Dec 3, 2014

Biography of a Cover

with Anna Campbell


Hiya Love Cats!

And a specially big hello to Sharon Archer who invited me to be your guest today to talk about my latest release, the novella HER CHRISTMAS EARL, which is currently available as an ebook for the princely sum of 99 cents! 



Picture 1

 




This is my third Christmas novella (following THE WINTER WIFE in 2012 and “His Christmas Cinderella” in the free anthology A GROSVENOR SQUARE CHRISTMAS in 2013). I love having something out to fit the season – makes me feel like the Regency Romance Santa Claus. 





Picture 2



I’m particularly proud of the cover for HER CHRISTMAS EARL because for the first time, it’s an image based on a photograph I took. So I thought I might give Love Cats and visitors a whole new love story – Anna Campbell and her new cover, a happy ending for all! 




 
Picture 3



On 30th August, I attended the annual Picnic at Pemberley at the Abbey Museum at Caboolture north of Brisbane. One of my friends Michelle Skidmore was dressed in a gorgeous red Regency ballgown that would have made Mr. Darcy drool. As I was snapping some pics of Michelle, the other friend I was with, Lisa Barry, said, “Wow, that would make a wonderful romance novel cover.” I don’t know if the Abbey has bells but one started to ring in my mind. I asked Michelle if she’d mind a new career as a cover model and she was most excited to set up as Fabio’s rival. 



Of all the shots I took, there were three I particularly liked (the first three pictures in the blog). I emailed Kim Killion, the designer I’d chosen, and asked her if any would be suitable. To my delight, she picked number three, the one of Michelle standing in the doorway to the church at the Abbey. The others were apparently a little bit dark. 



So then I waited in suspense to see what she came up with - and the answer was the lovely cover with my image of Michelle superimposed against that pretty arch so that it looked like my heroine Philippa was standing on a Regency garden terrace. I love all the red – it looks like Christmas to me. I wasn’t however so crazy on the white writing which appeared a little bland to my eyes. 


 

However, I’d been caught before with choosing covers that look great on my desktop computer and then fade to nothing in a thumbnail (the world of apps is completely unknown to me, but I’ve been told that’s the case with earlier indie books of mine). I asked Kim to change the writing to gold which had a more festive look. But checking with my more tech-savvy friends confirmed that the gold was very insipid in the smaller image. 






A plea to Kim to come up with something that popped in a thumbnail resulted in the final version of the cover, this very pretty red one with the filigree decoration around the title. And I have to say I love it! It’s romantic and Christmassy – and Michelle really does look fabulous in her red dress! 


 

So that’s the biography of the cover of HER CHRISTMAS EARL: A REGENCY NOVELLA. 


Here’s the blurb for the story inside the covers:
 

No good deed goes unpunished…

To save her hen-witted sister from scandal, Philippa Sanders ventures into a rake’s bedroom – and into his power. Now her reputation hangs by a thread and only a hurried marriage can rescue her. Is the Earl of Erskine the heartless libertine the world believes? Or will Philippa discover unexpected honor in a man notorious for his wild ways?

Blair Hume, the dissolute Earl of Erskine, has had his eye on the intriguing Miss Sanders since he arrived at this deadly dull house party. Now a reckless act delivers this beguiling woman into his hands as a delightful Christmas gift. Is fate offering him a fleeting Yuletide diversion? Or will this Christmas Eve encounter spark a passion that lasts a lifetime?


You can read an excerpt on my website: Click here


HER CHRISTMAS EARL is available at the bargain price of 99 cents from:


Amazon:

 
Smashwords:

 
So what do you like to see on a cover? Clinches? Girls in pretty dresses? Something symbolic like a locket or a shoe? A bare-chested hunk? Do covers influence your book purchases? 


I’ve got a download of HER CHRISTMAS EARL: A REGENCY NOVELLA for someone who comments today (international). Good luck!

