the barn in fall

the barn in fall

Monday, May 28, 2012

The (Cover) Art of Selling

I've been absent because I've been busy writing.  That's a good excuse, isn't it?  I like it.  Sadly, it's not true.  Mostly I've been freaking out about how much I'm not writing, because the creative portion of my brain is frozen and I'm not doing much of anything.

In case my editor's reading this: don't panic.  This paralysis is normal for me when my book is due in six weeks.  I always find something wrong with the way I said the story would end, and I have to re-think the whole thing.  I'll annoy everyone around me with my anxious hair pulling and distracted muttering, but I'll figure it out.  My creative process isn't pretty, but it works.

Meanwhile, my publisher has revealed the covers for my next novel and my e-novella, both in the Barringer's Pass series.  We had some disagreement over the cover for the novel, Gold Fire.  They want to change the style from the first novel in the series, Silver Sparks, and I don't like that they no longer seem to go together.  But it's not about what I like, it's about what sells.  (By the way, this is the answer for ANY disagreement in publishing; get used to it.)  Since odds are they know what they're doing, I'm good with it.

So these are the covers:

This is the e-novella, about a horse trainer who has no intention of giving her heart to a man who won't stay in her small mountain town, and a man who has no intention of staying in the small town he left years ago for a successful career in Boston.   
This is book two in the Barringer's Pass series, Zoe's story.  She's the ambitious, image-conscious assistant manager of the prestigious Alpine Sky resort.  He's Jase, a washed-up athlete and the current owner of the Rusty Wire Saloon, who's most far-reaching ambition is planning his next fishing trip.  He has what the Alpine Sky wants - the land under the Rusty Wire - and it's her job to convince him to sell.  Her repeated failures don't seem to deter the handsome owner of the Alpine Sky from espressing a personal interest in Zoe.  He's the opposite of Jase - polished, ambitious, and attentive.  And his kisses are more than nice.  But one impulsive clinch with stubborn, irritating Jase has her head spinning.  She might need to get the wrong man out of her system before she can concentrate on the right man.

The big question is, how much does a book's cover influence your decision to buy it?  Or to even pick it up?  Marketing research seems to indicate that it matters a lot, and I'd have to agree.  The question is whether these covers will work well for these stories.  In the end, it's all a gamble.  (My publisher would probably call it an educated guess.) 

What makes you reach for a book?  If you'd never heard of it before, would you take a second look at these books based solely on the cover?


  1. I would pickup the 'gold fire' book... the cover reeling me in to the possiblities of what is going on between those two on the cover...

    The cover for 'wild for the girl; Just isn't screaming at me to pick it up (or in this case) to click on it. Based on the synopsis, I not sure I have a recommendation just yet.

  2. Thanks, Laurie. I do know the publisher thinks couples on the cover work better. I have no clue; I just write 'em!