Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Cover for an Older Book

Old Cover
One of my earlier books was a romantic suspense called DESERT GUARDIAN published by The Wild Rose Press. It did okay, in spite of the large number of books this small publisher released each week, and I was pleased by the positive reviews. I received my rights back a few years ago and, like many authors these days, I've decided to self-publish it.

All I've done so far is redesign the cover. I'll format the text when I'm not buried under other projects. The publisher allowed me to design my first cover (without pay, of course), and though I gave them three designs to choose from, they picked this one. I like it, but it doesn't really say "romantic suspense" to me.

The story is about a cult intervention specialist who helps the heroine rescue her brother from a suicide cult in the California desert.

Now I've come up with a new cover design I like, but I'm not so sure about the image of the hero. I kissed a lot of "frogs" in the stock images pool of male models--there are some truly fugly men in there--but these two fit the tone and personality of my hero the best. However, I'm torn between them. Which one do you like best? One of my concerns is that I've learned that both these models have appeared on the cover of several self-published books already, and though it doesn't bother me, does it bother you?


18 comments:

Miss Viola said...

I really like the bottom cover, where you can see the handsome hunks blue eyes. Very sexy cover! Viola

Bart said...

I like the top one best. The hero doesn't overshadow the cover and there is much more ambiguity in his countenance.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, the cover with the hunk is the best representation of the book - and the one most likely to draw a crowd of readers. L)

Laurel N (who couldn't get her livejournal id past the nazi-bots).

Patricia Stoltey said...

I like the second guy with the short hair best. He's more mysterious and manly (in my humble opinion).

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Hey, Karen! I like the top one better if he is the brother. Kind of along the lines of what Bart said, he seems more mysterious.

The model in the second cover seems much stronger. So if he's the hero, that works. However, I used him on one of my covers--different photo with less facial hair though--but it's still always jarring to see one of "my" heroes on someone else's book. LOL!

That's one of the dangers of using stock photos, though some models are great at having totally different looks. And, of course, how they are blended into the rest of the cover elements makes a difference.

As always, you do great graphic work!

Amber Kallyn said...

I like the top one. It says 'RS' to me, plus the guy fits. I don't know what it is about the bottom, maybe the guy is too big & colorful for the rest, IMO?

Hope that helps :)

Misa said...

To be honest, I couldn't tell that the top one was a guy. So second one for me.

Jean Murray said...

Hi Karen.

I think the top cover is more balanced in tone and color. Hope this helps but I think the crowd is split on this one.

Jean Murray
www.keytothecursed.com

Anne Francis said...

I like the second one better, due to the rugged guy, but I wonder what he would look like with the hood from the top cover...

Karen Duvall said...

Wow, you all are great! I'm loving how observant you are. You seem to be divided, and I wish I could use both covers! Ha! Well, maybe I will. What rule says I can't? Other than the unwritten one that whispers "Though shalt not confuse thy reader." Hmm...

Chris Devlin said...

I'd say second cover. In the top cover, the guy is too ambiguous and looks kind of like he's wearing a monk's cowl. Unless he's supposed to be a monk.

I don't know that you need to worry about the 'stock image' issue. Other than those who've used the same models in their covers, no one will notice or care. A hot guy is a hot guy.

Both of them are mucho better than the original.

(Random: anyone else have the devil's own time getting past the captchas on this blogger page? It's like trying to open a Claritan tab.)

Trudy said...

I like the top one best, leaves more to the imagination, at least for me.

Kathryn Koller- UFR said...

I like the title and name placement on the second but the guy from the first better (the hoodie thing works for me)

Peg Brantley said...

I like the "feel" of the first one, but he looks pretty young and fem to me. Maybe darken/blur out the second guy a little?

Angela M. said...

I vote for the bottom one. He's got that rugged hottie look that fits best for RS. I agree though that he overshadows the cover. Any way to mute the colors? Love his eyes the best! Very arresting. So glad you could get your rights back :)

Tammy Patton said...

I hope you want honesty here. Your hero looks dangerous to me, and not necessarily in a good way. He's more attractive in the second cover, but his eyes make him look untrustyworthy, like someone I wouldn't want to come across on a dark street.

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks again, everyone, for the great feedback. This is really helpful toward making my decision.

Tammy, of course I want honesty and I'm glad you find my hero to look dangerous because he is, at least to those who should fear him. Thanks for your input! :)

Marie Harte said...

I like the second one better. But you already knew that. :)

Marie