Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Guest post and Giveaway with Lori Brighton #CLOSED#

I want to introduce you to Lori Brighton, the author of Wild Heart, which is coming out now in November 2009. Thank you  Lori so much for this lovely guest post. 

Check the details in the end of the post for the giveaway. I will draw winners next Wednesday and email Lori the winners. So remember to leave details if they are not in your profile.

*Since Blodeuedd is located in Finland, I thought it would be interesting if I discussed overseas sales and how they happen, along with comparing examples of book covers from around the world. But I quickly realized I didn’t know a thing about overseas sales. Nope, nothing at all. I asked on my author loop. Sadly, no one else seemed to understand overseas sales either. In fact many people don’t even realize they’ve sold to another country until their book pops up or a reader mentions it. So I ditched that idea, but realized there was no reason I couldn’t still talk about book covers. 

For an author, when we receive our book cover it is one of the most important moments in our career. We get to see our hero and heroine as the reader will. I still remember the moment my editor, very excited, sent me as an email attachment the cover of my book. Honestly, I was so nervous I had to wait a good five minutes before I opened it. Finally, heart pounding, I clicked on that file. The picture burst before me…beautiful, sensual…and totally, utterly wrong. 

As are many women, I’m a dark-haired hero kind of girl. Yet, when I wrote Wild Heart, I knew Leo, my hero, had blond hair. Think Brad Pitt in the movie Legends of the Fall. So imagine my horror when I opened my book cover file and found Leo, my dear, wonderful alpha Leo, had dark hair! It gets worse. Ella, my heroine, who was supposed to have brown hair, had blonde! It was too late to change the cover. I could either leave it as it was, or I could rush through my manuscript and change the coloring in the pages. I didn’t feel right not having the picture match the descriptions and so I combed through my book and gave Leo dark hair and Ella blonde. 

Somewhat depressed, I went to my author loop to discuss my options. Guess what they said? It happens all the time. And there have been worse. Take the infamous Christina Dodd book cover of a woman with three arms. Yes, three arms. Can you find them? Ms. Dodd didn’t even realize her heroine had three arms until a reader pointed it out. But instead of being horrified, she was thrilled that her infamous cover helped her sales. 

With all these mistakes, does this mean authors have no say in their covers? Not debut authors. That’s between the editors (who will often fill out forms describing characters) and the art department. But for the most part it depends on the publisher and how established the author is. I’m sure there are many NY Times Bestselling authors who do get to fill out that infamous form describing their characters. But in the end, it will still be up to the editor and art department because they know what sells. 

If you think authors are left in the dark about many decisions, you’re right. Overseas sales are even worse since most authors don’t even realize when their book is sold in another country. It’s safe to say most authors don’t have any input in the covers overseas. Still, its fun to compare countries. Many authors will post their original covers as well as overseas covers, if you’re interested. They’re usually quite different as you can see from the examples I’ve brought with. I’m sure a person could do a study on how book covers differ country to country and what that says about each culture.

Once the artists come up with some sketch ideas for the cover, they call in the models. Yes, that man you’ve been drooling over on the cover of the book you’re reading is real. And yes, it’s probably the same male model used on that other book by another author you just read. As great as those romance covers are, they do tend to have a similar feel. My personal favorite is that all too familiar hero grasping the heroine from behind. See my cover. The truth of the matter is that to save money, publishers often reuse book covers. They might change coloring, or scenery here and there, but if you look closely, you’ll see many similarities on your favorite covers. 

If you’re interested in reading more about the book cover process, I found this wonderful article by author Stephanie Bond:

As Stephanie explains the art department knows what they’re doing. We might think those covers are redundant, we might not understand why they use a certain color, but they understand. They know what shades sell (green, for instance, is supposed to be a bad color), they know what hair color sells, what scenery sells. And those suggestive covers that define romance novels… well, I assume they wouldn’t do them if they didn’t make a lot of money. 

The good news is that lately I’ve noticed publishers are really stepping up when it comes to producing amazing book covers. Kensington, which is a smaller publisher, has produced some top notch books lately. 

