Nora Roberts, please don’t kill me.

December 20, 2007

My third book is out in the UK right now, and I have to tell you all a dirty little secret about book covers.

I’ve been following a recent discussion, over on the Dear Author blog about judging books by their covers, whether clinches sell better (they do) and whether it makes us look like a bunch of sex obsessed morons to buy/write/sell books that look so damn trashy.

I haven’t been contributing, because, overall, I love my covers. Mills & Boon does some really nice work on them. While I could go on and on about historical accuracy in clothing (wrong, all wrong) and the need for correct period undergarments (or ANY undergarments. Do you even own a bra?) for giving a good silhouette, I am not going to say that my covers aren’t pretty. I like the colors. I like the people. I think the general look matches the contents.

My only only ‘hot-damn-that’s a romance- with a capital R’ cover has been in France, where apparently, British dukes wax their chests, and duchesses get highlights:

But mostly, I’m getting some gorgeous art. And it’s good that I’m happy, because I have zero control over what goes on the front of the book. Sometimes, they ask me for input, which they might not want to follow. Sometimes, it’s a surprise. But mostly, it’s out of my hands.

So, when someone comes up to me, like at last year’s RWA national conference, and says, “I like your book cover, it’s MY FRIEND’S” I just want to assure her that I didn’t hunt up a bunch of her friend’s books, and make the swap with a razor blade and some duct tape.

Sometimes, I get stock art.

Harlequin publishes a lot of books. The contents are different (really) the titles and authors are different. But remember when they say “You can’t judge a book by its cover?” This is why.

But it can be kind of freaky, if you don’t expect it.

Today, during a moment of self absorbed ego-Googling, I went to visit my new book, “A Wicked Liaison” in its spot on the Historical best seller list (Go Me! It was 40 something, when I looked, and has dropped back to the 60’s, but still…)

But for a brief time, I was sharing a page on the list with:

That damn, red dressed hussy has been two-timing Nora Roberts, on my cover.

I swear to God, it’s not my fault.