Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Evolution of a Cover

Way back when (around June), my cover was blue (because of the water) but I never saw it. The art department felt it was too "soft" looking for a romantic suspense, that with the title and the color and the water and the seashell (the book takes place in Malibu), it didn't have the umph that it needed to be the lead title in the trilogy. So I got a title change and color change (to red) and I, personally, love the idea of red water. (And, frankly, my book content isn't "soft".)

Anyway, I just heard from my editor and the art department tweaked some more. They (and I don't really know who "they" are; sort of like most good government conspiracy theories "they" need no identity) felt that the woman in the picture needed movement. And they needed to tweak the art a bit to fit the fabulous, wonderful quote from NY Times Bestselling Author Mariah Stewart. (In case you can't read it, the quote is: "Taut, fast-paced suspense . . . a killer debut." Yeah, I'm excited. Can you tell?)

So, if I can figure out how to post images, here is the first cover:

And here is the revised cover:

The changes are small but noticeable. The same look and feel is there, but the woman is different, the dock longer and narrower, and the artist flipped the water so now the sun is coming from the left, not right.

I've been looking at the old cover for the last five months and I really, really loved it. But now the new cover is beginning to grow on me. Maybe after looking at it for five months I'll love it just as much as the original.


JoAnn Ross said...

It works for me. Especially since the tag line says This Killer likes it when they run. So, obviously the woman should be running.

Funny thing -- when I shelved my New Orleans sexy thriller last month and came up with a new story set in Wyoming, Pocket's art department changed the colors from red (for the hot French Quarter) to blue (for Wyoming in the winter). But because of the art they chose, it still looks hot. And a tag line or quote should take care of the suspense part. I agree though, that blue with your seashell might have looked more women's fiction.

gailbarrett said...

Yes, I agree that they made the right changes. With the tagline, you needed the woman to be moving. Otherwise she looks too tranquil. The scene in version number one is too peaceful.
Isn't it amazing that you have people working behind the scenes to get just the right effect? I think they did a great job.

JoAnn Ross said...

Oh, one other thing. . . is the second cover brighter? Or does the scan just look that way on my screen?

JoAnn Ross said...

Sorry about the multiple posts, but I keep noticing good things. That longer, narrower dock definitely gives more of a feeling of edgy movement, as well. As Gail pointed out, the first cover appears more peaceful.

All in all, I think you should love it bunches. Also, your name's above the title, which is good for when your book is in drug and grocery store racks, many of which don't display the entire cover.

Allison Brennan said...

Thanks Gail ... they really know what they're doing over there. I've been very happy with all my covers (and watch ... they'll tweak the others as well and I'll get to do another column on the evolution of a cover, lol) ... BTW, I see you got one of the new, really cool SE covers. I love the dual images on them, they stand out on the shelves.

Thanks JoAnn! I really appreciate a veteran of cover/tag line wars chiming in. I'd put blue for Wyoming as well . . . and I think they were thinking blue for Malibu (for THE PREY), but I love the red water. It's eiree. I hadn't thought about connecting the tag line to the woman running, but duh, it fits. And I like the new dock better, too ... and the angle is better (from higher up). I think it's just the woman who bugged me.

The brightness in covers look the same to me. The red is a shade or two darker than red-red on the back cover, but the front cover is like a duo-tone with a shimmery look, and the shell is shimmery silver with embossed title. My name is actually embossed silver, which is a guess a separate printing process so it shows up on the jpg as white.

Anyway, the new cover is growing on me. Thanks for checking them out! I appreciate it.

JoAnn Ross said...

Okay, I just looked closer and the first woman appears to be bundled up, while the second is definitely in a floaty dress, which, to my mind suggests that she's even more vulnerable. Also, I insisted to everyone at Pocket, including the art folks, that I so did NOT want a Nancy Drew running woman cover on BLAZE (which is how I got that burning up woman in a teddy), but because of your tag line and your title, a running woman is perfect for The Prey. And at least both feet aren't up in air, as some I've seen. The silver's going to look luscious. And, since foil costs more, you oughta be really, really pleased that they sprang for it. Obviously a great deal of thought has gone into your launch!

Allison Brennan said...

LOL on the running woman, JoAnn . . . that's EXACTLY why I didn't like it at first. My heroine is not someone who runs; she's actually rather cool, very independent, and a loner. She's an ex-FBI agent and more than capable of taking care of herself (and she does).

JoAnn Ross said...

Ah, but see, I never thought of the running woman on the cover as the heroine. I just figured she was the victim. Which fits with the word Prey.

Obviously your kick butt, take no prisoners heroine is going to be the one who saves the day. And all the other women who may have died at the hands of your evil killer. But your title isn't The Avenger. :)

Colleen Thompson said...

Great cover, Allison. I like the new version best!

Allison Brennan said...

LOL, JoAnn, I hadn't thought about it from that perspective. thanks! It actually makes me feel better.

Thanks Colleen for checking it out! Now I have to figure out how to get the new one on my web page so I don't have to beg my web guy to do it . . .



Allison, while they're both good I really love the new one--looks even more fast paced and suspenseful!