If I ran publishing there would be no cover art. Every year authors would receive a Pantone Grid with this year’s cover colors clearly marked off. Readers would know if a book was new by it’s Pantone year. (Love Angsty Mistoricals? Radiant Orchid is your 2014 friend.) Reissues would use the color of their original publication year, eliminating confusion. Shelves would be color coded by genre and year effortlessly, allowing readers to evaluate collections at a glance. No more three armed ladies. No more oddly broken necks or disembodied torsos. Sadly, I don’t run publishing. (I know! Epic bummer!!)
As much as Romland talks contents, we talk covers. What message is this cover sending? Do I like it? Is it weird? Does it match the contents? Why does the UK get the pretty version? Where have all our Pino’s gone? How does Fabio have so many fans? (Apparently Fabio is a really nice guy who saves puppies from drowning in vats of margarine.) We all know what a bad cover looks like. A good cover? Not so much. Courtney Milan has gone on at length about how she carries a brand message across her covers. (I think she should have saved Trial By Barbed Wire for her inevitable fetish series, me.)
Back in the way back authors could turn to their publishing houses art department and hope for the best. With indie-publishing authors may be limited to stock photography. Marketing becomes a huge issue. (I hate the covers at Regency Reads. Those thumbnails look like I’m going to have to write a paper, take a pop quiz and defend my conclusions in front of the class. Anne Barbour’s books are a buck each. Anne-freaking-Barbour! I haven’t picked up any of them.) Yesterday, when Susie Felber asked what type of cover she should request for her mother’s reissues I could only say “I hate covers.” Because, well, all that stuff I already said. So I’m putting it to you guys, and tomorrow Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is doing the same. What stokes your Regency flames? How do you know this is the Paranormal of your dreams? What makes a Beach Book follow you home?
Disclaimer: We have a firm policy against author promotion and blog tours. This doesn’t break that. Ok, yes, this totally breaks that. I’m invoking the Edith Layton Clause. Susie Felber is Edith Layton’s daughter and Edith Layton was a romance god. Her puppies wouldn’t even consider drowning in saturated fats because unlike let-me-just-oil-this-shaved-chest-Mr.-Fabio-dude Edith was on it. Tell me how to make you buy her books. Do it for the puppies.
Disclaimer the second: Some people like cats. I don’t know why. It’s apparently a thing. To those people I say yes, yes, fine. Cats are too smart to drown in fake butter. Point to you. What kind of covers do your cats like? Do we need mice? Other cats? Let’s talk about that and forget the whole dog thing ever happened.
Disclaimer the third: Bunnies? Ferrets? Sugargliders? Really? C’mon internet!! Lets just say Do It For The Furries, ok????
Disclaimer the fourth: Nobody Google that last bit, ok? Ok.