When doing covers/trailers, I spend a lot of time looking at photos of the sky, landscapes, and of course, the right people to fit the characters. As an indie writer, there is a lot of pressure to buy your book covers from graphic artists (which ranged from the truly gifted to the prosaic). Prices vary a lot depending on whether the cover was already made or whether you are working with the artist to get something close to your own book.
I choose to do my own because I like doing them but am always told my books would sell better if I laid out a thousand dollars for a good designer-- not to mention the same people would have me paying another thousand to a professional editor. Maybe they would sell better but there is sure no guarantee of that. There is a guarantee that I'd be a lot more depressed if they didn't sell...
For this book cover, I wanted red rock background, interesting sky, and then a man and woman who best depicted my characters. It's unfortunate that hot men and women are de rigueur for at least indie romance covers. Famous writers can get by with a single rose but not so a lesser known.
Nothing wrong with good looking men. I myself chose one of them critters and enjoy the benefits. It's fun to look at something attractive for sure. As a writer, however, it's frustrating that the most common options in royalty free image sites (royalty free just means you don't pay each time you use the image-- not that they are free) are models.
Happily at the site I have had for a month (5 images a day for 30 days), I did find a guy who fits Dirk in the last of the three books. But whether he will suit those who buy books based on covers... not so sure.
Outside, it has been a beautiful spring. We are making adjustments to our gardens. Removing the deck was a big improvement for the creek garden which you see first in the photos below. The veggies, herbs and flowers are planted-- slugs got most of the marigolds even with slug bait. Why do they want the newest thing with plenty of other greenerie to eat?
The freeze last winter cost us one shrub which led to moving the Buddha to be balanced on that fence. I liked that shrub, felt bad when we lost it, but the new arrangement is actually better.
look closely and you will see a rose thief through the fence.
And finally a small bee hive for the swarm, giving them a place to live for awhile. They seem to approve. I have sure learned a lot about honey bees and their interactions. There were many natural pollinating type bees in the wilds of North America, but the honey bee was brought in specifically by our first European arrivals. They are considered essential to certain big crops and hence a lot of concern over problems regarding hive destruction. I suspect the way the honey bee is used, ignoring their instincts, treating them as slaves with no more meaning than an inorganic tool, is contributing to the problem.