Paige asked about the cover for Eyes in a comment, and I’m moving it into its own post because it seems roomier to talk about it here. This is what she asked:
“Who is the cover artist for your book Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold? I really like the cover because it’s so different from what I usually find on the romance covers nowadays. I bought Eyes in ebook but I’m gonna order the paperback because I think it will look great on my bookself.”
Thanks, Paige, because I am the artist, so to speak. The cover is a combination of images I used a Photoshop light program to put together. Before you buy the paperback for the cover, though, be sure to look at the larger version of both the paperback and ebook images because they aren’t quite the same. The version that appears here in the sidebar of this blog is the ebook version.
The reason for the difference is that when I first put the book out, I published it only as an ebook. Since it’s long, I knew it would have to cost quite a lot as a trade paperback (I’d already done Rottweiler Rescue by then and had a sense of how you have to price POD books), and I really didn’t think enough people would be willing to pay for a trade paperback romance by an unknown author for it to be worthwhile to put out a paperback. When quite a few people told me they didn’t have ereaders and would like to be able to buy a paperback, I changed my mind and published the paperback some months after the ebook.
That delay is what accounts for the differences in the covers. The cover consists of three images: the sunset, the man leaning against the shed, and the woman. The sunset is an image purchased from istock. The man against the shed is an istock image, but the original was a photo of the man with a modern woman in jeans and an ugly fence in the background. Also, while the figures were shadowed, they weren’t as much silhouettes as they are now. For the woman, I took an image of a woman with more appropriate 1880’s dress and hairstyle from a book I have on clothing from that era, cut it out, colored it black, scanned it and finagled her into the picture.
The differences between the 2 covers come because when I did the one only for the ebook, I only needed a smaller image with lesser resolution, so that’s what I did. When I decided to do the paperback, I needed a much bigger image, much higher resolution. I repurchased the images in larger sizes, but the sunset didn’t come as large as I needed, so I had to use the image twice, seamed together and even at that, the resolution was less, which didn’t make it unusable since it’s a sunset, but it did make the colors more dilute and a different part of the sunset picture is behind the man and woman.
I had to start from scratch again to clean up the picture of the man against the shed the way I wanted it, to take out the woman, except for her hand on his shoulder, and the fence. I’m glad to hear some people really like the cover because for me there’s something about that guy leaning against the shed….
I no longer had my first cutout of the woman, so I had to make a new one and decided that Anne should be thinner, which I’m not sure was smart, but I did it at the time. And of course since a book cover goes around the spine to the back, I had to do some adjustments on the line of the ground to bring it around to the back cover.
After all this, I learned my lesson. I’ll always do my covers large and in high resolution for a paperback in the future right from the get go. My plan with Sing My Name is to put it out in paperback right away, although it’s longer than Eyes and what it’s going to have to cost bothers me. I actually make half as much on a paperback sale of Eyes as on an ebook sale because of Amazon’s generous ebook royalties and the high cost of the POD paperback to start with, and I shudder to think what the price of Sing is going to have to be.