Spotlight & Giveaway: Covers – the good, the bad and the oh dear…..

Posted June 20th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 61 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome back contemporary romance author Amy Andrews to HJ!

Covers – the good, the bad and the oh dear…..

Covers…I’ve had a few. Actually, with 30 plus books out there, a lot! Even more than you’d think because each book usually has a different cover for the country it gets released in so times that 30+ by two or three or four etc etc.

Amy AYep, that’s a lot of covers.

So I feel like I’m definitely experienced enough to talk about them ☺

Authors are passionate creatures – that’s what makes our books sing. We’re also creative by our nature. So surrendering creative control on a book that we’ve spent months and months on is difficult for many of us. And you bet we take to heart all the decisions surrounding our book even if they’re not in our control. Like covers. And more often than not, covers are NOT in our control.

I’ll repeat that – mostly, WE DO NOT CHOOSE OUR COVERS!!

Now, we all know a good cover can make or break a book. It’s supposed to catch the eye, tell you something about the book at a glance but, even more than that, (imho) a good cover should set the *tone* of the book. If it’s a scary book – it better have a scary cover. If it’s a sexy book – I want to see a sexy cover. And I think, for me at least, this is so often where it goes wrong and pisses off readers – content/cover mismatch.

So anyway, I thought I’d go through a few of my covers so you can get the gist.

I’ll start with the most recent and probably THE BEST medical cover I’ve ever received for One Night She Would Never Forget. US version & AUS Version

Two very different tones for the same book…… what does each one tell you about the story? Which one would you pick up?


This is How To Mend A Broken Heart. US version & Australian version.

What does each of these covers say? Does having a man who is clearly someone’s grandpa on the front put you off buying the book?


Now this book, Driving Her Crazy, has had the cover fairies looking after it from day one.

Love all of these covers – no complaints here!


Here are my two Entangled covers!

Again, no complaints from me whatsoever!


This is an older one of mine – Single Dad, Outback Wife. For once both the UK and Aussie covers had the same pic and I was thrilled with this cover. I mean, how cute is it? And that cocker spaniel? Just gorgeous!


Was there a dog in the book? Nope. Might you be annoyed if you bought it expecting there to be a dog and wasn’t?


Again, content/cover mismatch.

So, what’s my point, you ask? It’s this – please, please don’t judge a book by its cover (or its title for that matter). Read the blurb and the first few pages – they’re going to be your best indication.


Giveaway: I’m giving away a copy of One Night She Would Never Forget (the hawt US one) to a lucky person who leaves a comment.

To Enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: Anyone got some great covers they want to mention/share or some awful ones they’ve seen? What works for you in a cover? Does mismatch get on your nerves? And, if you go and like my FB page you’ll get an extra entry into the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

61 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Covers – the good, the bad and the oh dear…..”

  1. Mary Preston

    I do love a cover that stands out. I have come to not expect the cover to match the character descriptions, so I tend not to look too closely. If the cover is a total mismatch then I think that it would drive the author crazier then it would me.

  2. Leanna Hiner

    I love a cover with a dog. It is important that the cover is an accurate portrail of the book. The characters on the cover should match how they are described on the inside.

  3. roslyngroves

    It does get to me a little when the cover doesn’t really match the tone of the book. I must say though I do love me some crazy covers though. Check out the cover for Heart Mate by Robin D. Owens. There’s a dude with a mullet, half-leather pants and a terrified looking cat. Awesome!

  4. Sharlene Wegner

    I loved Driving Her Crazy & the Kiss cover art is really cute & appropriate to the story. I would definitely be drawn to the sexier covers in the other books you are showing, so I get what you mean. If you are in the store, a cover is what makes you pick up the store. I would be more likely to pick up a book with a cover that doesn’t attract me so much if it was by an author I already know & like.

  5. Kai W.

    I don’t like insects on the book covers. I have a thing about bugs. I don’t like mismatched cover especially when the two colors crashes. As for good and bad book covers, I can’t think of one right now. I do know I have seen my share of good and bad covers.

  6. Shirley Buchanan

    I like the covers to match the story on the inside. I always read the synopsis about the story, but the covers should tell the story too. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words

  7. Lori P

    There are times when the covers do not match the story and it can be frustrating, but it doesn’t bother me too much.

  8. Erica

    I do sometimes base on what the book cover looks like, and if I think I would like to read it. Most of the books I read are in series, Susan Mallery, and Jill Shalvis I do not care really what the cover looks like, I know what the story is about because I follow their newsletters, and really want to read the book, regardless on what the cover looks like. I can’t think of a cover I did not like, I mainly read the back of the book, and if it sounds interesting I will read it. All of your covers, I really like the covers on the right, I would pick up those books and read the back.

    • Amy Andrews

      Hey Erica – interesting to hear that you follow author newsletters!
      I keep meaning to start one…I think you may just have given me a little push 🙂

  9. DebraG

    MIsmatch does get on my nerves. There was once a cover of a platinum blonde but the heroine was a brunette.

  10. Rebe

    I’m not a big fan of mismatch, especially when the hero/heroine has a certain hair color and it’s different on the cover. Also, the dog on the cover but not in the book would really annoy me, lol!

  11. Sandie W

    If you’re wanting to draw in readers by the cover picture then it better have something to do with the story. I feel deceived and lied to if I’ve picked up a book and the story has nothing at all to do with the cover art.

