I have to begin this post with a caveat. Harlequin's Art Department is exceptionally talented at what they do, and I trust their judgment completely.
The problem is all mine.
You see, I write for Love Inspired Suspense, but my cover dreams always lean more towards Love Inspired. I must be the bane of my editor and the art department's existence when I submit my art fact sheets.
Case in point -
This was my debut, Christmas in Hiding.
See that dilapidated cabin?
That's where my hero and heroine were hiding out. If you look really really closely you can make out a Christmas tree, but in my mind, it looked totally different. This is what I submitted to the art department.
Are you laughing yet?
I mean it's a Christmas book, right? We want lights and decorations and snow, and....
No, Cate. It's SUSPENSE. We want danger, we want it to look scary.
Apparently I am not a quick study when it comes to cover design. Fast forward to last spring when I had to complete the Art Fact Sheets for Texas Witness Threat.
This is what I sent.
Mindy is probably laughing right now because when I told her I wanted bluebonnets on my cover, she was terrified I was going to ruin beautiful fields of Texas wildflowers with some danger scene.
She needn't have worried.
I got a snake instead.
You saw what I submitted.
This is my cover.
Clearly I am CLUELESS when it comes to choosing cover art.
I dream of covers like these:
And I got a SNAKE!
So here's where you come in - and my roundabout way of reaching the point of this post - what would you do with the snake?
I need to come up with some clever marketing ploys so the snake doesn't scare readers off.
This is the back cover copy:
She saw something she shouldn’t have…
Assistant US Attorney Christine Davis is positive she witnessed a murder, but with no body, the police aren’t convinced. Now someone wants her dead, and Texas Ranger Blake Larsen is the only one who believes her. For Blake, protecting Christine must stay more important than their growing feelings for each other. But can he keep her safe from an unknown enemy who wants her silenced?
I came up with this slogan - "Go ahead. Pick it up. The snake won't bite, but danger lurks within!
I joked with friends about printing stickers to go over the snake.
I'm trusting the art department and marketing that they know what readers want, but if I screamed when I saw the cover, what are readers going to do?
I am curious to know: would the snake make you notice the book and pick it up, or would it put you off? (Note: I have had readers tell me they will only buy eBooks so they don't really have to look at the cover!
So if you're dropping by today, please tell me how would you promo that snake book? (Fact: the snake takes up more room on the cover than it does in the actual story!)
Have any clever ideas?
I'm promising an IOU for one advance copy (whenever I get them) of Texas Witness Threat and an ebook of Christmas in Hiding. Please let me know in the comments which you prefer if you would like to be in the drawing.