Thursday, November 4, 2010

Worth a thousand words?


Hi everyone. This is going to be a shorter post than normal because I am in the final 30 day window before my book is due - otherwise known as Deadline Hell :). Yesterday I had a nice conversation with my editor about the cover for my sixth Night Huntress novel. The cover process differs from author to author and from publisher to publisher. Some authors have no input on their covers. Some have a lot of input. I'm fortunate to have an editor who always asks what I do - or don't - want, and a wonderful cover artist who combines my suggestions with his ideas to create something far better than I originally imagined. Since this is another Cat and Bones book, some things are already decided. Like, it will feature only Cat on the cover, but will have both her and Bones on the stepback. The word "grave" will be in the title, and the background will have some hint of spookiness to convey that this is a paranormal novel. With luck, it will also have the same model for Cat as in the previous five books. May that lovely lady never retire until my series is over, lol.

Other parts of the cover, I'm not sure about. I requested that either Cat have a weapon on her, or be wearing her silver-heeled boots, but we'll see which one the cover artist goes with. Because ghosts play a bigger role in this novel than in previous ones, I'm also hoping for a hazy silhouette or other otherworldly image in the background. And I had one request that made my editor laugh - please no more pink font. Pink is my least favorite color (probably due to my annoyance at how it's assumed that since I'm female I automatically must love it) but it's taken me until now to admit to my editor that I'd prefer any other color for my books. Here's hoping my cover artist didn't have his heart set on some soft rosy hues for this novel ;-).

Although we all know it's the content that matters most, I'll be honest - I've picked up books before because of a pretty or striking cover. Sometimes I've lucked out and the story was equally amazing, and sometimes the cover was the best part of the novel. What about you? Ever bought a book solely because the cover drew you in? And if so, which book?

- Jeaniene Frost

28 comments:

mountie9 said...

All the time, I know the expression is you can't choose a book by its cover, but with so many books out there, it gives you an edge. I picked up Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick soley on the cover

Robin K said...

As a designer the cover of a book definitely plays a big part in what I buy. For the most part any imagery of a kick-ass heroine does it for me.

It is awesome that your publisher lets you have feedback on design. After all, who knows better then the author what should be portrayed.

Draven Ames said...

When I was younger, the cover played a huge role on me picking up a book. I know, cliche. I read a lot of fantasy, and I always looked for a 'scene' that I wanted to read. A lot of fantasy is hit or miss, but I found a lot of good fantasy by just picking what looked cool. Shrug.

I know I went for lots of color and something with action. I wanted the cover, like the title, to tease me with something. Is there something I can read into? Does it tell a future that I will beg to see? Are there shadows sneaking up on them? Eyes in the background?

I like your cover. The gargoyle is really cool too. I wish it had real eyes :P But I'm a horror author.

Becky said...

Unless I go in looking for a specific book, the cover has to jump out at me. Your books always look intriguing, that is what got me started on them!

Crystal ♥ said...

I love your covers and the models ain't too shabby either. ;) I can't wait for This Side of the Grave to come out and to see what #6 is titled and looks like!

I've picked up a few books here and there because of the covers. More when I was younger, not so much now.
I can't think of any recent ones, I know as soon as I post this some will pop into my head. LoL I think a few of them may have been fallen Angel books.

Anonymous said...

You are right about the pink thing! Just wouldn't be right. I will decide if I am interested in reading a book or not from the cover, even if it is a loaner. However, after having fallen for a series, when I know who the characters are, it could have no cover and I would read it. Even while reading, I will stop and look at the cover to see if the characters on the cover match what I think they would look like or look for clues on the cover.

Melanie said...

I picked up Nicole Peeler's "Tracking the Tempest" because I loved the cover. Luckily, the book was fantastic.

You're covers are amazing. That being said, First Drop of Crimson is by far my favorite. That model is beyond gorgeous. The book was worth the price for the cover alone.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Yep I have. I've also passed on books. My most memorable was the BDB series I kept passing on because of the covers. Finally picked it up and enjoyed the stories. So, yes... I know... don't judge a book by it's cover. :)

Katie Dalton said...

Well yes actually I have....it was YOUR book! :) lol And I was soooo glad I found it. Addicted to Cat and Bones now, and Spade and Ian and Vald...ok you get the idea.

If the cover stands out sometimes I grab it just for that reason alone. The book may end up sucking which is always a bummer. But sometimes you get a winner that blows your hair back. And I love that! :)

Victoria said...

Honestly, I have never bought a book based on it's cover alone. The cover has drawn me to pick up a book and check it out. If the fly leaf sounds good then I'll buy it.

Patricia Lynne said...

YES! I bough the mortal instruments series because the covers were SHINY! =| I have yet to read them too.

rachel445 said...

The Night Huntress series actually has some of my all time favorite covers out of all the series that I read, and I read alot! I love the model who's supposed to be Cat, cause she looks just like Cat in my head. And she always looks badass. Especially on At Grave's End.

