“I Need A Hero” Cover Showdown – 2015

I might be in the minority with my preference but I LOVE a well dressed man on my romance covers.  While searching for 2015 cover nominations, I noticed three very well dressed heroes gazing back at me on my screen.   Their handsome faces were included on the covers and almost all of their heads.  (I don’t understand the practice of chopping off the very top of heads on covers.)  Seeing their faces makes me happy because I am a show me the faces type of romance reader.

I also love the visual interest clothing provides.  When I see cover after cover featuring naked, headless heroes, I find myself skipping past them online or in the store.   However, I understand that many readers prefer headless covers.  They use their imagination and visualize the characters based on the author’s description.   Cover designers often show the back of heroes and heroines as a successful compromise but this time we get to see the faces and the uniform details.

INeedAHeroshowdownblk
Click on the individual covers in the poll for a larger size.

Now that you’ve chosen your favorite hero cover and pressed the vote button, why did he win your vote?

2015 ~ February New and Notable Book Covers

When I hunt for cover nominations for our annual contest there are always a few covers that really impress me for a variety of reasons. This Dear Publisher post features February covers that captured my attention. Who knows, you might find a new author or a book to add to your TBR pile from my February choices.

My first cover choice, Casually Cursed by Kimberly Frost, instantly captured my attention even in thumbnail size.  The cover designer’s unusual pink and grey color scheme and varied lighting creates a mysterious mood that fits the Alternate Reality genre.  Even more mesmerizing are the gorgeous sleek feline and the heroine’s “I dare you” expression.

Casually Cursed

Berkley ~ February, 2015

My second cover selection, Murder in the Queen’s Garden by Amanda Carmack,  is a mystery cover and mysteries are one of my favorite genres.  The cover has a beautiful illustration.   I love the view of the English garden, the lamp post with the bird on top, the ominous windows, the heroine’s flowing dark hair, and her beautiful gown.  I give the cover designer extra points because the gown has an appropriate length for its train.  This heroine can walk without tripping over yards and yards of fabric.

Murder in the Queen's Garden

Signet ~ February, 2015

I love simplicity in covers and my third choice, The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis, has a very simple yet stunning layout.  The fabric background, string of pearls, and elegant title reveal the heroine’s station in life.  The ship nestled inside the loop of the necklace is unique and gives another small hint about the story inside.  This cover represents simplicity at its best!

The Last Heiress

Harvest House ~ February, 2015

I am a fan of romance covers showing couples in love and my next choice, The Perfect Homecoming by Julia London, is a quintessential romance cover.   Who wouldn’t love having this romantic picnic scene take place in their lives?

The Perfect Homecoming

Montlake Romance ~ February, 2015

There is also a Kindle Loves Romance video featuring a hunk reading a sample of the story.   The cute videos are one of  my guilty pleasures and they always make me smile.  Enjoy watching.

And finally,  I have a February sexy hero cover.    One of my pet peeves is having headless, legless torsos on covers and I hate the slick greasing of torsos to make them glisten.  Ugh!  I am always on a quest for covers that celebrate the beauty of the hero without reducing him to just one of his body parts.   Hip, hip hooray because I found a cover that I love this month!  Take a look at the gorgeous and very sexy eBook cover, Below The Belt by Sidney Halston.   Yes, the very top part of his head has been cruelly chopped off but look at that face and his body has just the right amount of glow.  The ripped t-shirt is a tantalizing hint of the story inside.  This is a great cover!

Below the Belt

Random House ~ February, 2015

I hope you found a favorite cover or a new author from my February choices.  Leave a comment below about which cover is your favorite and why?   I can’t wait to choose my March covers for next month’s post.

 

2015 Doppelganger Book Covers – Oh, Oh!

Doppelganger Award

Cover Cafe created the Doppelganger Award to highlight the problem of releasing  “almost” identical book covers.  Readers might skip over a new release because they assume they’ve seen the book previously or even purchased it.  With the introduction of eReaders and the use of stock images on covers, Doppelgangers have become more of an issue.

It can happen to anyone…even Cover Cafe. I purchased the stock image used in Cover Cafe’s main logo in April, 2011 and I knew it might appear someday on a book or another logo. It was a gamble but I loved the lady reading at the table. I added the red coffee cup and Cover Cafe and waited to see if it appeared. It finally did in 2015 on Pinterest.   I love the addition of the cat but prefer my red cup over the gray cup.  I still love that lady!

ccheaderlady

PinterestFind

My best advice is this – do not use a stock image exactly as it appears on Shutterstock or other image providers. Create a unique look that can’t be mistaken or accidentally reused by another publisher or author.   Also, take a step back and look at your finished creation to see how it appears in both thumbnail and full size.    If using Photoshop or another image software, make sure the finished cover looks professional.  Don’t become a “Don’t” cover example on the internet. (Or become one of Cover Cafe’s Worst finalists in the annual contest.)

And now for the first 2015 Doppelganger Awards.

First Doppelganger Set ~

Clean Heart Publishing ~ December, 2013

Clean Heart Publishing ~ December, 2013

Inked Plot Media ~ January, 2015

InkedPlot Media ~ January, 2015

Second Doppelganger Set ~

Sweetwater ~ October, 2014

Sweetwater Books ~ October, 2014

Book Tango ~ January, 2015

Booktango ~ January, 2015

Be careful when using stock images…make them unique or incorporate them with other images to create a unique look.  What do you think – are they Doppelgangers?