Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Behind the Camera at a Romance Novel Cover Shoot


You can’t judge a book by its cover.

As a writer, I know that old adage is just a bunch of malarkey. We’ve all either bought or bypassed books because of the cover. We’ve all given recommendations to friends – that cover just doesn’t do the book justice. It’s really a good book. 

Romance novels are known for their sultry covers that capture the perfect moment to illustrate the story on the pages within. Ripped torsos, flowing gowns, pouting lips, sharp-edged daggers, warriors clad in kilts – each cover image is a promise to the reader that must be kept.

In the days of the bodice rippers (RIP), covers were often painted works of art, loosely based on models. If an author was lucky she might get Fabio on her cover! But now, with so many books being published, cover art has become a blend of photography and Photoshop - real models thrust against imaginative backdrops with the stroke of a mouse or stylus.

There’s a lot of work to getting that one second of intense passion between two characters on the cover of book!

Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes at one of the iCandy photo shoots.

bts4Historical models, Jessie and Brian, hold their poses while hair is tucked and Jessie’s skirt is positioned so a cover artist can turn the folds into a billowing ball gown, and Photoshop some highland boots on our laird to cover up those Gold Toe socks.






Here, menage models are posed to make it look as if they’ve known each other intimately – instead of a mere twenty minutes.

photo_1 Steampunk corsets are never tight enough.

Neither are kilts. (Yes, he’s that tall)kilt

But when the images appear on the site, ready for the cover artists to work their magic, corset and kilt cinching, holding a pose in a highlander’s arms, or making three strangers look comfortable together, is all worth it!




Fess up! Have you ever either bought a book for the cover, or bypassed one because of a less than stellar cover?


Jan Douglas said...

Yes, I have passed up books because the cover did not appeal to me.

Carla Swafford said...

Sadly, same for me. But I've also bought a book for the cover that was a loser.

I can still remember the cover. Historical romance novel set in 1700's during the American Revolutionary war. He was in those skintight white pants (British) and oh, my, he looked soooo good. The book was a wall banger.

robertsonreads said...

If the cover is ok, but the blurb is of interest to me, I will purchase it. Of course, a HOT cover never hurts.
Ginger aka robertsonreads

Robin Leigh Miller said...

A cover will catch my attention. A title will hook me, but a blurb will either have me pulling out my wallet or passing. Sadly, I have walked past potential awesome reads because the cover appears so bland. I'm trying to break that habit, honestly.

Meda White said...

I think I pay more attention to covers in bookstores than I do online, but I do love a good cover. Thanks for sharing your behind the scenes look, Debra.

Louisa Cornell said...

I have to admit a hot cover will grab my attention. However, after YEARS of buying and reading books I will always read the back cover blurb before I buy. And I have found myself judging e-books by their covers as well.

A cover, especially a self-pubbed one, is an indication of whether the person is paying attention to the little things. Someone who takes that much pride in their cover, will (almost always) take care in their writing as well.

And good Lord that guy is tall! I'd be a midget next to him!

Suzanne Johnson said...

What fun to see behind the scenes! I have definitely bypassed books because of the cover. I hate to say it, but in this day, when publishing is so easy, I use the quality of a cover as my first criteria of whether or not to consider a book. An amateur cover very often leads to an unedited book. Then I proceed to the blurb before making a decision. Now that we're in the digital age, I might download a sample. So a cover doesn't make the decision, but it does determine sometimes whether or not the door even gets opened!

Aidee Ladnier said...

Absolutely fascinating to see "behind the scenes". I can't wait to see some of the covers they sell.