Call me boring, but I tend to be attracted to scenery covers. A glimpse into the setting of the book. I may be boring, but I am versatile. I'm equally drawn to sweeping landscapes with dramatic mountains or a windswept, wide open plain or a homey scene featuring a back porch complete with a rocking chair. Yawn.
When my first few books were published, this is the type of cover I requested. The artists did add the inset of floating heads in several cases, apparently their attempt to liven things up. I was somewhat unnerved at first, but I got used to them. When my books released, I sat back and waited for my babies to sell. Okay, maybe I didn't just sit. I promoted. I blogged. I tweeted. I bored my friends on Facebook. Still, sales were dismal.
Then something happened that made me rethink my love affair with gorgeous scenery covers. For my cowboy book, Nothing But Trouble, I requested a barnyard scene complete with a bull in the background. The cover artist completely ignored me. When I got my first look at the cover, I nearly had a heart attack. No red barn. No fenced in bull. Instead, a hot cowboy with bulging muscles in an embrace with a very pretty girl. Yikes!
As hot covers go, this one is actually pretty tame. Remember what our mothers called books with bare chested heroes and women in undone dresses? Bodice Rippers. What would my friends and relatives think of this new book? They'd think I write smut, that's what! With trepidation, I boldly set out to promote this new book. And what do you know, it started selling! Okay, maybe not like Nora Roberts sells books, but sales for this one double all my others combined.
Is the story any better? I don't think so. Did I do more promotion? I'm not sure. Maybe. But a year and a half later, I still see a sale or two each week. Not great, but it's something. So, could it be that hot cowboy cover is selling the book? I'm not sure, but when the sequel comes out sometime next year, you can bet I'm going to ask for a good looking man on the front--hold the shirt!
Alright, ladies, let's hear it. Do your books with hot covers sell better? Or is my experience a fluke? What do you want to see on a book cover?
Find all my books with their tame covers on my website, and enjoy the rest of your hot summer nights reading a good book!