*So, do book covers matter to you? Are you embarrassed by overly seductive covers? Does the hair coloring of the hero and heroine have to match the color inside the book? Leave a comment! Three people will win a signed copy of my debut book Wild Heart!

Ends: November4th


Leo Roberts is next in line for an earldom and the power and fortune that come with it, but he is uncultured, unrefined—and completely untamed…until governess Ella Finch arrives upon the scene. Can so young and inexperienced a woman tutor him in the manners and mores of his class? Leo’s mysterious past has rendered him an outsider, too wild for polite society. But he finds her innocence most intriguing…


What manner of man he may be, Ella does not know. Yet he fascinates her and she must know more. Capturing Leo’s reckless heart is about to free her in ways she never dreamed of…and his sensual touch releases the deepest yearnings of her body and soul …


  1. OH, all these look so great! Really want to read them all but think I'll start with "WILD HEART"!

  2. I'm embrassed by the covers. I never buy anymore in the stores for that reason alone.

  3. I think book covers definitely matter. It's usually the thing that makes you pick up a book in the first place. If you can't judge a book by its cover, it's because art directors do such a good job!

  4. Oh, and I'll be giving away signed copies, not singed. lol. That's what happens when you're tired and writing a blog!

  5. Lori,
    Lol, did not even think about that. Will go and change it ;)
    Oh and I manage to get all those pretty pics. Those 3 arms, freaky

  6. Hello!

    I'm guilty of judging a book by its cover at times. I try not to get fooled by it though. I think its just weird if the hair and eyes doesn't match the hero and heroine in the book, but I can do without... I think I've just gotten use to it. I just try not to pay too much attention, lol.

    And no... I am definetely not embarrassed by overly seductive covers at all... well atleast as long as I'm not around my parents, lol.

  7. I'm not really embaressed by a romance book cover as long as it's pretty. I love the cover of Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel or the covers of the Fast Track series. I don't mind them showing naked flesh.LOL What I don't like are ugly covers- I'm embaressed of those. You want an example. I would never take these covers
    with me in public.
    Really enjoyed your post!

  8. I probably would have cried if my first book came back with 3 arms. lol.

  9. Hi Lori and Blodeuedd! This was a very intersting interview; a nice behind-the-scenes peek!

    Yes, I am embarassed by overly seductive covers. I usually carry a book in my purse for "boredom emergencies" but usually try to angle it out of view if it has a heaving bosom/mantitty cover.

  10. I better answer the question too since I have one love; Covers
    They re the first thing I see so yes I judge books by the covers now and again. A great cover makes me pick it up, but it needs one good blurb too to keep me focused.

    The hair thing is pretty annoying when it happens. Sometimes it feels like they just picked a couple and did not care at all if they went along with the book. As for yours, I do love him with black hair so I have to love that mistake, but I am glad you changed in the book then too.

    Oh and this book, well when I first saw it I wanted to read it just cos of the cover. It is soo pretty :D

    I am not anymore, but when I got my first book with a more seductive cover, was it JR Ward or Sherrilyn Kenyon. Yes I was embarrassed to pick it up from the bookstore. But now I am used to so much more flesh, I have seen a lot of covers so no embarrassment anymore (except if I am to read it on a bus or at my parents).

    I totally understand the crying if that cover had 3 arms on her. Still it is pretty funny ;)

    OMG, love that post. I think I have seen my fair share of ugly covers for life. Some were just so so, nope I could not have picked them up if forced.

  11. I prefer for the cover to match the H/H, but as long as the story is good, the cover doesn't matter.

  12. I admit that I prefer subtle covers, usually without the models and bare chests. I usually carry the book with me and read them on the subway, in line, etc - that's why I'd rather not have them be too revealing.

    But a bad cover hasn't kept me away from any good books. If the cover is a bit too cheesy, I'll just read the book at home. When I really like the book though I enjoy carrying it on the subway (hoping that it'll increase visibility and someone else will buy the book too...)

