More Covers, More Book Giveaways

Book covers.  The only thing that excites a writer more than a great book cover with her name on it is a bigger-than-expected royalty check with her name on it.  I had half a mind to buy my first cover painting until I found out that for one-time use the artist had been paid as much as my first advance, but be would only charge me half that for the painting itself since it was my first book.  

someday soon

It was a beautiful cover, but not something you’d hang in your living room, and I couldn’t afford to be that sentimental.  So I framed a cover proof and hung it in my office.  Did that with the first half dozen or so covers, which are now stored away somewhere.  But a great book cover with my name on it is still a sight for sore, computer-strained eyes.  It’s the face of my baby.

Nowadays cover art is mostly constructed on a computer using photographs and digital magic.  It was so much fun this week to see how the pieces of Michele Hauf’s new book cover came together.  The idea is to come up with a recognizable “look” for an author and then find ways to give each individual book its own eye-catching identity.  The cover should reflect the author’s “brand” and the book’s content.  With a series line like Silhouette—now Harlequin—Special Edition, the line itself is the brand, even though individual authors might will have a look, maybe even the same cover artist from book to book.

For years in single title I was a writer in search of a “look.” 

Collage7 And it wasn’t for lack of trying on the publishers’ end.  Many of them were beautiful covers.  But title and cover are sales tools, and branding is an more business strategy than art form.


This is how it’s done.  The Bell Bridge Books team has put together a look that works for me.  Each book cover stands alone, but my identity shows at a glance.  BBB pays for the use of photographs, and the other day I happened upon a book that sports the same photo as one of mine.  It took me aback, sort of like mistaking someone else at first glance for one of my kids.  But then you realize it’s not your kid—your kid is much better looking—and you realize that it’s not for nothing that we all have names.  Our styles and our stories are different, and readers will make the effort to find the ones they like.

Here’s a chuckle for today—a fun Buzzfeed display of “19 Book Cover Clichés.”

Speaking of books and their sequels—okay, I wasn’t, but I will—two of the books pictured in the foursome are connected by blood.  THE LAST GOOD MAN is rancher Clay Keogh, whose older half-brother, Kole Kills Crow is an outlaw in some circles, but others say he’s a hero.  Get YOU NEVER CAN TELL—featured through August in the Amazon Monthly Deal for $1.99—and decide for yourself.

And since YOU NEVER CAN TELL is on sale, I’ll send one of today’s randomly chosen commenting visitors an e-book download of its prequel, THE LAST GOOD MAN.  Ask me anything.  Tell us what you’re sick of seeing in book covers.  Tell us what catches your eye.  (I know, I know.  We ask that every other week.  We’re so insecure about our looks!)  Tell us how you sort through the masses of books for sale online to find a good read. 

About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in book covers, book giveaway, cover art. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to More Covers, More Book Giveaways

  1. Leanna says:

    The most important thing to me is that the people on the cover actually look like the characters described in the book.

    • I was always pretty fussy about that for my series books. If the character had a scar that figured into the story and that part of the body was going to show, I put that in bold underlined text on the Art Fact Sheet. But the publisher has to weigh the commercial appeal of the visual presentation. I’d like to see the cover match the description, but in the final analysis I trust the the reader’s imagination. That’s the beauty of the written word.

  2. debradixon says:

    Kathleen– Well, thanks for the compliment! BB/BBB works hard for branding and Deborah Smith weighs in as Editorial Director. Sometimes we have to go through a couple of looks before we find the style that works.

  3. Teresa Hughes says:

    I like to see the cover match the book. What I mean is like with Robyn Carr the cover of her Virgin River series matches what I know as the reader about Virgin River. If the description of the book talks about a tall, dark-haired cowboy then I want the cover to show a tall, dark-haired cowboy.

    Thanks for the giveaway:)

  4. Sandy Bradburry says:

    I have to agree that I like to see the character(s) on the cover match up with the descriptions in the story, however I am less concerned with minute details than I am the over all feel. A cover should also give an idea of the overall feel of the story, whether it is a sexy look, a wistful expression, a sense of danger etc. If the cover catches my eye and seems to fit the title I am more likely to pick it up and read the blurb and eventually purchase.

  5. Kathleen O says:

    The book cover are just so beautiful.. I think they reflect a modern day book cover.. But the classic ones are nice too.. The cover has to have some reflection of what the book is about and your books have always done that..

  6. I love the look of your books. And it is no secret that I re-read The Last Good Man over an over and over.
    This is a really appreciated post about covers and branding, etc. Thanks!

  7. Nicole says:

    Kathleen O said it well. The new covers are very beautiful. When do you see your cover for the first time? Do you see parts of it before or do you only get to see it when it is finalized?

  8. Kylie Brant says:

    No one can beat BBB for consistently lovely covers. They’re artists 🙂

  9. Tina K. says:

    Love you books!

  10. librarypat says:

    Thanks for the link to “19 Book Cover Cliche`s.” I had seen a couple of cover pictures used twice, but this shows how many variations can be done and how much use they can get from just one.
    I like the covers that do not show the entire face, leaving out the eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul as they say, and distract from you deciding just who the character is. I want the picture to match the description of the character(s) or the setting. It is off putting to have the hero described as a blond god and have a cover with a dark haired model.

    The logo style bar at the bottom of the four books is a good way to tie them together.

    • Interesting that you don’t want to see the eyes, LP. The half head look has always bothered me, but your point about the eyes distracting you gives me pause. Without the eyes, the reader’s imagination gets involved right away, supplying info? And the beauty of reading is the interaction between writer and reader. Interesting point. Thanks!

  11. michelehauf says:

    I really love how Belle Books has branded your releases, Kathy!

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