With the release of our latest Regency Romantics Box set, A Summer of Dukes, I have been thinking about covers recently and wondering just what readers – and authors – prefer. Perhaps a single gentleman on the cover is favourite, our "Duke" certainly seems perfectly at home in the picture above, doesn't he? And the cover of The Ton's Most Notorious Rake, my current Sarah Mallory Regency, has a very handsome hunk gracing the cover.
Yet the recent Italian version of the same book features a painting of an actual scene from the book and I find I quite like that, too, or perhaps it is just the author in me kicking in, because I like to think that someone has read the book!
And I have now received foreign copies of two of my Sarah Mallory books from the Scandalous Arrandales Series – Lithuania, in fact! – plus The Duke's Secret Heir in German, and they ALL have couples on the covers.
To balance this, several of my own Georgian or Regency Romances have pictures of the heroine on the cover, including these two:-
So, do you prefer to see a couple on a romance cover, or a single man or woman? Or perhaps it depends on the title or the story? I confess that I don't think I have a preference, but I am always intrigued to know what my publishers will choose next!
Do let me know what you think.
Melinda Hammond /Sarah Mallory
Covers are always a bit of a problem, I think. I confess I get very cross if the illustrator gets it wrong and gives the heroine dark hair when she's a blonde, say. Sheer laziness - and unprofessional, too, in my view.
The other thing I've noticed is that nothing dates so much as an old cover depicting the heroine in period costume. I have an early 1960s paperback of Anya Seton's 'Katherine', for example. Katherine looks more like, Sophia Loren, Italian film star of the period, all sultry lips and with her hair in loose curls, than a beautiful 14th century woman.
So maybe it's best to keep the human figures in mid-distance and concentrate on a house, carriage, or bit of scenery which has something to do with the story. They, at least, don't date.
For me, Arthur Barbosa's terrific covers for Georgette Heyer's novels show how it should be done.
I quite agree about covers becoming dated, Elizabeth, and have always loved Barbosa's illustrations for Heyer's books. Wonderful.
Thank you for stopping by.
I have more singles than couples -but it depends on the story. I prefer photos to paintings but do like the covers for my LP books which are usually painted.
I agree, Fenella, some stories lend themselves to a single figure, but sometimes it works to show both main characters of a romance.
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