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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cover Calamities

See this cover? Kinda pretty, isn't it? If my book was a contemporary romantic suspense. But it's not, it's a western historical. This was supposed to be my cover--it's the one that didn't make it. Until now, I've only shared this image with a few close writer pals.

I think one of the biggest nail-biters an author has during the publishing process is waiting to see what her cover will look like. When I saw this, my heart sank down to the floor because it's neither western looking, nor does it look a bit historical. My first thought was, "Oh my God! How will I ever sell this to anyone as a western? It has absolutely nothing to do with my story. And what's up with the bald woman and the door!" Now, don't get me wrong. It's very nice cover and the artist did a great job, it just wasn't right for my book.

Fortunately, I didn't have to say a thing. My editor took even more exception to it than I did, and she went to bat to have it changed. You can see the final result over in the top sidebar.

Here's something to consider, if you're thinking of publishing with a small press. Your cover won't be the result of John DeSalvo and some gorgeous female model dressed in period clothing and posing amid the correct props to match your story. The cover artists at the small presses use stock photos and Photoshop them. The results are pretty amazing, considering they only have a limited selection of shots to work with.

Within just the past few months, I've had two writer friends contact me with panicky pleas for help. They'd gotten their covers and hated them. Even though I couldn't help, I did try to lend moral support. I'm happy to say the issues were resolved in both instances and they ended up with covers they're very happy with.



  1. Oh my goodness! Did the cover artists realize what kind of story it was?

    And as soon as I saw it, I was thinking the same as you...what's with the girl's head and what did that door have to do with it??

    Not that it isn't pretty..it is, but I'm glad that your editor went to bat for you and got that taken care of.

  2. Yes, they did know. I wrote them a short summary of the kind of story it was and described the characters. We are required to fill out a form about the kind of cover we envision, so I was a little dumbfounded when I ended up with the bald lady and the door. LOL! Those two things were nowhere in my description. I had asked for a man and a woman (Angel & Rane) riding double on a black horse across the desert. A kind of faraway shot that would be mostly scenery, you know. I didn't think that was too hard, but.... :o)


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