The Romance Reviews

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Got it covered...

Are we so superficial that we judge the books we’ll read by the way the cover looks? It’s part of the come on I guess.

Truth be told, if your book cover doesn’t grab a potential reader’s eye, your words will remain hidden within the pages. Think about your own shopping experiences – your curiosity gets piqued by how something looks; the outfit that looks dynamite even hanging on the hanger, the food that looks tasty even on the package label, and the cars that seem to stand out from the rest on the highway. A book cover shouldn’t be misleading the same way food packaging should at least hint at what is inside the package. Alas, the cover should appeal to your target audience.

Three of my novels have undergone face-lifts since the stories were first introduced:

Courage of the Heart was first published in 2001 by another publisher which transformed itself into a self publishing vanity press between acceptance of my manuscript and actual production. Without paying big bucks, there was no help in the marketing and promotion area; using the “If I knew then what I know now” lament, maybe I could have still gotten somewhere anyway. However, the original cover seems more suited to a textbook than an intriguing novel. Courage of the Heart was re-released by Vanilla Heart Publishing in 2008 with a tantalizing new cover and a combined promo effort between VHP and myself. I think you might agree, which one would catch your eye?

Next up we have Bartlett’s Rule. Kimberlee (my publisher) and I loved the original cover for Bartlett’s Rule – unfortunately we soon found out that the characters on the cover looked young and folks assumed the content was YA. My books are definitely NOT YA, thank you very much. Bartlett’s Rule is the story of a rape survivor who falls in love, the man who loves her and their combined efforts to learn how to trust, deal with the sorrow and anger, and not let the ugliness of the event take anything more away. While many parents have told me that they passed this book along to their teen agers, it really is intended for “mature audiences”.

The third novel not only had a face-lift, but a total transformation including name change. Forgotten seemed to live up to its name, not so much for the story, but because looking up the story by title alone was too arduous and often unsuccessful. Try it, go to Amazon and type Forgotten into the search bar; my book comes up (finally) somewhere on page 5 – fans had difficulty finding it at online retailers and since there are only some walk-in stores carrying the book, we had to make it easier. The story of Brandon and Caitlyn and amnesia, espionage and love was just reborn as His Lucky Charm – and we are hoping that this book also lives up to its name. The brand new cover certainly seems to be a “grabber”.

What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas... this time it follows Brandon and Caitlyn across the country and into a world of espionage and danger. The one thing that Brandon knows for sure is that he can't afford to lose his lucky charm, Caitlyn. Previously released as Forgotten, by Chelle Cordero

Excerpt from His Lucky Charm:

He felt his muscles clench as he stared into the woman’s face that lay beneath him. If he hadn’t already felt her trembling, he would have known she reached her own climax just by the expression of her face. With one more powerful thrust he felt everything he had spilling into her, he felt a completeness he would have never thought possible. Everything stopped and then he swore he felt their hearts start beating again as one. Pausing a moment to look into her eyes, and they were beautiful eyes he thought, he brushed a long strand of chestnut hair away from her face and kissed her. Then he rolled off of her.

“I love you.” Her voice was soft, like the touch of her lips. He couldn’t believe the tingling he felt in his loins at hearing her words.

“You’re not even human...”

“What?” She almost laughed at his choice of words.

He hadn’t even meant to say that thought out loud. “I mean... I just never felt so... consumed before. I feel like I am under some kind of spell.” As he sat up to face her, he was surprised by the life he felt in his groin. Feeling a touch embarrassed, which was a new feeling for him, he admitted, “I almost feel like I can go another round, and considering how powerful that was...”

She faced him and gave him a sultry smile; her bare breasts were firm and small. But not too small, he thought, just enough to fill his hands. He felt his groin tighten again and just stared.

“Hey, are you okay?” She suddenly sounded self-conscious.

“Uh, yeah.” He forced himself to look at her face.

She touched his arm, her fingers felt light like feathers. “Can I do anything for you?”

“Yes.” He glanced at her breasts again and then back at her face. “Tell me... who are you?”

She laughed, it was a full-bodied sound. “Just one day married and...” She saw the surprise in his eyes as he looked at his left hand and saw the ring. Pulling the bed sheet up to cover her nakedness, she looked at him puzzled. “You’re serious?”

He frowned. “‘Fraid so.”


Lindsay Townsend said...

Intriguing blog, Chelle! To me it shows how much as writers we put into our work and how multi-threaded and exciting your novels are.

Amazing excerpt! And what a moment to break it off!

I love all your covers, BTW

Chelle Cordero said...

Thanks Lindsay. When my first book Bartlett's Rule came out with VHP, I hadn't realized how truly important the cover design was; guess I've learned since then. ;>

Linda Banche said...

I agree, covers should give some idea of what's inside, especially when the author is relatively new. Established authors can get away with almost-blank covers because their names are well-known.

Savanna Kougar said...

Chelle, intriguing how your covers have changed.
There has been a world of change in the small print/ebook biz as far as covers, and it's continuing.
I love unique titles, so I do my best to create them. I hadn't thought about Amazon and losing your title among so many with the same title.

Wonderful excerpt, and certainly Las Vegas!

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Chelle, it's nice that you were able to change your covers more to your liking. Being disappointed in one would surely be a huge drag with the way you feel about your book overall.

Nice cliffhanger.

Chelle Cordero said...

Hi Linda, Savanna & LK, thanks for stopping by.

@Linda: How true - a well known author doesn't have to wrry about an attention getting cover...

@Savanna: Looking "Forgotten" up in Amazon really surprised me, but I am glad that it led to our name chnage.

@LK: Glad you like the cliffhanger - sure would be odd to be in that situation, don't ya think?

Linda Acaster said...

I really enjoyed reading the path to bring these to fruition, and seeing the choices of cover puts your comments into perspective. Thanks.