Thursday, 5 April 2012

Thrusty Thursday – Judge A Book By Its Cover

Hello Readers. Yesterday I did a little experiment on Facebook. Well, it wasn’t very scientific and probably didn’t cover a broad spectrum of my readership but it produced an interesting result.
I asked people to vote for their preferred cover out of these two.

A total of 52 people voted. 40 voted for A. 12 voted for B. Overwhelming, right? You’d think I’d go ‘Yeah, my job here is done’ and put my feet up. After all, I have a cover most people liked. Nope. Read the comments below and I’ll explain why I still have my work cut out.

Some of the comments left for A included:
  • ·        It’s sweet and romantic
  • ·        Matches with the first cover in series/A Valentine Challenge
  • ·        Focal point is the kiss
  • ·        2 people/couple
  • ·        Yellow satin is eye-catching
  • ·        Traditional romance
  • ·        Subtle
  • ·        Sensual romance with some sex in it
  • ·        Looks good but clichéd

Great. Then, I read these comments for B:
  • ·        Dark and sexy
  • ·        It’s intriguing
  • ·        Enigmatic, inspires curiosity
  • ·        Uncommon
  • ·        Sucker for a handsome man
  • ·        The tie got me (when you read the story you’ll understand the reference to the tie J)
  • ·        Man looks like a person with a challenge
  • ·        More interesting than a couple kissing
  • ·        Voted for A but B is intriguing
  • ·        Darker, edgier, sexier, more dangerous
  • ·        Emotional danger

And this got me even more confused.

Image A had a lot going for it especially the fact that it’s eye-catching and matches the first book in the series. It maintains that continuity, which is great.

Image B describes the story. The words—dark, sexy, enigmatic and handsome—describe the main character, Paul, to a T. The storyline is dark, sexy and intriguing. The tie is a prop that has deep meanings for both the hero Paul and heroine Ijay. And of course, the story is about a challenge. Oh, and the story is NOT a sweet romance. The heat rating is spicy/hot. J

So you see why I wasn’t quite ready to discard Image B so quickly. I wondered if I could take some of the elements that made Image A great and incorporate them into B without losing its edge.

Personally, I love the satin sheet effect and love the way it worked in A Valentine Challenge. When I created Image A, I hadn’t finished writing the story, so not all elements of the story played a role in the cover. I was simply trying to match the first book in the series.

But all other panster writers will bear me witness here; all my good intentions for this story went out of the window once I got into the flow of it. The characters took over and told their own story. They were not happy to sit on the sweet/sensual fence. Paul, in particular, is a very strong character who is emotionally darker and harder than Michael (the hero in AVC). Also his favourite colour is blue (and Ijay quickly adopts it).

As the weeks went by, I realised that the bright eye-catching Image A really doesn’t represent the story any more. Hence, the play at a second cover.
So taking the feedback, I’ve gone away and played around with Image B a little and this is what I came up with.

And here's a cropped head version (later addition)

Here's the revised blurb:

Title: An Engagement Challenge
Series: Challenge, #2
Category: Inter-racial, contemporary, romantic suspense
Heat rating: Spicy/Hot
Out in eBook: 27 April, 2012 (Paperback release date TBC)

When savvy PR consultant Ijay Amadi meets successful Industrialist Paul Arinze in London, the only things on her mind are to forget the pain of a failed relationship and enjoy the delights his branding touch and soul-searing kiss promise. It's a one-night only event. Perfect.

However, Paul is annoyed to wake up and find her gone the next morning. He's not ready to forget the dark-haired beauty or their scorching night together. So he plans to have Ijay right where he wants her--in Abuja, working on his latest business project by day and enjoying the pleasures of his bed by night.

Except when Ijay arrives, she's wearing another man's engagement ring. With the explosive desire between them threatening their priorities and loyalties, the stakes get higher by the minute. Who'll be left standing at the altar when Ijay walks down the aisle.

Knowing all this, what’s your verdict? Should I stick to Image A, go with the revised Image B or amend Image B again. All comments welcome. 

Please note that I don't mind revising the cover art for A Valentine Challenge to match this one. So disregard that in making your choice. Thank you.

Happy Easter!