Friday, May 26, 2006

Covers


Interesting post today – several foreign editions of books – Dutch versions of A Sicilian Husband and The Duke’s Secret Wife. And a Korean edition of The Twelve Month Mistress. The covers are interesting – A Sicilian Husband reproduces the USA cover, The Dukes Secret Wife is in a ‘duet’ with Carole Mortimer and has an idyllic countryside view on the front. And the Korean editions are deep pink, with a fuchsia edge to the spine – no picture, just stylised flowers all over it.




Which sent me back to look at the covers this book has had before –

Here’s the UK version -






And here’s the American one – this one tends to be the image that appears on most of the foreign editions. It’s on the Japanese edition, for example.






The photographic covers seem to divide opinion – some love them, some hate them. But I understand that a lot of the artwork for the USA covers is gong to be used over again on the UK covers Anne McAllister has had the same cover on two very different books. Lessons from a Latin Lover USA and The Antonides Marriage Deal UK . It’s a lovely cover – and it looks wonderful on the UK edition – but it’s the same cover and they’re not the same book.

I remember going to a HMB author day where one author was particularly concerned about the covers – why did we have to have ‘clinch’ covers? she asked. Why couldn’t we just have flowers or some such image? Something nice. Tasteful.

And I know there are some readers who prefer not to be seen sitting on a bus, or the tube, reading a book with a ‘hot’ cover in public.

So here I have a cover with just flowers and, believe me, compared to some of the Korean covers I’ve had, this an elegant, attractive one – but to me it’s just that bit too bland – it’s not saying anything about the book – in fact it’s not saying anything at all. Of course, I don’t read Korean – so the title means nothing to me. I can only hope that the author’s name is enough to make the readers want to pick this book of the shelf and see what inside it. I’m not sure if all the Korean books this month look like this – or if it’s a special cover that’s been assigned to the 3 books in The Alcolar Family trilogy – of which The Twelve-Month Mistress is the first part. I’ll wait and see if the others turn up and find out.

But it does make me wonder – once again – about covers and how much of a part they play in selling the book I’ve written. My editor tells me that the cover for my next UK book – At The Sheikh’s Command – is fabulous – gorgeous – and I can’t wait to see it. But I think it has been used before, in America, for some other book – and so I’m assuming that this is only the UK edition and not the artwork that will be on Harlequin Presents edition. So even if love it – it probably won’t appear anywhere else. Which means I'll still be wonderign what will be on the American cover.

It’s all about personal preferences I know but I was wondering – what’s your preference?

7 comments:

Margaret McDonagh said...

I'm still exhausted after reading the account of your day in the previous post!!

Covers. My personal opinion is that I prefer the photo covers to drawn artwork on HMB titles. As a woman, I also prefer covers featuring a hunky man! What really bugs me, however, whatever the design, is when the cover doesn't represent the book I am reading. It happens all too often and not just with HMB. Surely whoever is responsible for chosing cover art can at least get hair colour correct for the main characters? It may seem a very minor point, and I know some people aren't bothered, but it bugs me to pieces both as a reader and a writer.

Cats. Delighted your feline family are all doing well. Mine are ferals who have partly tamed down and some will condescend to have a cuddle when they feel like it but they don't come indoors (they live in the barn) and it is a nightmare trying to treat them when something happens.

Good luck making progress on Sicilian 2. My muse has departed and I'm struggling to get going with the new wip.

Thanks again for the lovely card.

Best wishes,
Mags

Anne McAllister said...

I prefer covers that somehow or other reflect the book (which shouldn't surprise you). So I was delighted with the cover of Lessons From a Latin Lover because that Caribbean beach scene was right out of the book and my editor and I had discussed it. And I was, shall we say, 'not best pleased' when the exact same cover turned up on The Antonides Marriage Deal, a book set almost entirely in New York City.

I don't have a clear preference between the art and the photos. I just want something that shows that someone in the office has read the book and takes its sales seriously.

Julie said...

I don't mind clinch covers, as long as they are tastefully done and M&B always has very tasteful clinch covers. I can't abide those trashy covers where the hero is too muscled and the heroine is half naked. They are just too silly for my liking - especially when they are Regency novels!

I don't mind flowers or castles although I absolutely cannot stand covers which have got landscapes or sand dunes (Although Desert Affair ranks as one of my favourite Sheikh romances of all time!)

Julie

Dominic Gagliardi said...

I definitely prefer a cover, as a reader, that sticks with story. If it has the main character(s) all the better.

But again, perhaps, it is a matter of personal opinion.

Kate Walker said...

Hello Margaret - we'll have to agree to disagree. I prefer the drawn artwork. But I'm with you on the covers that have characters with quite the wrong colouring etc - I think that's why I prefer the paintings - they usually are more likely to folow the author's descriptions - though they're very idealised in an unrealistic way!

Anne - I do sympathise. The only thng I can say to (I hope) reduce the annoyance of the duplicated cover is that if they had to repeat any cover - that cover was worth repeating - though it didn't reflect The Antonides Marriage Deal at all!

Julie -I like clinch covers but I do hate those over-muscled, long haired, Fabio-hero-type covers. Not keen on sand dune covers, either - like you! And of couorse Desert Affair had the the famous (or should I say infamous - 'Blob' cover!. Luckily my next Sheikh book has a lovely cover.

Hi Dominic - I agree - I much prefer to have a cover that shows the characters - after all that's what a romance is about - the hero and heroine and their story

Sharon J said...

I can see why anybody would be attracted to the Korean cover! LOL.

Marilyn said...

This time I vote for the US cover. It really depicts the story a wonderful story I might add.

 

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