As a reader, I’m very particular on which books I spend my money. The cost of print books has gone up so much its almost ridiculous. I don’t think I’ve bought a brand new book in months, and when I have I always shop at the discount bargain places. So with the bad turn in the economy and the need for finding cheaper measures for my reading habit, I ended up turning toward ebooks.
The first thing I look at is, of course, the cover art. I am one of those people who will judge a book by its cover, at least initially. I see a beautiful cover and it makes me want to read what it’s about. I see a cover that’s not visually appeasing and I tend to pass it by. But with the rise in ebook publishing, it’s forcing the graphic artists who design these covers to be better and bolder. And so far, luckily, I have had some talented people designing the covers for my books.
My first book, Black Leather Pants, was written while I lived in Paris, France. Much of the background of the story is basically day to day stuff of when I lived there. For instance, the streets the heroine, Penny, walked across. Or the art she inspected while there. She even went on a picnic in the Beaujolais wine region near Lyon, same as me. In this case it was literally me writing what I knew.
So when Siren-Bookstrand called me up and told me that they would publish it, my first thought (after the jumping up and down for joy and tears of happiness ran its course) was the cover art. I knew immediately I didn’t want a naked girl on the cover because Penny would never be like that. She would be sexy without blatant, and I made sure to express my opinion to Jinger Heaston, my cover artist. And since half the book is set in Paris, I thought the most iconic way to show what the story is about would be to have the Eiffel Tower in the background!
I got way more than what I had hoped with Jinger’s fantastic cover! Of course, with a title like Black Leather Pants, the hero had to be wearing them…and nothing else. And the Eiffel Tower makes a very interesting phallic statement right through the book title. My second book with Bookstrand was a historical mainstream romance, titled An Innocent Heart, and Jinger once again came through with capturing the guilt and shame the hero, Harry, feels.
I firmly believe that having a great cover is the best asset a new writer has. Newbies don’t have fans behind them yet and so must rely on the visually pleasing covers to get readers to read the blurb on what their book is about. And so my warmest thanks and praises go to the talented artists who bring characters (especially mine) literally to life.
-Beth D. Carter
author of : Spirals from Loose Id, Black Leather Pants from Siren BookStrand, and An Innocent Heart from BookStrand Mainstream.