39 comments:

  1. I love the final version, Anna. That title really pops - how cool that you have an image you took as a book cover! I love the historical covers with girls in pretty dresses, they're always so colourful and glamorous looking.

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    1. Stefanie, when I dreamed of being an author, those were the sort of covers I imagined! Hope you don't get too cold during your first Canadian Christmas!

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    2. Stefanie, I'm really taken with the idea that Anna's actually taken the photo for this cover too. Such a fantastic extra layer of involvement!

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  2. Anna! So cool to have you here at the LoveCats! Thanks for visiting and thanks for this great post! I thoroughly enjoyed your biography of a cover - fascinating! And how brilliant to have had one of your very own photographs used in the production!

    I've got your novella on my PC - I tried so hard to eke out time yesterday to read it - sadly, I didn't manage. But I have high hopes for this afternoon! It's December so it's the perfect time to read a lovely Christmas story!

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    1. Sharon, thanks so much for inviting me back. I love visiting the LoveCats, as you know! So glad you enjoyed the post - I'm often asked about how covers get put together, it was fun to describe how this particular one came to be. And yeah, I'm stoked my photo turned into that cover!

      Hope you get to the novella. It's about 30,000 words so just right for an afternoon's reading!

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  3. Hi Anna, and welcome to the LoveCats! It's great seeing how your cover developed from a day out with friends (that Pemberly picnic sounds fabulous) to a cover and then the final tweaks to get it just so. The result is very fetching.

    Congratulations on 'His Christmas Earl'. As you know, I loved it - just the thing for a little pre-Christmas treat.

    What do I like in a cover? I faced the same dilemma myself, organising a cover for my 'Bought by the Italian; just recently. I think I like people best, especially people who look like they might have stepped out of your story! And colour - I love deep colour in a cover.

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    1. Annie, thanks for having me to visit. Just don't feed me Whiskas! :-) The Pemberley Picnic is fabulous - would be lovely if you could get up here one year to join in.

      Thanks for saying such nice things about Earl. It was such a fun story to write and I had a soft spot for the characters from the first.

      Love your Bought by the Italian cover! It's so sexy. And I'm with you on the colour - love the red in Earl's cover.

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    2. Annie, I still didn't get my read of Anna's novella in this afternoon - hanging out for tomorrow... though it's looking more like a Friday possibility now! Great job on your cover for Bought By The Italian by the way!

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  4. Wow - it's amazing how all the elements come together to make it all pop, isn't it, Anna?
    Love the dress and love the font style and choice in the final version. You're cover designer knows what she'd doing, clearly :-)

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    1. Amy, I think Kim Killion has done some gorgeous covers. I think because she's also a writer, she has a great feel for the best image to suit the story. And I was so stoked when my photo made the cut. I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing the image's journey from go to whoa!

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    2. Isn't it great, Amy! And to see the difference with the colour tweaks with the lettering and then the final filigree effect behind the title!

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  5. Bronwyn HouldsworthDecember 3, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Beautiful photo, beautiful cover. Excellent suggestion from the lovely Lisa! Looks truly gorgeous, Anna, and the Christmas flavour comes through, too. Couldn't get a more classy model than the fair Michelle. She makes excellent cupcakes, too!

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    1. Bronwyn, I bet Fabio doesn't make cupcakes! I think Michelle makes a wonderful model - I've already asked her to get a different dress together for next year's novella! Thanks for saying you like the cover - I'm really proud of it.

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    2. LOL on Michelle's excellent cupcakes, Bronwyn. And, Anna, I suspect you're quite right about Fabio not making cupcakes.

      Hey, your model Michelle's got a lot to live up to after this fabulous cover debut for this novella!

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  6. Hi Anna! So lovely to have you here again! I was fascinated to read about your cover...amazing to use one of your own photos, your friend must be thrilled! Her Christmas Earl sounds like a fabulous read, heading over to amazon now....

