Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bedeviled by cover possibilities...the MR. REAL self publishing saga continues!

One of my new favorite things as a self publisher is filling out my cover artist, Anne Cain's, cover spec sheet.

She asks all sorts of questions about my vision for the cover and what the characters look like and wear, and what covers out there capture the general spirit of what I'm going for.

So last night I filled that out for my new novel, MR. REAL (The first in a series, out later this year, possibly October.)

I am typically a very micromanaging person with specific ideas, but this cover is throwing me.

I've been calling MR. REAL a spy PNR. In fact, it would be more accurately described as a paranormal romantic suspense with dashes of contemporary romance, UF, and sci fi. Needless to say, it is completely unpublishable by normal publishers. lol.

I don't have the back blurb done yet, but here is a rough description:
When free spirit Alix Gordon stumbles on an occult computer program in her late aunt's house, she's excited - and determined to act responsibly for a change, using the power for innocent things only...like fabulous clothes and accessories. But, on one long, lonely rural Minnesota night, she uses it to bring a sexy, dashing spy from a liqueur commercial to life. 
When Paul, the LA fighter/actor who plays the character of Sir Kendall (and has come to hate him) finds himself inexplicably drawn to rural Minnesota and discovers what Alix has done, he is NOT amused. Paul invades their love nest, determined to put a stop to the madness...somehow. But is Sir Kendall really just a stock spy character from an ad? Or is he transforming into something far more dangerous and powerful? 
Anyway, that's a cursory description, but you get the idea. I have a strong sense of the level of photo realism, the lighting I want, but I am really torn on some big things. Like, between this being a couples cover, a "clinch" cover, or a beefcake cover. Or is it something else? A shoe? 

For example, I want to signal that this is a romantic book, and it's very regular in how romantic it is, with a HEA and all that, but it's also very oddly cross-genre.  So, do I get a cover that suggests the quirky nature of it, or that suggests the mainstream elements? I don't want to scare readers off, but also I don't want to sell it as something it's not. 

Anyway, I gave Anne all my thoughts. Like a witches cauldron of cover thoughts! She does not have an easy job. I can't wait to see what she comes up with, though!! 

9 comments:

Magdalen said...

Someone just gave me great advice: If there isn't a question mark, you don't need to say anything.

But -- even though you didn't ask for suggestions, and almost certainly don't need suggestions, I have to tell you what image your description conjured up.

Let's say your liquor commercial character is in a tuxedo only with the bow tie undone. So I'm envisioning the heroine, her back to us, looking at a screen (TV or computer, doesn't matter) with the sexy liquor guy in his classic "I got this covered" pose. But in the room is the same man, same tuxedo, same undone tie, staring at the heroine with a "What the hell do you think you're doing?" expression that is even sexier because it's real.

Not that you asked, but that's what I pictured. LOL

Can't wait to read the book!

Carolyn Crane said...

Magdalen - I love your inventive idea. It would be hot (though to some it would signal MMF and would require a photo shoot lol) but, I didn't think about the tuxedo angle. I do love a tux cover. I might add that to my witches brew for my artist.

Amanda Carlson said...

OMG, I want the shoe!!! LOLOLOL. You have to have a big bottle of liqueur somewhere. I can't wait to read it!

Carolyn Crane said...

You can't have the shoe. Unless I get YOUR awesome cover!!!

Anna said...

One of my favorite book covers is Alien Tango written by Gini Koch. It captures all the elements of the story (even the floating alligator). The romantic leads are even wearing their signature clothes; Kitty in Converse shoes, Aerosmith shirt, and ratty jeans; and Jeff in his Armani suit. :o)


I'm sure your book cover person will do a terrific job!

Carolyn Crane said...

Ah, that cover artist! I forget his name but he is so good. Such fabulous art on that series.

Lee @shewolfreads said...

You are in good hands with Anne Cain. Her work is phenomenal.

Twimom227 said...

Forget the cover... (well not really) but I can't wait to read the book!! Isn't there a saying about a book and its cover?!

Lynn K. said...

Anne Cain's work is fabulous! I really love discovering different cover artists. I hope I can do something like that in the future as well.

That being said, I'm really looking forward to your new series Carolyn! ;)


P.S. The Alien Tango artist is Dan Santos. I love his art, especially for the Mercy Thompson series.