Happy Monday! Did y'all have a hoppy Easter? LOL! Get it, Hoppy, instead of happy. ;-) I had a great Easter. I sadly didn't get to spend it with family, but I did a bunch of writing yesterday on a secret project, so I call it a win. :-)
Today's topic for Meredith's Monday Musing is: Finding the perfect cover!
If you ask any author, I think they'll tell you that finding the perfect cover for their story is one of the most important, yet hardest things for them to do. For starters, a cover has to have either a person/people on it who look like the characters that you've just described in your story. This can be challenging at times. For instance, if I were to write a story about a heroine who was plus-sized, it'd be difficult to find a stock image with a plus-sized woman because there just aren't that many out there. Unfortunately, cover artists can't make women on stock images look heavier. So, that's an issue.
Furthermore, finding the right background to fit the story can be really hard! Lets say a story takes place mostly at a BDSM club. There really aren't that many stock photos of an actual BDSM club for cover artists to use. As a result, they have to get created to create a background that looks like a BDSM club, while making sure that readers understand that's what the background is supposed to be. It sounds easy, but it's not.
Tagging along with the background issue, finding a cover that will sell books too is difficult. Say I wrote a book about a dental hygienist falling in love with the dentist she works for. The cover artist can create a cover with a hot couple at the dentist. It sounds perfect, there's a hot couple on the cover to represent the characters and the background accurately reflects where the story takes place. However, many people have dental phobias. So seeing that background of the dental office might actually make readers not want to buy your story. That isn't good! Therefore, cover artists and authors need to work together and compromise to create a cover that not only correctly represents the characters and setting, but will also sell copies of the book.
Additionally, one thorn that is in cover artists' sides is Amazon. The biggest retailer of e-books is Amazon. Sadly, they are a bit prudish when it comes to covers. I might have my perfect cover with the heroine and hero in a sexy pose, where it looks like the hero is about to pleasure the heroine, but Amazon will throw it in their dungeon. (If this happens, the book will tank like the Titanic). This is really unfortunate for authors and cover artists because the cover might be absolutely perfect for the story, but they can't use it because Amazon will essentially hide it from readers.
Another issue that might not make the most sense, but it happens all the time is a cover might be perfect for one person, but not to another. For instance, a cover artist designs a cover and they think it perfectly represents the author's book and when they send it to the author, the author might think it has nothing to do with the book. This is where the author and cover artist have to work together and compromise to create a cover that represents the book well, but will also sell copies of the story. Another instance of this could be if you work on a box set with multiple authors. If a cover is handed to the group, some authors might love it, while others hate it. In that situation, the authors will have to compromise to choose a cover that works for everyone.
As an author, I'm very grateful to my cover artist, Korey Mae Johnson. She creates some pretty hot covers, while also abiding by Amazon's prudish rules. As an author, I get the best of both worlds with that.
That's all I have for now. Have a happy Monday, everyone!