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So I'm not sure if this is the best way of doing this, but I uploaded a cover idea for my romance story. Granted, this cover image doesn't scream "romance" but I'd still like to hear feedback. I modeled it off book covers that have caught my eye in the past, and only just today realized that none of those books were romances...

Oxsana's.jpg

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Ummm...frankly? No. If you want to sell romance, you need to make your cover appear as those in the genre. This wouldn't work for romance.

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48 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Ummm...frankly? No. If you want to sell romance, you need to make your cover appear as those in the genre. This wouldn't work for romance.

 

Ok, good to know. Looks like I created a cover that would appeal to me, rather than one that fits the genre (maybe because I really dislike typical romance  covers.) This is more a just-for-fun-and-learning project than to make money, but still, I’d better at least try to do it right. 

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LOL I typically don't like them either. Though some are very nicely done. Good idea to go with the flow. Would be confusing to buyers. :D

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You could have a cafe scene with a man peering out the window to  woman seated at a table.

 

Do you know someone who is an art teacher or.good at art? Ask them to produce something. It can me worked into a cover or jacket design. 

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1 hour ago, Shamrock said:

You could have a cafe scene with a man peering out the window to  woman seated at a table.

 

Do you know someone who is an art teacher or.good at art? Ask them to produce something. It can me worked into a cover or jacket design. 

 

Well in fact I’m an artist myself...I could certainly come up with a “happy couple “ design if that’s what’s wanted, but I’m beginning to wonder if the black and white graphic style I prefer is simply not well suited for a romance cover...

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1 hour ago, lynnmosher said:

LOL I typically don't like them either. Though some are very nicely done. Good idea to go with the flow. Would be confusing to buyers. :D

 

I don’t love the thought of working hard to get my story just the way I want it, and then feel compelled to put a cover I don’t like on it, just on the off chance it sells. However, sales or no, I would like people to read it, and they won’t if the cover doesn’t appeal...

 

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7 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

You said that right! ;)

What if it was a happy couple or something more “romantic? Or do you think I’m off on the wrong foot entirely with a black and white graphic idea, and it’s simply too stark for romance?

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Posted (edited)

I could do some soft, fuzzy thing with hearts and all... I suppose. Nothing really jumps out to grab me, though.

Edited by Zee

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No no no hearts.🤩🤩

 

Who is your target audience?  You need to be clear about that. Then produce a cover that fits  them.

Are you writing for Mills & Boons?

 

Are you writing for the single 20 something?

 

Are you writing for the discerning  mature reader?

 

Remember although your story is essentially  a romance  you do have a very interesting backdrop of a war turn  city with a political power game going on.

 

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43 minutes ago, Shamrock said:

No no no hearts.🤩🤩

 

Who is your target audience?  You need to be clear about that. Then produce a cover that fits  them.

Are you writing for Mills & Boons?

 

Are you writing for the single 20 something?

 

Are you writing for the discerning  mature reader?

 

Remember although your story is essentially  a romance  you do have a very interesting backdrop of a war turn  city with a political power game going on.

 

 

So you  don't love this?

 

I don't think I do either...

 

Oxana's (1).jpg

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I think the story would appeal to people in their 20's, because that's the age of the main characters. However, I couldn't have cared less about reading romances in my pre-marriage days...I only began to enjoy them (just a little) after I met my shui. So if I'm any indication of a general trend, maybe 30's?

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What about a cover based on a super-romantic photo like this? Just fishing for thoughts...

sunset-691995_1920.jpg

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I find myself less interested in photos and more drawn to graphics/designs, but I may be alone in this respect. Personally, I'd prefer a romance with a cover design more like this:

 

 

couple-4728696_1280.png

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Posted (edited)

I quite like that one, though I didn't design it myself. 

Edited by Zee

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1 hour ago, Zee said:

What if it was a happy couple or something more “romantic? Or do you think I’m off on the wrong foot entirely with a black and white graphic idea, and it’s simply too stark for romance?

 

Missed this. I think I'd really think about the background. You might want to search (if you haven't already) through Amazon in the romance section. You might get an idea.

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20 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

 

Missed this. I think I'd really think about the background. You might want to search (if you haven't already) through Amazon in the romance section. You might get an idea.

 

The idea was still to have a white background. I just love how clean and pristine it looks. 

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1 hour ago, lynnmosher said:

I don't know. Zee. It's so far removed from what is in the romance genre.

 

You’re totally right...I’m realizing that now. So maybe a soft color in the background? I’m just not seeing anything that looks anything close to what I had in mind. 

 

All the romances seem to have photos on the covers, and unfortunately I just don’t think a photo would work for my story. Not saying the covers are bad, some are lovely. But because of the setting and characters in my story, no typical “romance” cover photo I’ve seen would come even close to fitting. (Nobody looks anything like my heroine, for one thing...she’s dark-haired and rather heavy.)  And the setting is urban, not rural, which seems very popular.

 

I think I really have to use a drawing/painting/ graphic on the cover, and that seems to be pretty much nonexistent in the genre, from what I’ve seen. 

 

I’ll need to decide if I want something that doesn’t quite “fit” or nothing at all...

Shame there’s such specific “iconography “ to the genre.

 

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53 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Tell me more about the book. The setting, etc.

 

Well, first of all it’s set in a modern-day alternative-history Eastern Europe (think Balkans) steeped in the political and ethnic conflict that seems to be endemic in the region.

The heroine, Anna, goes to a cafe and meets a young waiter whose only cousin has just been murdered. She prays for his comfort and-surprise-he ends up falling for her. While she’s initially less sure, things work out well for them, despite the fact that their city is imploding due to ethnic violence.

 

Themes? Love, of course, and forgiveness (in the end the waiter, Boris, ends up confronting his cousin’s killer.) Less happy themes include the toll violence takes on everyone, racial/ethnic hatred, political turmoil. 

 

The cafe, “Oxsana’s”, is a pretty big deal in the story, and tea and teapots a bit of a recurring motif, hence the original design. Several important scenes, besides the original meeting, are set in the cafe. However, the final climatic “proposal scene” takes place in a parked car outside the prison, after all the (mostly political) prisoners have run off.

 

Hope that gives you a little better idea of what I’m dealing with. Thanks so much for working through this with me! I really appreciate your experience and helpful ideas.

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9 hours ago, lynnmosher said:

You might want to search (if you haven't already) through Amazon in the romance section.

Lynn is right on the money here, @Zee. All the research I've done into book covers has made me aware of the following points:

 

1. If your cover doesn't draw the attention of your target audience and have them interested enough to learn more, they will pass it by. Without a backward glance. 

 

2. Your cover is probably the one aspect of your book where you can't settle on your personal preference. Sorry. 

 

3. Everything in a cover is bound and controlled by your genre. Fonts, layout, background, foreground.... 

 

4. Having said all that, as an indie author you aren't necessarily bound by the cover (I do speak under correction here). You can try a cover out, test it, try a different one, and so on. 

 

Hope this helps

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