An old adage warns us not to judge a book by its cover. Double scary now that my romance novel, Act on the Heart, published by Black Opal Books, has been released. Released, you might say, like a fish to swim the Amazon, online marketplace not river. The flow of books is staggering, so I wanted mine to have a striking cover. Even if it doesn’t pique readers’ interest, I didn’t want it going completely unnoticed.
Toward this end, I made what I later learned was a rookie mistake. I asked an artist whose work I admire to paint the cover. She read the book and painted “Reflections on a Southern Porch,” a beautiful and introspective scene that perfectly captured the feeling of the book. I, and all who saw the painting, loved it. But neither the artist nor I knew a thing about designing a book cover.
My editor admired the painting, but advised it wasn’t sensual enough to sell a romance novel. Grudgingly, I agreed to let the publisher’s art department handle the cover. I was put in touch with a graphic artist who made the daunting process into a pleasure. He found good models for the main characters, changed and tweaked whatever I asked, and gave me that lightning bolt moment of seeing my name on the cover of my book. He even featured the artist’s lovely painting on the back.
I have the best of both. A striking cover to draw readers to the book, from the outside looking in, and a treasured work of art depicting the story from the inside looking out. Either way, I’ve got it covered.