By: Trish McCallan
Congratulations to "Dana M.", the winner of Trish's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.
Before I self-published Forged in Fire, I never paid attention to book covers.
In fact, most of the time I didn’t even notice the cover. I bought books based on recommendations and author recognition. If I recognized an author as one I’d enjoyed in the past, I would pluck the book up and check out the blurb. Or if I recognized the book title as one a friend had liked, I’d buy it. Covers never entered my buying equation.
However, I knew that my buying habits were an anomaly. I knew from chatting with fellow readers that covers did have a huge impact on most reader’ buying habits. I also knew from talking to published authors, that a “bad” cover could kill a book’s chances. So when I decided to self-publish I started studying the covers of the top selling books within my sub- genre. I realized pretty quickly that the top authors working in the military romantic thriller sub-genre had a hot guy with a gun on their covers. Which makes sense in a way; military romantic thrillers tend to be herocentric books. And since the covers focused completely on a male figure with a gun, the covers reflected this herocentric focus.
Of all the covers I looked at, I liked Maya Banks’ KGI series covers the best. Not only were the heroes on the covers hot, but they were upfront, in your face, not hanging back in the distance. My favorite of the KGI covers was Hidden Away. I loved that cover. Those bare forearms were amazingly sexy. And the model looked like he’d gone through hell, but wasn’t done kicking butt yet.
So when I hired my cover artist, I told her I wanted the focus of the cover to be a hot guy with a gun. And I wanted the cover model to looks slightly dirty, like he’d been through hell. She spent several days looking through stock sites before she found the perfect model and went to work. The cover she eventually provided me with proved to be highly successful. I’ve received dozens of emails from readers who admitted they bought the book solely because of its cover. In fact, the cover was so successful, when I sold the series to Montlake Romance, they wanted to retain the original, so they hired my cover artist to tweak the original as well as design the remaining covers in the series.
Forged in Fire’s cover got so much attention I secretly worried that we wouldn’t be able to come up with a comparable cover for the rest of the books in the series. Well, I’m happy to report that my brilliant cover artist out did herself and created something stunningly sexy for Forged in Ash, the second book in my Red-Hot SEALs series. He’s exactly what I was hoping for: sexy and all smudged up. J) Not only does he look like he’s walked through hell, he looks pretty pissed off and ready to kick ass. It’s my favorite cover to date.
So, what about the rest of you? What covers snagged your attention and had you clicking the buy button? Any covers that stand out as being particularly effective? Comment for a chance to win a $10 dollar gift certificate to the online book retailer of your choice.
And don’t forget to enter the contest Norah Wilson and I are holding! One lucky winner will receive a brand new, 64 GB iPad 2. You can find details on how to enter here. http://tandnsbiggiveaway.wordpress.com/
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Sep. 11th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email email@example.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.