So, to get this feature started, I'm going to show a book that got it totally wrong - and then got it sort of right. Yep, they re-did their cover and it was a very smart move.
So, when you look at this image, what do think lies beneath?
I can tell you what I thought. I thought this was some boring story about raising animals or building barns. Maybe a sort of 'how to get your farm running right' sort of thing?
But I would have been incredibly wrong. Apparently, it's a very well written and amazingly sexy menage (m/f/m/m), western style romance. (This is not my review of the book, but are the thoughts of a very well trusted fellow reader.) Huh? I never would have thought this from looking at that image. The result - I didn't pick up the book, the author didn't get a sale, and apparently I missed out on something pretty good.
Here’s what the book is really about.
Six years after the McLendon brothers lost their wife during the birth of their twins they are merely existing, focused only on running their ranch and raising their boys....until Claira Robbins drops into their family like a baby bird falling from its nest.
She certainly ruffles more than a few feathers. Matt and Mason believe she will be the one to heal their hearts and family. Their older brother Grey? He plans to live out his life comfortably numb from the neck down, even if it kills him...and it just might if Claira's lethal past catches up to her.
Can they convince Grey to let go of the past and give love a second chance? Or will his own haunting secret destroy what is left of their family for good?
WARNING: Second Chances is an M/F/M/M erotica ménage romance and contains explicit sex, ménage à quatre, anal sex, adult language, and violence. Oh, and absolutely no steamy action between brothers, because that would just be awkward. Recommended for the adult reader only.
So I went to go find this cover as an example of what not to do, and lo and behold, I find that it was changed. Yay! Good for the author - the new cover is a million times better, but I still don't think she's got it quite right just yet.
So, when you look at this image, what do you think lies beneath?
Well, with those wonderful man chests up there I do think more along the lines of romance - so we're moving in the right direction. The downside? Since there are two guys and no girl, I think gay romance - m/m - which it most definitely is not. Still needs a little work.
Covers are expensive, so it's important to get it right the first time around (or spend more money/time getting a new one). Not choosing the right cover can make or break your book sales, especially for a new author or series. Most people aren't going to pick up a book (or click on the link) if the cover doesn't draw them in somehow. It's the window dressing that catches the eye as a person walks past. You wouldn't put a display of vegetables in the front window of a chocolate store would you? No! You'd fill it with decadent delights to draw every choco-holic in a 100 mile radius.
The moral of this post? Keep your covers true to your story. Think about what your cover says to a person who hasn't read your book blurb and has no idea what your story is about. Does it give them an accurate picture of what lies underneath on the pages? If not, then you need to change it. Don't lose a sale because the window dressing isn't right.