Monday, June 4, 2012
Character Match vs. Cover Art
I am a firm believer that a good, well done cover can help sell a book. When I first started out as a self published author, I wasn't as adamant as I am now. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to have two of my covers redone. . .
While it would be almost impossible for the average writer to be able to afford the luxury of being able to have their characters match a cover model to a fault, it can be obtained.
I like to have my covers done prior to the story even being finished. Why? It gives me inspiration to write, and makes the character(s) seem more real. While I don’t go after, say eye color to match the cover vs. character, the physical attributes, such as physical build can be obtained. But sometimes you have to “cheat” a little to achieve the end result.
I’ll use “Timeless Sojourn” as an example. In my mind’s eye I envisioned the main male character, Geoffrey with dark hair, physically well built and (of course) handsome. He was the easy part. The difficult part was when it came to finding my main female character, Anne. Anne posed a problem. She was quite a bit older than Geoffrey, so finding an image with a older female proved challenging. I could have used two entirely separate images and had them blended so they appeared to be together, and I didn’t want to use, although I could have, a female that was real young. Sure a lot of people probably would have never noticed that on the cover. But I would have. I spent hours peering over an endless collection of images until I came across the one that is now on the cover. The female model’s face is partially obscured by her hair, which made her intriguing and helped cover up the age factor. She’s not as old as what I envisioned in my mind’s eye, but she is the best fit. The cover is my favorite out of all my books; the image of the couple captures the very essence of what true love is all about.
Now on to personality. . .I believe you can tell a lot about the personalities the images on a cover portray not only by the way they pose, but by facial expression and lighting. I like the images for my male characters to be somewhat older and mature. Definitely not twenty something. The same goes for the female. If I didn’t use this criteria, the covers would never match the story inside that cover. Lighting, used correctly will enhance the image, thus helping the reader easily imagine and envision what the image portrays. Facial expression can be tricky, but it is easy to weed out the truly professional models from the newbies or the wannabes. The better images come from models who know what they’re doing and what they are suppose to be portraying for the camera. Finding a couple to use is not always an easy task either to find that one perfect image with the pair in sync with the other.
Where do I find my cover artists and images?
I used to surf the internet or rely on recommendations from good meaning friends. I was introduced to Jimmy Thomas and his huge array of images. That took care of that problem. Jimmy is a huge resource and he recommended a couple of cover artists. Now, he's taken that one step further. He has launched Romance Novel Center, where anyone affiliated in the romance novel industry can meet and network. I've met all sorts of great people there, from cover artists, to book reviewers to readers. A trip to his website is well worth the time you save having to surf the web. You can find Romance Novel Center at:
Again, it all boils down to the writer. Some writers do not devote or put much thought and effort into their covers. Others, like me do. The cover is after all a reflection on me after all as a writer.
Posted by Jamie at 1:01 PM