Saturday, April 1, 2017

Judging a Book by It's Cover...vs. Content

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
I'm in a situation where I have over a score of orphaned and rights-reverted books, so one by one I'm trying to get them re-released, right now just on Amazon, but eventually on multiple platforms. Re-editing isn't hard because I had good editors at my previous publishers. I've got the formatting thing down because I used to do that back when I was a small-house editor. The killer for me is covers. I'm not a graphic artist, though I have a decent eye for it, and more importantly, I don't have and can't afford the software. That leaves me in the position, both for better and for worse, of buying new covers for my previously published work.

Good, custom cover art is expensive. This is understandable--a lot of work goes into them, getting everything just right, and the artist also has to pay for any stock art that's used. However, due to family circumstances, I'm not in a position to pay that amount for 20-odd books. On the other hand, I want to get them back on the market and earning money again. Income is good. So I'm looking at pre-made covers for some of my shorter stories and novellas. Much more affordable. However, you don't necessarily find things that exactly match your characters or story.

As readers, how upset do you get if a cover model doesn't quite match the character? For example, my latest re-release has this very nice cover done by Carey Abbott of Safari Heat Designs. I really like the look, which is why I purchased the cover. However, there are two minor issues. One, in the blurb, it mentions quite clearly that the character is "voluptuous" (In the story she refers to herself as "a bit stout.) and the model is decidedly slender. Does that bother you?

Secondly, a number of the stories I'm revamping, including this one, are erotic. How much does the cover need to reflect that? Should it be in the blurb? I'm quite curious to get your opinions as I travel down this new path.

Marry Me, Marietta
Cindy Spencer Pape

Marietta James is a proper Victorian widow—until the night fate throws her together with handsome doctor Adam Hamilton. Adam has tried to ignore his desire for his voluptuous neighbor, but when the two of them are alone together, the passion burns out of their control. Now Adam is determined that their relationship continue while Marietta wants to forget their night of passion ever happened. It will take all his powers of seduction and persuasion to get her back in his bed—and into his life for good.

A sexually explicit historical romance

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