Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome as it turns an article into a discussion.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
One of the problems I faced with my books was knowing I wasn't of the mindset of many other readers of romances. What I like to read is not what is most popular. In fact, the books selling the most are often boring with stale story lines-- to me. This complication extends to covers for books.
This last week a successful writer said nobody should do their own covers as they don't have the graphic sense of a pro. The writer said some indie covers were losing readers and had been told as much by one of her readers in an email.
The thing is the covers by the pros are often cookie cutter in my view. Many of them do hint that the reader will get a sweet story; but if your story isn't sweet, what is that going to do for you? I can pretty well tell who made many of those covers without a name getting the credit-- they look the same.
So from this writer's perspective, I should get one of those graphic designers, pay the going fee, and have what everyone else has. Maybe it is what the readers want.
I've mentioned this problem before and redid the paranormal covers to a painterly view. I put them up and can't say if they are liked by potential readers. I haven't done much of a push to get them seen.
Then, last week, I thought about another book, brought out late last year, that has had few sales. Can I blame the cover? I might, as it was a pretty cover but not exactly saying much about the story. I thought it'd work because it has a magical feel, which goes with Christmas season.
Well, it didn't. So I began playing with other options-- even though I don't plan to redo the rest of the historical covers. I like having them work together, but this book is a bit different anyway.
Jeremiah Taggert was in the other three Taggert historicals (set in the early 1900s). He's the patriarch of what had been an outlaw family. He more or less chose to go straight because other options had run out by 1901. He saw the handwriting on the wall of a dying business (if you can call robbing stages, banks and railroads a business).
It hadn't actually occurred to me that he was romance hero material. Yet, every time he was in a scene, he kind of stole it. The question is what kind of woman would be able to handle the old scoundrel-- reformed or not?
She was sixty to his sixty-five and right there I had a problem for using them on the cover. There are not many senior models that suit a tough old bird or an aging but still lovely society lady, who has her own set of problems.
Then, I thought, why not use Dreamscope apps to see what they could do to a photo that I had bought some time ago. It was in a western setting with an older couple but not quite old enough. The app would disguise that.
I tried several of the options before deciding one worked best at least for me. Will it work for romance readers?
Well, the other one didn't, so why not give this a shot. I think it's a good story, novella length, bringing back some of the characters from the earlier Arizona historicals. Setting it at Christmas added to my fun in writing it. Sometimes writing has to be its own reward. I'm pretty sure that having an unconventional cover will have some never giving the book a try. Still, it's a cover I like and maybe it'll draw in the unusual romance reader. I can always hope :). Available at Amazon