What’s In A Cover?
by any other name would smell as sweet.
So Romeo would were he not Romeo called.
But what about Romeo’s face? What about his body? As a writer, I know it’s all about the words, but hey, I’m a very visual person too. Take my office, for instance. All my projects are out on my desk, with the important ones on top. If it’s in the filing cabinet, then I’m not thinking about it. Outta sight, outta mind. I’ve got to see it to get excited about it.
So I really appreciate a great romance book cover–especially a great erotic romance cover. I love romance covers that make me take a second look. An excellent cover makes me covet a book that I wouldn’t have desired otherwise.
I tip my hat to the people who design them. I bet it’s a lot harder than it looks. For instance, those romance covers where it indicates a woman is in a menage with several guys. I bet this is a cover design specialty. Clearly you want to indicate that there are several men here and one woman, but you don’t want to make it look like a dog pile. Then there’s the way in which a few men are touching the woman at the same time. You don’t want the woman to look like she’s in a relationship with an octopus–some multi-armed, naked torso mutant.
Looking through some recent erotic romance books out in the world, I noticed that I have 5 categories of romance covers I’m drawn to. Here they are:
1) The arty cover. So arty, you might call it Ahhhhr-ty. I notice that black, red, and white cover designs are really in right now.
Faces are hard. I don’t want to de-personalize others, but it’s so easy to have an expression in a woman’s mouth that makes me wrinkle my nose.
A certain tension around the lips can read, well, bitchy. There’s bitchy hot, of course, which is great, but I’m talking bitchy in an annoying way. I also don’t care for the “I’m a dumb blonde mouth”. So anyway, my guess is that it’s a lot harder than it looks to get an erotic romance cover with emotions on the face that work. This one worked for me, but her eye is a little dead–if you’d started at her nose I wouldn’t have complained.
What kind of cover do you like best? I found an entirely different cover for A STUDY IN SHAME. Here it is. They look about the same in terms of age and color palate, so I wonder if one cover was designed for women, and another cover for men. What do you think?