When prepping this post, I debated whether to title it “cover love” or “cover candy” and the candy factor won out. A good cover really should be as delightful as a big box of chocolates! It should “pop” in industry lingo. Cover art is my favorite part of publishing. When that much-anticipated cover file arrives in my inbox for the first time, I always say a prayer before I open it, hoping for the best. To be honest, I’m crazy about some of my covers and not so crazy about others, but I do appreciate the hard work and thought that goes into each, even if the finished product differs from the image in my heart and head.
Recently on Pinterest I came across a pin that says:
The title to a work of writing is like a house’s front porch… It should invite you to come on in. (Writer’s Write, Angela Giles Klocke).
A good cover should invite you to come on in, too. Thankfully, my publisher, Revell, has a terrific art and marketing team that takes covers very seriously, knows a good cover can sell or sink a book, and follows cover trends closely. Currently, historical romance covers usually show the heroine front and center in a period-appropriate dress with a background setting true to the novel. Though some may tire of this look, it continues to dominate the market.
Last winter I had the privilege of participating in the cover shoot for my sixth novel, Love’s Fortune. I was thrilled to be able to meet the model chosen as Wren Ballantyne, my heroine, and actually see/touch the period costume. The shoot took place in a historic building in Seattle on a wintry day. For several hours I watched the camera and film crew (a cover trailer was also done that day) set up in the studio. A huge green screen was erected as the backdrop for the model who was, for an hour or more, in hair and make-up before being dressed in an 1850’s gown and readied for the camera.
Brandon Hill (here is the link to his Facebook page where you can see more photos) is the photographer/designer for all of the Ballantyne series covers. He’s a very hands-on artist who is as personable as he is skilled, thus the invitation for me to come into the studio. Though only one photograph is needed for the final cover, Brandon takes hundreds of shots to capture just the right look. In this particular series he added movement and a sense of life by bringing in a fan to give the model a windblown look. I was surprised at how relaxed the shoot was, how long it took, and how much everyone seemed to enjoy being there. Clearly, Brandon Hill’s passion for his work shines in the images he captures. He’s at work on many covers for both the inspirational and secular markets and has a terrific website and blog if you want to look.
Do you have a favorite book cover in the Ballantyne series? A favorite cover you’ve seen elsewhere that pops for you? What cover trends would you like to see for historical romance novels?
*All images http://brandonhillphotos.com/