Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Covers - Genres - Rings and things...

We talk a lot about inspiration and story ideas, where they come from, how we reach our goals as writers, but I’m curious how readers are inspired to pick up books by unknown writers and hope it wasn’t a mistake? Every editor has a different idea about it–some seem to feel the “perfect” blurb or tag is the attraction, others (authors included) feel that the cover is the lure. I know myself I have on more than one occasion been lured by a spectacular cover, only to find a very disappointing book behind it.

I’ve been pretty blessed with the covers of my books, they’ve pretty well all been done by good artists who know what catches the eyes of readers, but also reflects the story within. Some of my favourites have been done by Kayden McLeod, who is truly one of the most talented women I have ever known, everything she touches is a thing of beauty and imagination. (If you have any doubts, look at my website–her work is all over it!)

Apart from snappy, eye-catching covers, I think genre is a huge lure. I pay more attention to books listed in the subgenres I love. For me they tend to run paranormal and historical over contemporary. Anything in the fantasy line is also hugely appealing. If I can get a book that mixes it all into a solid story, I’m a devoted fan for life.

Despite it being the genre of my very first release, and a few of my better works since, it’s been a long time since I released an Historical Western. A couple of weeks back, the newest title on my catalogue signalled my début with Eirelander Publishing. To my happy surprise, it’s also going to herald my first audio release later this month. I can’t wait to hear it myself!

So, what does lure you, the reader, into purchasing that first book by an unknown to you author? What elements are the most important in getting your attention?

Here’s a look at my newest book, and there is a very cool contest happening at the moment, so read to the end!!

Genre: Historical Western - sensual romance

Blurb: Clay Butler is a man who rules the quiet town of Cedar Springs with an iron will, and a code of honor that defines all he is. But the past haunts him, and the loss of a woman who was his second chance at happiness weighs heavily on his over-burdened mind...


The stage came thundering to a stop a short distance from the Lucky Star Saloon, and the driver, a man called Noah, shouted greetings, his laughter filling the air outside the carriage. Inside, the sole passenger fought down waves of nerve-induced nausea.

Amber Hamilton clutched her stomach for a second, and offered Noah a weak smile when he opened the door and held out his hand to help her to the street. The ground below her feet was hard, still frozen by winter. In a few weeks the road would be a mire of mud.

“Butler’s gonna be a happier man than he’s been lately, once he sees you, Miss Amber.”

Her smile brightened a little and she touched his arm in a gesture of appreciation.

“I hope you’re right, Noah,” she replied, though the knot of apprehension didn’t ease in the slightest.

“I know I am, ma’am,” he said with a grin.

Amber hesitated, stared up at the balcony that ran across the front of the club. Clay’s door should have been open. He should have been perched at the corner, smoking, smiling at the people who populated the busy street. The shutters were still down, and there was stillness about the place that was unnerving.

“He’s not out of town, is he?” Inside, she knew he was only a short distance away; she could feel his presence as keenly as if he stood next to her.

“No, ma’am,” Noah answered, then turned to shout at Walker.

Amber turned as well and saw guarded curiosity in Jesse Walker’s light blue eyes as he halted next to the stage. He hadn’t changed much in the past six months. Walker was still the scruffy, attractive, mysterious, outwardly hard man she’d always felt mildly intimidated by. Yet, there was a peace in his manner that had been absent before. She spotted the silver star pinned to his vest and inquisitiveness all but ran away with her.

“It’s nice to see you again, Mr. Walker.” She smiled. “Sheriff Walker?” she corrected with enough surprise to make it a question. Jenny and Austin had always wanted him to be the Sheriff of the town, he’d never been interested. She admired Jesse, he was one of the few men who challenged Clay, and kept him from crossing lines from which there would be no returning.

“Butler know you’re back?” Walker acknowledged her greeting with a nod of his head, and ignored the query she hadn’t directly made.

* * * CONTEST * * *

I'm holding a fun Post-Halloween contest, and the prize is a lovely ring that is a replica of one featured in the popular TV series THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. The winner will be announced in one week and is open to everyone, so have fun!


Denysé Bridger
"Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy..."
** Best-Selling Author of 2011 **
Fantasy Pages (general): http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com
Bound By Passion (adult content): http://boundpassion.blogspot.com


Tina Donahue said...

I have to confess, covers lure me to at least look at a book. Then I read the blurb. If it's a story I've read a thousand times, I'll move on. If it sounds different or is about a subject that interests me, I'll read the first couple of pages (very easy now with Google books). In fact, I've bought many books after reviewing Chapter One on Google, because I just had to see how the story unfolded. :)

J.A. Garland said...

I agree, the cover is important. I know that, unfortunately, most of us authors have no control over that factor, but it is still the first thing that pulls me in. After that, it's the excerpt. Do I like the author's style of writing? If the excerpt flows, is free of errors, and hooks me, then I'll purchase the book.

Penelope said...

Howdy Denyse,

While a great cover will catch my eye, the excerpt is what sells me the book -- or fails to. If errors or voice jar me out of the excerpt, there's no way I'll be able to enjoy the book. So, I guess really, it doesn't matter how much the cover rocks if what's inside isn't up to par. Kinda like my friends...I worry less about what they look like than what they're made of. And what is a book after all besides a chance to go on an adventure with a friend?

Happy sales and happy writing!

Fiona McGier said...

I like excerpts to give me a taste of what the author is offering. I used to depend more on covers, but I've been an EPIC member for 3 years and judged books in the contest every year. And each year I'm surprised that the one that makes me laugh, cry, and think about it long after I finish it, to the point that I buy a copy just to support the author, is never the one with the cover that screamed, "Read me with joy!"

Good luck with your new release.

Tore said...

The cover and excerpts catch my eye on books. That is how I determine whether to buy a book or not. I really would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. Tore923@aol.com

jean hart stewart said...

This is hard to answer because I don't think I'm consistent. I'd say the blurb is more important, but sometimes a great cover will draw me and I'll look past the blurb to the excerpt.

Caffey said...

Hi Denyse! I love historicals, all settings! To be honest, I depend on the cover to let me know the genre! Sometimes with some scenery pics its hard to know, so I like more than just a outdoor pic, easily can put in a carriage in there and I'll know its a Regency or Victorian. So the genre catches me and of course authors I have read before. I do love to read new to me authors. I do like that Amazon and Smashwords have samples so I can see a bit more of what I am reading and if I want to read on. Often its just a blurb or small excerpt and it has me shopping. So for me its the catch the genre and then excerpt/blurb.

Congrats on the first audio! I can't hear so never use them but my daughter who is the only hearing here has a few times and if it gets her to read more, great, LOL.

Thanks for the peek into your new book! So can't wait to read!

cathiecaffey @ gmail. com

Denysé Bridger said...

Thanks everyone. Some very interesting insights. I tend to be about half and half - often it's the cover that is the lure, and if I'm buying eBook, I tend to read excerpt, sometimes reader reviews. In a book store, I have often looked at a superb cover, bought on impulse because of it - and often been very disappointed!

Thanks again for all your thoughts and insights. Tore - the contest is on my blog until Saturday, so you'd have to drop over and answer the questions that are part of it.

Fantasy Pages Blog Contest

Always, Denysé