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    1. Hi Louisa! Thanks for having me as a guest on Love Cats. Always love visiting here. So glad you enjoyed the biography of the cover. Michelle was actually pretty stoked to have a new career as a cover model! Hope you enjoy my earl!

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    2. Louisa, isn't the thought of playing such a big role in the creation of the cover a fascinating one?!

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  7. I love how this cover came about, Anna. Such a brilliant result.

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  8. Thanks, Jen. It really gives me a kick that a friend of mine is on the front!

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  9. I loved hearing about how this lovely cover came about. The cover was enough to make me want to read it and the excerpt made it a given that I'll read it. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for swinging by, Angel. So glad you love the cover and the excerpt! That's music to my ears!

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    2. Hi Angel, thanks for popping to catch Anna's great post!

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  10. OMG! Wasn't the Picnic at Pemberley amazing, especially when we added photography to Regency dancing, archery and all the other activities Mr Darcy provided. Michelle makes a gorgeous cover model. I propose she wear green next year.
    I love all your stories, Anna, and reading how the cover for this story came about is really interesting. Playing a teeny weeny part it in it was awesome too.

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    1. Lisa, you were the inspiration behind the cover. I would never have thought about it and it's turned out to be the absolutely perfect cover. Isn't Michelle gorgeous? Yes, I think a green dress is definitely called for. Or a gold one!

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    2. Lisa, how cool - it sounds like you were right there to help with the conception of this cover! How awesome! And it sounds like planning for next year's cover is already on the crawing board!

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  11. Lovely to have you visit the LoveCats, Anna! And fascinating to hear about the genesis of your cover -- which is gorgeous. As much as I love that gold writing, the white title and name really pops, doesn't it? Oh, and I adore that filigree decoration around the title. Hope it flies off the shelves.:-)

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    1. Thanks, Michelle, seems to be going pretty well so far, which is lovely. Clearly my cover model is doing the biz for me! Yes, I like the gold too but I was caught with my previous two books with subtle covers that just didn't work as thumbnails. We live and learn, huh?

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    2. Michelle, it's beautifully put together, isn't it!

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  12. Thanks for having me as your guest, Love Cats! I've had a lovely time! And a merry Christmas to you and all your readers!

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    1. Anna, it's always fabulous to have you visit!

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  13. Hi Anna

    I love the cover of this one and I loved the story I usually buy books because of the author or the blurb but of course covers will make me pick up a books and I dol love ones with couples of heroes or heroines :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Hi Helen, an eye-catching cover like this, is a real draw card, isn't it!

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    2. Helen, welcome back from your cruise! Thanks for swinging by. Thanks so much for saying you loved the story - it was such a nice one to write. No particular angst, just two nice people thrown together and falling in love.

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  14. Oh, gosh, no pressure for next year, right? ^_^

    Definitely have my heart set on making a green dress for next year, so it'll fit right in with the Christmas theme, if you'll have me again, Anna. Also, blonde hair is back on the agenda, so it'll look nice and different :D

    Fabio's got nuthin' on my cupcakes!

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    1. Michelle, LOTS of pressure for next year, isn't there! You gals have set a high bar!

      Seriously, how lovely to have you pop in to say hi! And may I just say, what an absolutely fantastic job you've done as dressmaker and model! And apparently fabulous cupcake maker too! Definitely multi-talented! I'll look forward to next year's Christmas cover!

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    2. Michelle, how exciting! Another YOU cover. Fabio really will have to look to his laurels. OK, so my next Christmas heroine has to be a blonde. It can be done!

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  15. Anna, how fascinating! Thank you so much for dropping in and sharing your book cover's journey with us. I already have this one on my kindle - I'm saving it for later in the month when I'll want something all Christmassy. :)

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    1. Rachel, I hope you enjoy my earl. I had quite a crush on the hero! Thanks for picking it up. Glad you enjoyed hearing about the cover!

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