Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Guest Blogger -- Tracy Sumner
Please make room on the swingset for today's guest blogger, Tracy Sumner!
Thanks for inviting me to the Playground!
My discussion today? Covers. What do readers expect and how have covers changed with the changes in publishing? And what do writers want? (With the explosion of e-publishing, authors actually have a say when they may not have before!)
The reason I thought I’d discuss this topic is, I had a recent comment that my covers are a bit…contemporary. I should say that, to date, I’ve only published historic romance. And, on a further note, I should add that I’m a graphic designer in the real world. Although I did not design my covers. That went to Kim Killion at HotDamn Designs!
Okay, here’s the original cover for TIDES OF PASSION.
Not bad, right? (And this was the best of my Kensington-release bunch.) But when I released TIDES OF PASSION as an e-book, I had a different idea. The setting is very much entrenched in the North Carolina coast (Outer Banks), and although it is set in 1898, it’s a bit outside the “lords and ladies” Victorian or Regency historical settings. So, I went for a little more modern feel.
With what I’ll call the expansion of the genre, I think readers have come to expect the cover to tell them something about the heat level, not only the setting or time period. TIDES OF PASSION is the most graphic book with regard to love scenes that I’ve written, however, probably still a 3.5/4 on a scale of 5. Very, very warm – but not erotica.
For the prequel, TIDES OF LOVE, my cover artist and I went with this.
I did revert to very historical “style” with a holiday novella and its prequel. TO SEDUCE A ROGUE is set to release in February. TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL is already out. I think the ROGUE cover is my very favorite of my backlist covers to date.
Tracy’s story telling career began when she picked up a copy of LaVyrle Spencer’s Vows on a college beach trip. A journalism degree and a thousand romance novels later, she decided to try her hand at writing a southern version of the perfect love story. With a great deal of luck and more than a bit of perseverance, she sold her first novel to Kensington Publishing.
When not writing sensual stories featuring complex characters and lush settings, Tracy can be found reading romance, snowboarding, watching college football and figuring out how she can get to 100 countries before she kicks (which is a more difficult endeavor than it used to be with her four-year-old son in tow). After stops in France, Switzerland and Taiwan, she now lives in the south. However, after spending a few years in “the city”, she considers herself a New Yorker at heart.
Tracy has been awarded the National Reader’s Choice, the Write Touch and the Beacon – with finalist nominations in the HOLT Medallion, Heart of Romance, Rising Stars and Reader’s Choice. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. She loves hearing from readers about why she tends to pit her hero and heroine against each other and that great novel she simply must order in five seconds on her Kindle.
@SumnerTracy on Twitter