Cover Lovin’ for my newest cowboy

We’ve all heard the saying “You should never judge a book by its cover” but in reality, we all do. A good cover needs to pop out from the page, shout “Hey, look at me!” especially when it’s in that teeny tiny thumbnail size nestled amongst a hundred other books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

It needs an easily readable title. Some covers will have the author name bigger than the title–for traditionally published books, that’s usually reserved for big-name authors who have a following of readers who buy based on name. But now with self-publishing the author has more control over that. πŸ˜‰ . And there are other elements that tell the reader what genre it is.

In my very unscientific survey (as in I looked at various book covers on-line) science fictions usually have brighter colors, much more contrast. They have sciencey (yes, I’m declaring that a word–I like it better than the cold “scientific”) elements, computers or test tubes or formulas. Literary novels tend to have more a single graphic with more emphasis drawing the reader’s eye to the title. Romances tend to have a clinch cover, or a guy with a bare chest — come on, tell me Jaci Burton’s covers for her Play-by-Play series aren’t totally lickable.) And usually they’ll have some other element that will tell the reader if it’s in a sub-genre. A cowboy hat or a field or cowboy boots for a western, historical westerns traditionally have an amber hue to them. A fan or a woman in historical garb generally tells you that you’re picking up a historical. The hero carrying a football, or a pair of skates slung over his shoulder, or maybe a tennis racket tells the reader (or at least the reader should assume) that there’s a sports element to that particular story. Again I’ll point to Jaci Burton’s covers, because come on, lickable! Β (Although my friend Mary G tells the story of a book where there’s a tennis racket on the cover, and the reviewer who lambasted the story because it involved *gasp* tennis — in that case I blame the reader as being clueless.) Then there are all those headless heroes so as not to disappoint the reader’s mental image of the hero.

Anyway, I opened my email the other day and found the final cover for my upcoming No Accounting for Cowboys, which is Jake’s story in my Grady Legacy trilogy. Β What does it tell you about the story?

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By the way, No Accounting for Cowboys comes out May 19 from Carina Press. Oh and you can pre-order it too at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.