I’ve spent the last two hours trawling through book cover design websites that offer both pre-made and custom book cover designs and have noticed a few things.
1. That prices for book covers have soared in the last two years.
2. That covers are often quite similar,this is most evident in the romance category and therefore this crosses over into paranormal romance too with some designers using the same elements on several covers. Ive also spotted different designers using the same elements as each other on covers in the same categories. Oh and I’m pretty sure that you’re not supposed to use images of well known actors or characters from T.V. Series (Angelus from Buffy – yes really!) I don’t want to find myself in a copyright lawsuit.
3. That buying a design only covers you for a certain number of sales, then you need to purchase an extended license to keep using that cover. (Some sites, not all)
4. That all the angels are naked.
Do they have nothing better to do than come down to Earth to seduce their charges? Are they kicked out of Heaven with nothing but the wings on their backs?
I’m beginning to wonder if my idea of romance is completely at odds with everyone else. Paranormal romance books often feature sexual content (mine is no exception, though it’s left up to the readers imagination to fill in the details), but if that sexual content is foremost in the writing, if the plot revolves around the protagonists “getting it on” or taking it off, doesn’t that make it erotica? And that, for me, is a different genre altogether. A cover image of a man and woman with their mouths glued to each other doesn’t tell me anything about your book. Does it actually have a plot, a quest, an adventure, a mystery? Or is it just about the sex?
Perhaps we should take pity on these angels if the only item of clothing they own is a well placed feather; start a charity for example, donate 10% of all our book sales to “Jumpers for the Fallen” or “Armani for Angels”. I happen to know that Lucifer loves an Armani suit, though I doubt he needs my help to buy him one.
I came away from my cover search disappointed and frustrated. I’m a writer not a cover designer, but it seems the only way to get what you want, at a price you can afford, is to become a Jack of All Publishing Trades.
Nel Ashley is the author of Blackfeather – a Fallen Angel Paranormal Romance and Immortal, the second book in the Blackfeather Series. She is currently working on her third novel, Persephone Reborn, a vampire romance influenced by Greek mythology.