Saturday, July 13, 2013

Is cover art important?

I've been looking at cover art for my indie novels recently and my respect for cover artists has gone up by leaps and bounds.

While the original covers for the backlist Regencies were great back in the day the books desperately needed refreshing. So I went on the net to look for art. There are a ton of images sites out there. Sometimes the same images appear on a bunch of sites and so they appear on more than one book. And there aren't that many models out there, believe me, although you'd think there's more. 
The current trend for a scruff of beard doesn't help, either. Men in the past just wouldn't have allowed them to grow. A good artist can give a man a shave-something I've longed to do in real life sometimes!
A good artist can make the same image look totally different on different covers. But now I realize why there are so many 'prom queen' covers around. Realistic historical costume is hard to come by. Men with shirts open down to the waist, women with skirts that billow out from a natural waistline instead of the Regency empire line, in colour variations that weren't used or weren't even available at the time are all endemic on romance books. I didn't want those and since, for the first time I had some say in what my covers looked like I could decide against them. But all I could find were prom dresses and draperies. So for the time being I used period portraits. While they pretty covers they didn't really reflect what was inside. So I went on the hunt. 
I found some. It took a while and I needed lots of help from some very good friends but they are out there now. One I'm not entirely happy with and it will progeny get a transformation in the near future, but of you look up Counterfeit Countess, Seducing Laura and Uncovering Vanessa, you'll see the new covers. 
Phew! Now that was what I call work! Now back to writing!


Mrs. Spock said...
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Erin Kane Spock said...

I hate it when the covers do not match the story. I do notice historical inaccuracies in costuming, but I'm equally peeved when the hair color/description doesn't match. They can fix that with Photoshop. Lazy.
When I buy in book form, I do spend time looking at the cover, but when I read on my Kindle I rarely notice the art. E-book purchases have more to do with name recognition and reviews than cover art.