Here's the deal...I get a ton of questions about my book covers/covers in general/aspiring authors asking about covers/and other random cover questions so I figured that I'd write a post about book covers, why mine look the way they do, and whatever else I ramble on about for the day. It's easier for me to address everyone instead of writing a whole bunch of emails to individuals. which I do anyway, so blah. But this is easier for future use since i can just shoot a link. Let's get to the meat of what I'm saying and start the fun conversation.
I really hope that this post isn't taken out of context because each author has their own style, both in writing and design. And this is ONLY my style. And this is not in any way intended to put down other styles. There is plenty of room on the market for everyone. So there's my disclaimer! :)
Why don't your covers have naked men on them?
How do you come up with covers?
Why not slap a man on the front?
It's just not me. I mentioned before that authors have different styles and that's just not mine. Again, I really don't think there's anything wrong with it. I absolutely love some of the cover models in the indie world, and especially some covers. They're hot! Have you seen the cover for Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills? That one has the entire back of a dude, fully ripped with massive muscles. But I still think it's really cool and eye catching. See? I'm not a complete meany...
But the creative psycho in me likes magical covers and those that easily convey messages and have hidden elements. I'll use the A Reliant Love comment again, because I think it explains what I'm thinking best. When you look at the cover for ARL, you know what you're getting into. The genre is clear from the coloring and image and overall feel. It's dark, a bit worn from the subtle creases, eyes on the models are shut in pain, almost run out sand in the hourglass. You can tell it's a darker book and from their positioning I think you can assume romance since there still is a man and woman in embrace. When I look at covers with naked guys on the front, I still don't have a clue what the book's about. Sometimes the guy will be holding a guitar, so I think, sure, he's a musician. If he has on boxing gloves, okay, I get it, he's an MMA fighter or something. Or if there's a bike, you know you're jumping into a MC romance. But I don't know if it's a funny book, dark, contemporary, anything. You don't get a whole lot from a man on the cover other than the HUGE category of romance/erotica.
is A Picture worth a thousand words?
150 million percent yes. There are some people who say covers don't matter, it's the content, and while I agree, you have to write a good story, the cover is a lot of it. If not all of it. I don't know. It's so hard to say, because as an author, I believe that the content of your book is what makes a great novel. However, as a reader, I won't pick up a book that I don't like the cover to. Maybe that's just me. But to me, the cover is the most important part of the book because it is the factor that gets people to buy your book. Sure, a well known name works, a decent blurb, a good first chapter sample people can quickly peruse: they all help to secure the sale. But the cover is what gets someone to click, to buy, to pick up. No doubt! Seriously, I know this for a fact since it's what I do. ;)
So what does that mean? Does it really matter whether it's a guy or an eye or a flower or design? Not in the slightest. Make a damn good cover and that's it. No matter what your style is, make sure it's professional, eye catching, and engaging. Make sure it draws someone in and makes them want to know more. Have them ask a question, like why is he so sad? Or what does that mean? Or holy crap I like dark romances and this seems like one. I think the bottom line is that it needs to get people to buy it. As long as it looks professional and is unique to your book, you're fine. Who cares who/what's on the front.
Stick to your personal style no matter if that's a good thing or bad thing. You know why? Because that's what's real. Seriously. If you stay true to yourself instead of conforming people will respect you a hell of a lot more. I know I definitely get wanting to be part of "the group" and being "cool" (not sure how having a naked guy on your cover makes you cool, but people have said this to me. Not even freaking kidding), but people will admire an authentic you rather than a fake one. Readers are freaking smart! You can't fool them. Seriously, you can't.
I know that my covers probably work against me. I'm not stupid enough that just because it's me people will like my covers. Come on, I do have a brain, peeps. I try really hard to give books away to let people give them a try without judging from the unique covers. I write romance, so I know the hot guy, the cover models, and all of that are huge for indie authors and really help to catapult book releases and sales. But it's not me at this stage of my career. I'm not going to change my style just to be a part of the trend. However, I do want to warm that I probably lose some readers, even sales by having different covers. I'm sure when my book is sitting in the New Adult category on amazon, people may look past it because it doesn't really fit in. I don't care about that. I care about putting out quality work that fits with me, as a person, as a writer, and for that specific book. Sometimes it's frustrating, but I won't change myself.
And I LOVE my covers, damn it. I seriously do. They mean more to me because I saw the vision in my head transform into a cover that I can touch and feel and it becomes real to me. I'm a freaking weirdo for having these creative visions when I should just stick with the trend. But it's me and I won't change it.
weigh in with me! What do you think about book cover trends? Do you dig the hotties on the front, prefer something else, or don't really care? Comment <3
© Taylor Lavati 2017
What Readers Have to Say...
"An absolutely heart wrenching read that shows us that at times no matter how much we hope, darkness will find its way to win. "
-Blogger's From Down Under for A Reliant Love
"So this book is the ultimate love story. I like how two ordinary people who is so different and still so alike in so many ways can overcome everything together."
-Angelica Berglund for For The Love of Hockey
"I never thought I would read a "zombie book", much less love one. The Last Legacy really surprised me. Even with the whole people-eating-people thing, it was a fantastic book"
-Melannie S for The Last Legacy
"I could not wait to start book two. If this book was as good as book one, then I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. It wasn't as good as book one...it was better. "
-Keely Retchloff for Finding Sam
"The powers, the love, the excitement, the drama kept me so enthralled. If you are looking for a GREAT series about true love and mythology, look no further... I wish I could rate 10 stars! Definitely recommend this whole series to all my book loving friends!"
-The Book Blog for A Curse Books Trilogy
"For the Love of Ash" by Taylor Lavati was a rare 5-star read for me. I honestly find many typical romances rather dull and predictable. This was not the case at all here; there was nothing average about the romance, overall storyline, and the long list of supporting characters."
-Summer's Book Blog for For The Love of Ash
"Wingless isn't what I would normally pick up and read, but thought I'd try it out and I am so glad I did. The characters and "worlds" she creates are done so well that you can actually picture them and feel like you are there right along with the characters."
-JLH for Wingless
For The Love of Hockey | January 2016
The Price of Love | 2017