I do my own covers. China Rose was the first book I reissued myself, the first shot at formatting, the first shot at cover design. We who do our own stuff, can’t use the covers that the publishers put on the print books because they have the copyright, ditto for any nifty artwork on the inside of stepbacks.
With my first attempt for China Rose, I thought I would try to convey the feeling of 1825 via an old map, a compass, and a rose. I rather liked it, but it didn’t exactly scream ROMANCE!!!!!
After doing Bound by the Heart, Swept Away, and The Wind and the Sea, which were definitely throwbacks to the romance covers we all knew and loved, the map and compass for China Rose sort of stood out as being…well…not standing out at all, so I rummaged around on the photo sites and bought a new pic showing more skin and a rose. It seemed to be warmly received but something happened in the altering of the size of the original photo and someone politely pointed out that the man’s back no longer looked like a man’s back, but possibly a woman’s back.
Back to the drawing board. Keep in mind, I was trying to work on The Following Sea at the same time, and I was also in Florida trying to paint a honkin big mobile home. But in my spare spare time, I rummaged again and played with a pic of a ship sailing into a misty sea. Cool. Found another pic of a hunk (Jimmy Thomas, who was depicted so hunkily on BBTH and TWATS) and worked a few hours to get what I thought was a good compromise of skin, romance, and my sailing ship.
Unfortunately…or fortunately as the case might be…I’ve also started doing covers for fellow romance authors and Virginia Henley, who has been a close friend for so many years, we like to joke that we wrote our first books with chisels and stone tablets, asked me to do a cover for her backlist book, Wild Hearts. And wouldn’t you know it, but the picture she chose for the cover was almost identical to the one I had used on China Rose.
So. What’s a girl to do? Back to the drawing board for a FOURTH time. And this time I am determined this puppy is going to be fixed in stone, never to be changed again. I’ve made all the rounds, to Amazon, Smashwords, and my web site, so that’s it. Done. Finished.
Hope you like it.