Debra feels the cover for her book never quite matched up with the story itself.
Overall, I have to say I am quite pleased with the covers of my books. It's a scary thing, seeing that e-mail in the inbox letting me know the cover for my latest book has arrived. It's always a heart-pounding breath-holding moment when I click it open and download the image. Some, I've fallen in love with immediately. Other times it took me a bit longer. Some I like better than others, but I've been satisfied with most of them.
Except for the cover for Family Secrets. It is by far my least favorite cover. The reason being, to me, it doesn't reflect the tone and overall feel of the story. The branding is all wrong.
This particular cover went through two attempts. The first one I rejected right away. Something I'd never done before. Here's what it looked like:
Now don't get me wrong, this cover is spicy, and I do write spicy romance. But the hero is all wrong. My hero is an all-American handy man by the name of Chase Stewart. I pictured a muscular guy in jeans and a T-shirt with a tool belt slung around his waist. This cover brings to mind more of a reformed gang-banger type of story. I've read those. They're good. But that's not the story I'm telling here. Plus, the kid looks like he's eighteen, nineteen tops. Chase is over 30. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
So, I professionally voiced my concerns to my editor and the co-owner of TWRP. They were understanding and agreed to have the cover artist do another rendering. She came up with this:
Again, the cover itself is nice. Sexy in a romantic way. But it still doesn't fit the story. The guy on the front is too young. We've regressed to about sixteen or seventeen on this one. He's the wrong ethnicity. Erika, the heroine, is showing way too much skin for a second grade teacher. But I was too chicken to complain again. And I've regretted it ever since. Because this cover definitely doesn't brand the story correctly. Hopefully the old saying of 'don't judge a book by its cover' works in this case. And the cover is only part of what readers look at when considering a purchase. The blurb, excerpt, reviews, and author's back list all play important roles.
But it's still disappointing. So my dream is to have Family Secrets selected for the Kindle Encore program (Which just re-released This Feels Like Home exclusively in Kindle format.) For that program, I believe there's too much skin showing on this particular cover and it would need to be redone. (Which would of course mean promotional items like postcards and book marks would also need to be redone.)
For me, an important lesson learned. Next time I'll be brave enough to speak my mind and fight for what's best for my story.
Until next time,