Jul 052013

Yeah, it’s going to be an odd bit of updating for us for awhile as we decide where to cut the fat out of our careers but until then I’m sliding in for a post about cover art and promotion.

That’s right, the dreaded P word in erotica/romance is one that halts all authors, makes us all cringe (even badasses like me) because OH NOEZ, we can’t just write the book,  we have to promote it.

I’ve been speaking with other publishers and editors plus taking cues from what’s selling in fiction and WHY it’s selling.  According to a blog post I read at The Writing Bomb, it’s still possible to make a ton of money using Amazon’s KDP program as there are only three obstacles to a reader buying your book.

  1. Price
  3. blurb

We’re focusing on one of the two things we can control.  Cover art.  I’ve already stated that authors aren’t the best judge of character for cover designs, which is why self publishing is a bad idea.  Writers write. Artists art.

Repeat after me.

Writers write.
Artists art.

What this means is that the author hasn’t always the best judge of a cover, BUT that cover does become part of their overall branding.  Let me give you an example using the covers for two of my Decadent Publishing books:

And we’ll go with the other cover I like a lot over there, Surrender to Love:  The two covers have a very similar feel, noting image-wise that the books aren’t overly heavy stories like a lot of my other work, but they also reveal the style and tone of the book.  Both stories are actually BDSM stories, albeit light kink is used, and the covers tell us that.

The folks at Decadent would LOVE for me to spread the covers around along with a myriad of various blog posts and Q/A (which I’ve happily done) because let’s face it, they ARE part of my image.

Also, though, and this reinforces image (bad boy, etc) is the cover for my newest release “Torn to Pieces.”  Another paranormal story, another menage.  The cover reflect that as does the cover for my Red Sage release (due out next year).    For the cover of ENDANGERED, I flat out told the artist “ I don’t actually care enough to stifle the artist’s knowledge.  I’m a writer, not a cover artist. 

I stand by that statement, so she came up with a concept that turned into the art you see in this post.  I’m pretty thrilled actually.  Given what else I’d said about the cover, she nailed the idea and it took some getting used to because the story itself isn’t a light hearted romance but rather a dark one.  So dark in fact that one of my big name friends found herself unable to read the book as it messed with her head.

Somehow I felt validated by this.

Anyway, the grand point I’m making about cover art is that publishing is a numbers game just like many other careers and the more people who see your cover and enjoy it, the more potential for sales you’ll have.  And remember, it IS part of your image, that sexy cover art.  OH, and make sure you have your art on your site!