Yeah, I admit, I have bought books based on their covers. The last one I bought based on a cover was Nightshade by Andrea Cremer; the cover is gorgeous! But I actually loved the book a ton, so that worked out well :)

Jessica said...

Oh lately I've been drawn to a lot of books because the cover was so amazing! So captivating! Like Shannon Delany's 13 to Life, a YA book. For some reason the blues and dark colors and the forest really grabbed me. And the big beautiful moon with the guy's eye in the center! Amazing!

Covers really grab me when they have that dark look to them with a splash of color somewhere, which is how a lot of urban fantasy books go. And they're just amazing and generally since it's UF, the female on the cover looks pretty kick ass as well.

And I generally love the content of the book as well.

Cath's Chatter said...

I just purchased Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers because of the cover....the guy in the background has pretty wings LOL
I haven't read it yet but as its about angels and demons I'm sure it'll be great =]

Barbara E. said...

I love your covers, they've all been amazing. To be honest, I enjoy covers, but I very seldom buy books without doing some research and knowing all about the book, so the cover doesn't really matter. I try not to do impulse purchases, because this has led to me buying the same book twice, LOL.

Sullivan McPig said...

Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter
I bought that book on the cover alone (if title and the cover teaser 'She loved her country, she hated zombies' count as well)

Cylver said...

First off, just wanted to tell you how happy I am that another Cat and Bones book is on the way after This Side of the Grave. Whoopee!!
I love the covers of your books. The model looks just like how I imagine Cat: both beautiful and tough! As for the stepbacks...Oh my! *fans self*
Have I ever bought a book based solely on the cover? Yes, and they've turned out to be some of my favorite books! What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson, The Dracula Tape by Fred Saberhagen, and Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez. Plus I'm sure there have been more over the years. And of course, I'm sure there have been more than a few that made me wonder just what the heck I was thinking by buying them...

Jeaniene Frost said...

Good to know I'm not alone in being drawn in by pretty covers! :). I do try to be more discerning now by reading the first few pages before buying, but a striking cover has been enough to get me to take a book home before, heh.

And thanks for the compliments on my covers. Tom Egner, art director for Avon, has done all of them and he's just brilliant.

wildchild1954 said...

It's kind of funny but I've only bought one book because of the cover - Halfway to the Grave!! I hadn't even gotten 10 pages into the story before I knew I was hooked on these characters. May Cat and Bones have a long life.

Buffy said...

Oh yes. That's how I got into paranormal romance to begin with actually. Kind of funny. It all started with Charlaine Harris. It continues even now, when I go to book sales. I don't have access to a computer at that time, so I pick up according to the cover or title (then of course I read the back).

Helen Lowe said...

The cover is really important to draw me to books first-off, then I read the back and fly leaf and usually the first couple of pages, just to be sure everything's tracking the right way. But occasionally I do buy just on the cover alone--GRR Martin's 'A Game of Thrones' and 'Moribito, Guardian of the Spirit' spring to mind.

Moonsanity said...

The covers are so important, but I have to say if I love the author I'll buy it no matter what. I have picked up books pretty much because of the cover though "Ooooh, shiny, pretty...". LOL

GWOMAN said...

I love your books and covers!! It was great meeting you @ NY Comic Con :) I usually have a list of authors that have been recommended or talked about so much they go on my "wish list" (and that list just gets bigger everytime I'm in the book store). But I did pass by a series of books that the covers made me stop and HAVE to get them and that was Pamela Palmer's Feral Warriors. I LOVE that series! LOL

Bella said...

I always get excited by a pretty cover and I gotta say, so far it's worked out for me better than anything else when choosing a book,lol
Lately the synopsis in back of books have been either misleading or give away too much of the story, but covers have just enough hint and lots of pretty to get me excited about a book.
I've only been disappointed 2 or 3 times outta the many that I've chosen based on cover. I personally don't find it superficial, and am naturally a visual person so Idk, it works for me:)

Leilani @Leilani Loves Books said...

The cover definitely is the first thing I look at.

I simply ADORE your covers and cant wait for the next one! Would kill for an ARC!

After the cover I look at the back, if it doesnt catch me I move on, no matter how pretty the cover.

judit said...

The last book was The replacement; but I bought the first Anita Blake book forit's cover too; the hungarian version is the best I've seen so far and that's a rare thing cause usually our covers are really disappointing

Anonymous said...

There are some pretty amazing covers out there that really draw you in...but I have never bought a book on the cover alone. I always check out the blurb first.

Of course, I would always buy one of your books, no matter the cover. Looking forward to more Cat and Bones.

Valerie
in Germany
valb0302@yahoo.com

Cherry said...

Do I buy a book simply because of the cover? All the time! Which sometimes gets me really crappy books! But then again I sometimes come across books like yours... :)