Four Naked Chests and a Pickup: That Oughta Cover It
The other day I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the cover of my romantic suspense, Head On took grand prize in its category of the Houston Bay Area Romance Writers' 3rd Annual Judge a Book by Its Cover competition. (The Salt Maiden's cover came in second on the same category.)
I was delighted since I think Dorchester Publisher did a fabulous job with both covers. I have to admit pride figured into it as well since both pieces of art were based on my suggestions (something that doesn't happen all that often in publishing, so it's much appreciated), and both are far removed for the type of cover art normally found on the romance aisle. My books, however, are meant to be cross-marketed to both romance readers and those who enjoy mystery/suspense, most of whom would be horrified to find a bare-naked chest on their book covers. It's not that I have anything against half-nekkid guys (except for the pale, flabby, shirtless suburbanites I occasionally encounter mowing lawns in the neighborhood), but I have to admit, I'm not crazy about the steamy covers, either. I don't want to have to think about what book I can carry to the doctor's office or read in front of kids, nor do I wish to have to put a "plain brown wrapper" type disguise on my reading material.
But clearly, lots of women love that sort of thing. If you follow the link above, you'll see what I mean. Yep. Four gorgeously-naked chests and a pickup (with my favorite big, black spider crawling into second place.)
In other countries, tastes are different. Which is why, just for fun, I've also posted the eye-poppingly red Polish cover of Head On. Quite a different look, isn't it?
So what types of covers do you prefer on the books you purchase? Which covers entice you to pick up a book an a writer you don't know? If you're an author, what type do you like or envision for your own work?