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

  13. This sounds like a great book, Laurie. Looking forward to reading it. Yes. I think the covers matter a lot. Sherry

  14. I think the cover issue could be a hot topic: regardless, I am proud of what I read and write.

  15. Love the blog: book covers are always a hot topic: good inspiration for a hot article!


  16. Good article.

    I used to be embarrassed by some romance covers, but not so much anymore. To be honest, I like the seductive covers more than the artsy ones with topless women.

  17. I'm not embarrassed -- too much. lol Lately I've heard people saying that they're happy with books like yours that have a face on them. They're tired of seeing faceless couples on romance books. So that's a good thing for you.

  18. If we start selling Kindle versions or Sony Reader versions (and so forth), the cover won't matter too much--it'll only be a small icon that the reader sees before clicking. *grin*

    Enter me in your contest!
    (Shalanna Collins)
    shalanna **at~~ gmail

  19. What a wonderful, fun and informative guest post! :) I've seen a few posts about book covers and titles over the past few months, explaining that authors very rarely have much say (if any) in either one. I am amazed by the three arms cover!

    As for covers - yes, I think they are very important! I can't tell you how many times I picked up a book simply because of the cover...then I flip to the back and read the blurb. If it sounds as good as I expect it to, I am much more likely to get it, so MANY sales have been made simply because a cover caught my eye. :) Yes - sadly, on occasion I am embarrassed to pick up a book because it is so seductive, but very rarely. And yes - I actually do flip to the cover often while reading a book to compare what my mind's eye sees versus what the cover shows, and I am occasionally surprised when the cover characters don't match the description inside.

    What a fun post! And Lori's new book Wild Heart sounds like a wonderful story. I'd LOVE to read/review it... and I really like the cover...very catchy and romantic. :)

    :) Wendi
    wbarker at

  20. I don't like anything too 'bodice ripper' in nature, or too much man titty, I like to feel I can read them in public without people getting the wrong idea. And I do like there to be some kind of connection between the people between the covers and those on it. That said, the story is what matters.

  21. I didn't realize that author's have so little control over their book's cover. Interesting guest post!

  22. Thanks everyone for stopping by! I admit when I first started reading romance, I was embarrassed by the covers too, mostly because of what other people would think. Now, I barely care. I guess because I've been around them so long, I've grown use to them. Plus, getting my own cover and being excited about that has put it in a new light. I wasn't going to let what other people thought diminish my moment. There's a point in which you have to stop caring what other people think. Easier said than done! I'm still working on that.

  23. Hi Lori,

    When it comes to covers, I'm not really concerned with how much flesh they are showing (maybe it's my age, I just don't care what others think about me), but I do want the hero and heroine's hair color to match the story. And I'd prefer if the book is set in early America that there isn't a Scottish castle on it :-)


  24. What a wonderful post! I think the cover art for all your books are lovely Lori. Myself, I like covers such as the one on Wild Heart that depicts sensuality and I can actually see the models.

    I've actually gotten pretty tired of the "headless torso", cover art.

    The synopsis for "Wild Heart" sounds wonderful.

    Thanks to B for hosting the contest. And thank you Lori!


  25. Have heard nothing but good things about this book. The raised in the wild/entry into human society theme is a good one to work a story around.
    To your question. Yes, the cover does make a difference. I really do prefer something other than clutch covers. I didn't buy romance books until I found some of Julie Garwood's with jeweled broaches and fabric on them. I like to build the characters in my mind. What they show on the cover may not be what I see from the author's description. The case of WILD HEART is a perfect example. Who you saw and described is not who they showed.

  26. I love book covers...and the smuttier the better! I don't mind covers if their a bit naughty...or if their just plain colored, either way, I feel it's what inside that counts. Don't get me wrong though, I like pretty covers :)

    rachie2004 @ yahoo (d0t) com

  27. Great post! Lots of interesting information. Thanks!

    I am very influenced by the cover. I figure it reflects the content so if I like the cover, there's a better chance I'll like the content...and vice versa.

    I have no problem with the suggestive covers. I would just hope that if the cover is sexy I'm in for a racy ride! If not, I'd be disappointed.

    Thanks again. I really enjoyed this post!

