Friday, July 10, 2009

Book Covers . . .

. . . just saying.


  1. Adrian has a pet cat? ;)

  2. (g)

    He does, actually. I think the cat may have a walk-on part in Spymaster's Lady.

  3. Love the Paris photo! I think you should use that one :-)

  4. I remember Adrian's cat from Spymaster's Lady, but I'm slightly obsessed with animals.

    I love these covers! I work in publishing, and I understand that genre fiction carries certain expectations when it comes to covers. Sometimes, though--well, most of the time, if I'm honest--I wish historical romances could have more evocative covers. The scantily clad women and generic alpha males they sport play into the dismissive (and completely unfair) attitude many people have about the genre.

  5. Oh, and I seem to recall Adrian's cat is alluded to in My Lord and Spymaster, but it's a new kitty. TSL kitty has passed on to the great LOLCAT in the sky. *g*

  6. @Deniz -- it is not, alas, up to me. I have nothing whatsoever to say about covers.
    I merely dream.
    (le sigh)

    @ Annie -- I wish there were a good deal more variation in covers,
    and I wish it were related to the 'style' of the book within.

    I think marketing approaches covers as if they were targeting some vast, undifferentiated population with a single, uniform product.

    In truth, they are offering a dozen of very different products that just happen to be shaped the same way,
    and they are offering their product lines to a dozen distinct, predictable subgroups.

    Wish they'd do their homework.

  7. @ Annie --
    In re new cat. Yes.

    Cat One, named 'Cat' was a kitten in the winter of 1793-1794.

    So she's nine years old in TSL. She'd have been 19 if she'd lived long enough to appear in MLAS.

    At some point between the two books, a new cat was brought in by Adrian, who likes them.

  8. Re: marketing, you're singing my song. I don't work for a trade publisher, but your analysis sounds spot on. This is not the right place to pontificate probably, but I think it's not just, or even primarily, about marketing departments not doing their homework. Rather, I think the folks who work in marketing often have a patronizing view of authors and editors, whom they view as necessary evils. And I'm saying this as someone who actually has a lot of respect for the marketing managers with whom I work. The problem is not bad intentions or laziness but a sense that they're the only ones who have a clue about the bottom-line. I can understand why that's the case. Like Gradgrind in Hard Times, they want the facts, ma'am, and nothing else. Those of us who think more intuitively or who don't have surveys with which to defend our opinions are sent on our way with a pat on the head. This is based on my fairly limited experience working with two different academic publishers, so take it for what it's worth. *Hint: probably not much!*

  9. You would put all of Adrian's face on the cover, wouldn't you?
    Have fun at the signing today.

  10. Hi Martha --

    I will write Adrian's story one of these days. I hope they give him a cover that does him justice. (Heck, I hope I can write a STORY that does him justice.)

    I'll be putting some part of Adrian's story into the MAGGIE book. He's very young in that one.

  11. @ Annie --

    I don't begrudge marketing their reliance upon surveys. But surveys and marketing research are only as good as the parameters of the questions asked.

    I wonder, sometimes, if marketing does not see the 'Romance market' as a vast undifferentiated crowd of women -- rather than as dozens of distinct subgroups all of which have their own buying habits and choices.

    When marketing asks, 'What do women want?' they've already made certain they will not get an accurate answer.

  12. @ Annie

    And sorry to take so long getting back to you. I've been at RWA National, more or less without the access to the net. It would have cost an extra $60 to 'subscribe' at the hotel and I didn't have the hookup dingus anyhow.

    Every little 'Mom and Pop' operation in the pine barrens of North Carolina has WiFi. It never occurred to me the largest hotel in Washington DC wouldn't.