What’s up, all you romantic suspense junkies out there? Julie Ann Walker here, tickled pink to be joining you today, and talking about those smokin’ hot covers we all love to drool over on the shelves of our local bookstore, or on the screens of our favorite e-Readers.
Now, it’s said you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But, hey, I can’t be the only one who’ll buy a novel based solely on the bad-ass hunk on the front, now can I? And publishers know this, they depend on it, in fact. So today, for you, I’m pulling back the curtain on my own covers. Letting you in on the secrets — and the thinking — that goes into making a book “shelf-ready.”
Here’s how it will work. In the first cover of each set, you’ll see where my publisher started. And what will follow will be a shortened version of the round-robin, quick-fire questions that resulted in the final product. So, without further ado, I give you some covers for Black Knights Inc…
Q: Does this cover look a bit dark and dreary to anyone else? We want readers to skid to a stop when they see this on the shelf.
A: Hmm. Maybe we can punch up the color. Make the title pop!
Q: Does the placement of that knife look dangerous, or is it just me?
A: Hell yeah it looks dangerous! If he squats the wrong way, he’s liable to slice into his femoral artery or cut off something much more important! *snicker*
Q: This series plays up the motorcycles, right? So, why the heck can’t we see the danged bike?
A: Let’s move the cycle up. More bike and less city!
Q: Does this guy look just a bit too polished? I mean, he is supposed to be masquerading as a motorcycle mechanic, after all.
A: Let’s dirty up his T-shirt a bit. Make him a grittier!
Q: Do we really like this red background? I thought we decided to go for a color scheme that was a little more neon?
A: Let’s do a blue background with hot pink lettering!
Q: Anybody else think the city is too distracting? We don’t want anything taking attention away from the handsome hunk!
A: Let’s push it back, and off to the side! Let the hunka-hunka-burnin’-love shine!
Q: What’s with the dead tree branch in the upper right-hand corner? It makes this look like a dystopian novel.
Q: I don’t know about those tattoos. Romance readers tend to equate tattoos with a paranormal series, and this is romantic suspense.
A: Gone and gone! *sad face* <– (That was my sad face, by the way. I love me some kickass tattoos!)
Q: Does that lettering in the title match the lettering in the other books in the series?
A: Nope. It’s a bit different. Let’s change it for consistency’s sake.
Q: Once again, is that big building in the background taking too much away from the delicious piece of manliness?
A: Perhaps, let’s nix it. Manliness for the win!
Q: This cover is vastly different than the previous covers. Don’t we want people to recognize “the brand?” Shouldn’t be try to keep the covers the same?
A: Let’s see what we could do to make the cover better match the previous covers. Oh, yes! Just look at those abs! *MEOW!* <– (Again, that was MY meow.)
And there you have it, folks! How a book cover goes from point A to point B. Now, I want to hear from you. Did my publisher make the right decisions? Or would you have kept some of the original concepts?
Thanks to Spencer for having me on today. It’s been a blast!
Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She’ll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. Look for the first three books in her fast-paced series: Hell On Wheels(August 2012) In Rides Trouble (September 2012) and Rev It Up (October 2012). Thrill Ride debuts April 2nd, 2013. For more information, please visit www.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Facebook www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor and/or Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor.
Thank you, Julie, for joining me here today.
But wait, there’s more! The wonderful Julie is offering one lucky reader a signed ARC copy of Thrill Ride (which releases on 4/2)! All you have to do is leave a comment telling us which of the Black Knight covers you prefer — the original or final copy. I’ll choose a winner on Monday, so be sure to check back to see if you’ve won!
UPDATE: Congrats, Danny! Please go to my contact page and send me your address to claim your signed ARC of Thrill Ride!