  28. Hi Lori -

    Interesting post. I do like the cover pics to match the inside description of the H/H, if possible. And I prefer the lower-key covers. Also - it's great if the covers match the "tone" of the book. I didn't discover SEP for years because her early covers looked very "soft" rather than contemporary, in my opinion.


  29. To me, covers are really important as I am often drawn to new authors just by the cover art alone. I tend to steer clear of "classic" romance covers—the ones with the male model passionately grabbing the female while her billowing dress is falling off—so they have to have a storyline that I'm really interested in.

    As for current cover motifs (not showing the face of the model, strong stances, etc.), I'm pretty much used to, so I don't really pay attention unless I'm reading a particularly juicy specimen among other people, haha.

  30. Oh, i have to tell you this story I read. I think it was on the website All About Romance. One of the women there said at her gym she was reading a romance and someone asked her to cover it. can you believe that?! People jumping around in sports bras and spandex are okay, but not a romance cover. lol. I would be soooo angry if that happened to me. Good thing I dont work out. ;)

  31. Book covers matter to me, especially when I'm not familiar with the author as I make all my impulsive book buying decisions based upon the cover. I've never been embarrased to read a romance in public, so that's not a big deterinant to me. My favorite covers are the one's that show both the hero/heroine though the trend now is to show just the man. Not saying that I don't love seeing beautiful men on the cover, but for me reading a romance novel is about the journey of the man and the woman so I perfer to see both of them on the cover.

    My .02

  32. Oops, forgot to leave my e-mail for the contest.

    lynettemichelle at yahoo dot com

  33. Wild at Heart looks great!

    I still find it strange that authors barely have any input on the cover. Since the author knows the story and characters the best, you would think they would give the art department some advice.

    Bad covers can also not help towards sales.

  34. I am a cover junkie, a good cover will definitely make me buy something that might not have caught my attention before. But then that could work the opposite too, if it doesn't attract my attention, odds are that i probably won't pick it up to read the cover. I think it is a must that the cover pic match the attributes of the characters, i hate when you get into the book and find out that cover doesn't look like!

    booknerdd AT gmail DOT com

  35. Lori,
    That is pretty horrible in a way. What kind of cover would do that, and in a gym where every like you said anyway has not much on. So silly.

    As for this headless torso talk. Yes I hate it, I want heads. It's a trend I am nit liking at all.

    Only a guy on the cover works, sometimes, I am of course more fond of the woman and men covers.

    Good luck all :D

  36. Blodeuedd, I am not sure if I am late to be entered or not. If I am too late, its okay... I wanted to drop by anyway because I have not been to your place due to the craziness of my world lately! And you know I want to come show my love and support to ya!!! And of course you know I had to come read this post, since I have been drooling over this book since I have first met you!!! Yea, that long, lol!!!
    This is a wonderful post. And now on to answer the question... And I think Blodeuedd could actually answer this for me... I am a cover hussy and I do not care what anyone thinks of it... Okay, maybe my mother in law *said with laughter... she would probably want my book after she saw, lol*.
    I love smoking hot covers. The description does not matter so much if it matches. Because once I have the characters in my mind, do I rarely go back and look at the cover. When I grab the book, I will look (okay, stroke or pet, which ever) at the cover... but the imagine is already in my mind of what I want them to look like. The cover just aids me.
    Blodeuedd, thank you for always coming over to my place, I am sorry I have not been around lately! Love ya honey! Hope you have a great day! Ms. Lori, I can not wait for this book!

  37. Covers definitely matter to me :) and while I used to be embarraed by overly seductive covers, I've gotten over that stage :)
    Now, hair coloring of the characters on the cover and in the book do irk me if they are different. I've read a couple books like that and it's a pain because I usually like to go back and forth from where I'm reading to front cover, while reading my book.
    I'm sorry that yours didn't quite turn out the way you wanted it, Lori, but I am glad that you were able to change the story to fit the cover, and I'm sure your story will still be as fab :)

  38. Covers are magical. If they do it right I will be drawn to it immediately and then will investigate further. The Wild Heart cover is very good and I so want to know what those two are up to!!

