The hardest part of all was working out what you want on there. What would sell your story in a single picture; capture its mood, its dark and its light? Does it manage to tie in with you other novel and keep in with your style? I spent HOURS trawling through picture sites, searching for that one image that spoke to me, that said THIS is the essence of your book. It was hard!
And it’s not even as ‘simple’ as that. Some images might be very relevant, but they aren’t pretty to look at; they don’t inspire you to pick up the book and read. And I haven’t even started on the ‘what to do once you’ve found one’ bit.
I walk around shops and judge books, instantly, based on their cover. Certain styles of cover I won’t even go near. I judge what kind of story it is and think ‘that’s not for me’.
I like realism, colour, romance and softness. It’s stupid really, because the ones I pick up might not necessarily be a story I would like to read, but that’s where I start.
On the back of this dilemma, I decided to trawl through Amazon and see what covers appealled to me, to hone in on what I really liked when thinking about my own. I looked at the first 200 romance books and was attracted by none. Lots of hot men being hunky and man-handled by women, not for me I’m afraid. (In literature anyway!) So I switched to historical romance - a favourite of mine and tried again. Maybe I was in the wrong genre – ironic since it’s the one I write!
A few less topless men and a little more colour, but still nothing that leapt out at me. I have to mention at this point, however, that I spotted several in there that I have read and loved, thus proving the fallability of my plan. But let's not let that stop me whilst I'm in mid flow!
I skimmed through over 300 in women’s fiction, finding only a few and then, indesperation, I searched anywhere. Was I really that fussy? It seemed so. I trawled through fiction, science fiction and eventually realised most of the colour was to do with the place, the setting of the story and if I wanted colourful covers, I was going to have to start writing about India, or countries in the Mediterranean, at least.
But here are a few that I liked: (All HarperImpulse covers were excluded in the making of this article! - said in a swiftly mumbled voice. LOL)