My publisher Bethany House is famous for their historical romance books…and covers. Their covers are adored by authors and readers alike. I’ve never had a cover from them that I didn’t like, but occasionally I get a cover that needs just a little change to make it fit the story better.
For instance, this is my first book cover. Gorgeous, isn’t it? The blouse even matches the descriptions of Rosa’s hand-embroidery work and drawstring neckline. The one problem we had was that this series takes place in Caldwell County, Texas – a real location that just happens to look nothing like a desert.
Those sandy dunes and mountain ranges were replaced with wheat fields and some…well, smaller mountains. This picture could possibly be in central Texas, while the other could not.
My Caught in the Middle cover is absolutely adorable, but this was the second attempt.
Guess what changed?
It’s not that I dislike straight hair, but Anne has curly hair and it was too late to change that part of the story. Caught in the Middle was the third book of the series, and Anne had already been described as having curly hair in both Sixty Acres and a Bride and Love in the Balance. And as you should be able to tell from the boots, she wasn’t the type of lady to iron her curls out straight.
It does seem that most of my requested changes have been about the hair. Here’s the cover for my novella An Unforeseen Match:
This is the story about an Grace O’Malley, a schoolteacher who is going blind. One description of her (which is significant to the plot) is that she has very striking coloring – fair skin and black hair.
This was the first attempt:
I understand the name Grace O’Malley sounds like a redhead, but in this case, she wasn’t.
Well, it’s not red anymore, but it’s still a long way from black. At this point I told them I could rewrite the story to go with a redhead, but having fair skin and brown hair isn’t usually consider dramatic coloring.
It is black, for the most part. 🙂 Funny story – while discussing the cover with my editor he told me one of the earliest drafts had her with a newspaper in her hand instead of an parasol. Blind schoolteacher, remember? He was able to catch that one early. You can see that they have a very strong commitment to accuracy and working with their authors.
And now for my last cover which has perfect hair and no odd geographical formations in the background:
Isn’t it cute? A Most Inconvenient Marriage is now available for Pre-Order! I can’t wait to share it with you. Here’s a short blurb:
With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he’s gone–a practical solution for both of them.
After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain–until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail’s story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she’s never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn’t trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?
What do you like to see on book covers? Please share!