  39. As a designer of book covers (but I don’t do romance) I can say that I love working with the books authors. They can give me the feel of the book and point out what is the essence of their books that should be represented on the cover. But unfortunately, I often don't get the chance to work with the author. Also I don't have time to read every single book, so I'm doomed to try and figure out what is the most important about the book and how to transfer it to the cover and at the same time that it looks attractive to the buyer - not an easy job :)

    As a reader I don't really notice if colour of the hero or heroine's hair and eyes don't match those on the cover. I really enjoy imagining them so I don't really like when people’s face is shown on the cover.

  40. I enjoy book covers, but I usually go by the title and what the book is about rather than the cover. Once I'm reading the book, I don't care if the cover has the wrong color hair, etc., I'm too busy enjoying the book.
    One thing that does bother me is the whole headless, or cut in half heads on the cover. I don't know who thought that was a good idea.

  41. Hi Blodeuedd!

    Thanks Lori for explaining the cover process because we, as readers, only see the finished product and never know the mysteries of why.

    I like covers that depict our heroes and heroines, if I was reading a book that voiced a blonde beauty and the cover shows me a dark haired model instead, it would lead to a what the....???? moment for me. I would keep reading, but at the same time wondered why.

    Thanks B for having Lori, great guest post! And Lori, thanks for a great giveaway!

    Dottie :)

  42. I have to say that I would be too embarrassed by seductive covers to buy a book with one (plus I have young boys in the house and don't want to be exposed to naked lady seductive photos).

    The cover with the lady with three arms is very funny! I don't know that I would have noticed without it being mentioned though.

  43. I would love to win a copy of Wild Heart. Love the cover by the way!

    I think it's kind of sad that the authors doesn't get a bit more information about oversea sales(that view might be colored by the fact that I'm a overseas reader ;)).

    When it comes to the covers I understand why the editors chose colors that tends to sell well but they can go wrong just like the rest of us, so I think it would have been nice if the authors had a bit more saying in that process.

    I sometimes get embarrassed by overly seductive covers, it depends on my mood the day I spot the cover really. If I'm PMS the day I see an overly seductive cover I might not like it LOL.


  44. I always buy a book based on the blurb, do I like it or not, the cover is like the icing on the cake for me. I like romantic covers and I am not ashamed of them, of course I like some better than others. It did annoy me that the cover did not match the description of the hero and heroine in the book, but it happens all the time. But a smoking hot cover is definitely an eyecatcher!

  45. Hi B, hi Lori,

    I like romantic covers because I like romance stories, especially historicals. I am not ashamed of the covers though my partner is everytime he looks at my bookcase LOL.. The fact that the cover does not match the hero or heroine in the book did bother me in the past, but I have read several times now that the author usually has no influence on the cover whatsoever. A great cover does attract me but I still buy a book based on the blurb, if that appeals to me I buy it. And I like the cover of Wild Heart.

  46. Hi,

    I don't judge a book by it's cover... but I do admit that the cover is what attracts me to the book. Book covers to me are works of art... I just love them! I used to be embarrassed by some overly seductive covers, but not anymore. I guess that many of my books have sexy, hot covers so I got used to it. lol
    Thanks for the great giveaway :D


  47. While it's bad to judge a book by it's cover...I do have a habit of doing so. I no longer feel ashamed of buying romance novels. Hey to each her own. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  48. Book covers are important to me, it doesn't make the book better but a great cover will attract my eye and i'll be inclined to reading more about it.
    It's not that i'm ashamed of the romance book covers, i'm getting more secured about my readings, but i still live at my parents (yeah i'm 24 lol) and sexy book covers do get me the weird eyes form them lol I think they're getting used to seing halfnaked people on my books ;)
    I like the people on the covers to look at least a bit like the character it's easier to relate to but it's not a problem if they don't...more than often they don't!

    So what i was trying to say is that while a great cover won't automatically mean that i'll read the book , a horrible cover will probably deter me from reading it for sure ;)

  49. Hi. All the guys on those covers do look very hot. I must admit I love brunettes. polo-puppy-fluffyAThotmail *dot* com I love redheads and blondes in that order. But a little bit of skin and muscles does make the man more appealing. Cheers. Please count me in.


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