  12. Winnie Lim

    I am usually not so bothered about the cover of the book. If it is by my favorite author, I’ll buy it regardless of the cover. However if it is by an author I’ve never read before, I’ll be more attracted if the cover looked interesting. But with e-books, I don’t usually notice the cover. I’ll usually buy based on recommendations or any books by my favorite authors.

  13. Heather Coulter

    First impressions leave a lasting impact with me. I have passed over some great books that later I regretted not reading immediately. So covers are important to me but only to the extent that there are so many books out there – that my attention seems goes to the most eye-catching covers.

    A great example is your How To Mend A Broken Heart – I would never of looked twice at grandpa but the couple would probably made me pick it up and read the blurb.

    • Amy Andrews

      Yes, Heather – my point exactly! 🙂 I wasn’t happy with grandpa even though I do think he’s a sexy silver fox. Just 20 years older than the hero!

  14. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    I love a cover that fits the theme of the book. It never hurts to have HOT guys, cute babies, and Dogs or Cats on the cover. (Who doesn’t love animals, kids and HOT men)

  15. Meriem

    i like covers that match the stories; and i hate it when the heroine is blonde or brunette and in the picture she’s a redhead! but by now we know that authors don’t have a choice in the matter so personally i got used to it so i always read the synopsis
    some of my favorite covers are the mara dyer trilogy; those covers are absolutely gorgeous!

  16. jwjwhiteley

    I really like the cover to match the story. I do read the blurb. Always, but the cover may be what draws me to the books in the first place.

  17. Amy R

    My favorite covers are Jaci Burtons Play by Play series. I like book series that have consistency for the covers like Lauren Danes Brown Siblings and Maya Banks KGI series & historicals. I dislike and think it is unfair to authors when publishers seem to use the same type of cover for numerous authors.

    • Amy Andrews

      Yes Jaci’s covers are good! Very sexy!
      Re the overuse of the same images – I think this is so much more of a problem now with so many digital titles around and agree it is a shame.

    • Amy Andrews

      lol Tammy, Kristan’s covers are great but they have dogs on them because there *are* dogs in the book….. and when I read one of her books I know I’m going to get that.
      I think its very misleading to slap a dog on the cover when there isn’t one in the book. A good marketing ploy I guess but…

  18. Janice Hougland

    Oh, Amy, I’m right there with you on covers. I’ve been misled and disappointed after having bought a book by its cover, but thank goodness that was years ago when I was young and stupid. Now I read blurbs and excerpts before buying. I don’t depend on reviews because those can be misleading too. But another indicator of a good book is the NUMBER of reviews and the popularity of the book. A book can have a five-star rating, but if there are only 10 reviews, that doesn’t indicate much to me. Glad to read this interview! Now I’m really interested in your writing. 🙂

    • Amy Andrews

      Thanks Janice – now I’m really interested in your review comment 🙂
      I thought a lot of reviews put people off…. or is that just a lot of 5 star reviews? Hmm, interesting!

  19. Joanne B

    I like covers with vibrant colors but the cover needs to match the story. I don’t like those new covers thanks to those 50 Shades books that have an apple or a feather, etc. on them, that have nothing what-so-ever to do with the story.

    • Amy Andrews

      Hi Joanne. The new KISS covers have really vibrant colours – they really pop! And I think that is very attractive, I know I wanted to lick the KISS cover of Driving Her Crazy when I received my copies. There really is something very seductive about them.
      I’m not a huge fan of that stripped back look either but man oh man – were there a lot of copy-cat covers with that one! 🙂

  20. EllenToo

    Sorry but covers have little or no affect on whether I buy/read a book…The only thing that influences me is the blurb on the back or inside the cover page.

  21. Tawnya Bentley

    The cover doesn’t really determine if I purchase a book or not. However my biggest pet peeve with books is that I want the couple on the cover to match the couple in the book. Please don’t put a blond on the cover when the lady is a redhead.

  22. cahmmerritt

    I believe lots of us are in agreement. I don’t care about mismatched so much, but I feel STRONGLY that the publisher should as it is their job to promote the book and story.

    I do love when series have a similar look and oh my Jaci Burton gets her own cloud in heaven for those play by play series covers!

    I have to also agree that now that the majority of my book purchases are on my kindle the covers mean a lot less and the recommendation means A LOT more…

  23. shadowluvs2read

    i dont care much for mismatched covers. like cahmmerritt above, in a series, i love it when the covers are similar and fit a theme! most books, i love it when the couples are embracing or the mother with her child or the family all together. 🙂 the cover usually draws my in and gives me an idea of what im in for! 🙂

  24. BrooklynShoeBabe

    I don’t like it when the cover models clearly doesn’t reflect the look of the character as described by the author. The worst that I can recall is for the YA series novel “The It Girl,” which was a spin off of the Gossip Girl books (which I loved). The It Girl features Jenny Humphries as the lead. She’s always been described as a short brunette who was very, very, very, very busty. On the covers of all the It Girl covers. Jenny is a leggy, flat chested blonde. I squirm every time i see it.

  25. Texas Book Lover

    Yes mismatches get on my nerves. Will I not buy a book because of it? No but I think more thought should be put in to the cover to match the story. It drives me nuts when there will be some dark haired tatted up guy on the cover then story is about a blond with no tats whatsoever.

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