Give a brief cover blurb that will hook your reader and make them want to buy your book."

"Tell us about the book. What is it about?" *Sometimes an excerpt is requested.

Although the cover art gods are good, sometimes outstanding, they aren't mind readers. Descriptions need to be in-depth. Vague descriptions such as "tall, dark and handsome" for the hero doesn't help the cover artist. For instance, you might envision this for "tall, dark and handsome":

But if you neglect to mention skin tone, age, build, length of hair, identifying marks such as tattoos, facial hair, and clothing style your cover artist might envision this:

Or this:


 Whereas the second two pictures are of very handsome men, they may look nothing like the hero described in length inside your book leaving your readers to suspend belief, if they can.

The same is true for description of the scenery. Sometimes a little information is more dangerous than no information. If you have a story set in South Florida and neglect to tell the cover artist, especially if they know it is Christmas or winter-themed, you're at risk to get this on your cover:

Instead of this:


Or this:

They evoke very different characters and images, don't they?

I've been blessed. Most of my covers are gorgeous. One day I'd like to have oil paintings made of several to hang in my house. At the very least I'd like to frame large poster size images. Only a couple times did I get a blonde when it should have been a brunette character, or a short-haired character when the character's hair should have been long.

Usually when a mistake like this happens most publishers are willing to fix it if you ask nicely. However, cover artists are busy people and I'm sure it's not always easy to change a finished cover, so be as precise as possible when you make your first request.

Recent posts you might like to read:

Nanowrimo Thoughts 

To Nano Or Not To Nano - That Is The Question

Why You Should Consider Library Booksignings

Make Sure Pretentious Words Don't Turn Off Your Readers

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!

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. :)


Alyssa Maxwell said...

The cover gods have indeed been good to you, Ashley. Your covers are very sensual and appealing. I'm never asked for input per se, but my editor gives the art department very specific details. So far they've done a fabulous job!

Unknown said...

You've certainly been blessed by the cover gods! I love them all. The colors in the EC book are great!
I've been lucky so far - haven't gotten a cover I don't like. I fear that first time.

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