September 4, 2013
Please join me in welcoming Connie Cox as our guest blogger today. Books have always been Connie Cox’s passion. Many thanks to her mom for that! Connie used to think authors were sophisticated creatures who lived in NYC, went to glitzy parties and wrote as the muse dictated. Then she met one.The writer looked a lot like her-jeans, a few extra pounds, a love of books and a quirky imagination.
Connie’s newfound love for running is taking care of the extra pounds. Her fascination with Jungian psychology takes care of her story lines. And her innate wild imagination does the rest.
So why does Connie write? Because, now that she’s discovered the magic of letting loose the people in her imagination, she’s impossible to be around if she doesn’t let them have their way!
Connie now lives the dream, writing big stories from her little desk in her little Louisiana town. Even as you read this, she is working on a new story and living her own happily ever after.
Take it away, Connie!
After years of being traditionally published, I thought I’d try the independent route. It’s been an experience, with both good and scary parts. We’ll talk scary another day. Today, I want to talk about one of the best parts.
Being indie published means I get to pick my own covers.
Now, there are some readers who don’t know that if an author is published by a publishing house, that author has little to no choice in the book’s cover.
I am one of the lucky ones. Both my publishers, Montlake(previously Avalon) and Harlequin/Mills and Boon have graced my stories with beautiful covers. Sometimes the covers even match the characters described within the covers!
For instance, in His Hidden American Beauty, Annalise Walcott is a honey blond with fly-away hair. Check out the cover for the American edition of the book. Not quite, huh?
But the Australian edition nailed it for Annalise. Not so much for Niko, my modern day Greek god, though. Fifty percent isn’t that bad, right?
But the good thing about being indie published is that my covers are always 100% right. In my recent release, Contractually Yours, here is the info I sent to my brilliant freelance cover designer:
The title is Contractually Yours. I’ll get you back cover copy and character specifics in the next day or two. Generally, the book is a light romance about a wedding planner who enters into a business contract to marry a rich corporate type when his bride leaves him at the altar so the wedding planner can pay off her debts.
So I’m thinking wedding veils and tuxedoes, maybe? Don’t let my suggestions hamper you if you have other ideas. I’m sure, after we’ve done a few of these, we’ll figure out how to read each other’s minds better, right?
Male Protagonist description: From the ms. >>Brandon D’Estrehan filled the doorway, looking like every bride’s dream in his black tuxedo, contrasting white shirt, dark chocolate hair and olive skin.<< Also has dark brown, almost black, eyes.
Female Protagonist: From ms>>He inspected her from the top of her sleek mink brown chin-length hair, onward past her amber eyes so stunning the color had to come from colored contacts down past her modest breasts, her athletically trim waist and hips to her simple flats. << Also, she is petite.
And here’s my cover, front and back. Perfect, right?
Since my designer did such a great job with this first cover, I knew I could trust her judgment for my second release, coming out this November. Here’s what I told her I needed for my switched identity, rockstar book, White Wine and Wild Rides:
Okay, here’s the story line: Assistant to pop star is the heroine of the book. She stands in as a body-double when the pop star is recovering from an illness. The pop star looks like P!nk. The heroine goes from normal average Hispanic to also looking like P!nk. The hero is the pop star’s best friend, a rich boutique vineyard owner, who acts as arm ornament and escort when pop star is really in love with her body guard. Vineyard owner is good looking, but nothing unique. I picture him looking similar to the doctor on Royal Pains, but I don’t describe him in much detail.
Vineyard owner and assistant fall on love. Secondary plot, is pop star and body guard admit they are in love.
So, here’s what I’m thinking–
Have a female rock star with a guitar or a microphone positioned on the cover the same way you have the bride in Contractually Yours. Maybe the car in the background if it’s not too cluttered? Or maybe not.
And here’s the resulting cover.
By the way, this is the Grand Reveal! Y’all are the first to see this awesome cover.
As you might be able to tell, I’m really excited about these indie covers. Maybe it’s the control issue. I really do love being in control. Or maybe it’s—okay, it’s totally the control issue. I love having covers that reflect the story 100%.
So please, please, tell me you DO judge a book by its cover. And please, please tell me what you think of my covers, too. There’s a prize in it for two of you. I’ll draw names randomly from the comments.