By Kirsten (aka Inara) Scott
Those BBs and regulars in the Lair probably know that I write young adult fiction under the name Inara. You may also know that I sold my debut novel to Disney-Hyperion back in October 2007. It's a heck of a long time from sale to release...and a heck of a long time to wait for a cover. I have whined about this many times over the YEARS since I sold.
But I finally got one. Yes, a cover. My cover. Finally! A cover!! After two and a half years, I actually have a cover.
Isn't it a beauty?
Now imagine that cover in sparkly red and gold. It's coming out in hardback, and I hear they're embossing the cover to make it shiny.
We authors all worship the cover gods and pray to them for a beautiful cover that somehow manages to capture the people and the feeling of the book. On the romance side of the business, things are pretty straightforward. You know your book cover will probably fall into one of these categories:
The lone female. This is probably my favorite, because they can be so beautiful. This cover instantly tells me -- this book isn't just about some bossy alpha male. This book is about a strong, gorgeous woman who is going to bring some man to his knees. Our Christine Wells has been lucky to have several of these, and they're right up there as my all time favorites. Anna Campbell's latest is another extraordinary example.
The lone male. This type of cover is found mainly on the Harlequin side, and they never fail to please. I adore this guy. Would love to take him home. Will likely buy the book JUST to have him on my shelf. (Oh yeah, and Kate's a damn good writer, too. ;-) But I'd be lying if I said the hot guy had nothing to do with it.)
The real people who happen to be beautiful. Also a specialty of Harlequin. Beth's been really blessed by the cover gods on this one. Her cover models always seem to combine the real life thing with the model thing. You somehow believe these people really exist, and that they're actually someone you'd want to know. Someone to root for.
The hot, headless couple. Love this. You knew I had to get Susan's cover in here somehow, right? Anyway, I am a fan of headless people on covers. Really good headless covers manage to convey the beauty and sophistication of their subjects while maintaining your ability to use your own imagination. As a girl who's big on imagination, I appreciate that.
Last, but certainly not least, the CLINCH. Hot guys. Naked chests. Women with a lot of hair. It's basic to our genre. It's over the top, a tad embarrassing, and yet somehow speaks to millions of readers. It sells books. It tells you, no mistake about it: you are about to read a romance novel. You are going to get love, sex, heartache, and a happily ever after. There will be a hot guy in this book and you will contemplate leaving your husband for him. There will be a spunky, gorgeous woman who will bring that man to his knees. These are the promises of the clinch cover. And you have to love it for that. (Check out Christie Kelley's book on the sidebar for another gorgeous clinch!!)
On the young adult side, you can get just about anything. There could be a couple kissing, you could go headless, or you could get something very stylized that doesn't even look like your book at all. I figure I got the best of all possible worlds. I got a girl who looks like my heroine should. I got something exciting that will jump at readers from the shelf. I got color, I got gates, I got the promise of danger and mystery. I got it all.
So now that I've gushed about my beautiful cover, my question for you, romance readers -- what's your favorite kind of cover? Do you proudly display your clinch cover on the bus to work? Do you prefer the lone female, with the seductive gleam in her eye? How about the hot guy in the tux?
And one more time -- isn't my cover AMAZING?