Evolution of a Cover

MaryJoPutney_TheChinaBride_800Evolution of a Cover

by Mary Jo

Publishing is all kinds of complicated, so I decided to look at one small piece, which is the story behind my new cover for The China Bride.

The second of my Bride trilogy, the book features Troth Montgomery, daughter of a Chinese woman and a Scottish trader.  She's a great character, strong and brave and vulnerable from having been raised between two worlds.  I knew that writing her story would be a challenge because I'm a farm girl from Western New York but my mother had lived in China as a girl, and she told us stories about her life there, so that part of the world has always intrigued me. 

So I did a lot of research about China and the tea trade in the early 1830s. (Very interesting!) Also, during the months when I was planning this book, if I received a fan email from a reader with a Chinese name, I pounced and asked if she'd be willing to read my manuscript when it was done. Five lovely, intelligent women of Chinese heritage agreed to help, for which I'm forever grateful. 

The story logic of the trilogy led me there because the hero, Kyle Renbourne, had appeared in The Wild Child, book 1 ofCHina Bride larger the trilogy.  He was portrayed as a restless young man who yearned to travel, but who had been tied to England because he was heir to an earldom.  At the end of that book, he was breaking free and setting off to fulfill his travel dreams. 

The China Bride began when Kyle reached China and the city of Macao.  He knows that this is the end of his journeying for it's time to return home to assume his responsibilities.  Then Kyle meets Troth Montgomery.  Orphaned young, she'd been taken into the household of a powerful Chinese trader who requires her to dress as a man and act as a translator when dealing with Western merchants.  She feels like a a hopeless misfit.  Kyle realizes that she's female and asks her to take him into forbidden China to fulfill a life long goal.  In return he will make it possible for her to travel to Britain, the land of her father and his family. 

They have many adventures and twice Troth saves Kyle's life with her mastery of martial arts. Kyle not only accepts Troth as she is, but he loves for her strength and uniqueness.  Troth comes to terms with her mixed heritage and Kyle also makes peace with his place in the world. 

Now how does one convey all that in a book cover because people really do judge books by their covers?  The China Bride  was published as a hardcover mainstream romance by Ballantine, and I think their art department did a very good job for that mainstream market.  A backless white wedding gown isn't accurate, but the image is elegant and evocative, and the symbol on the pearl necklace signals Troth's Chinese heritage. 

But after the rights for The Bride Trilogy reverted to me, I wanted a different look. The books needed to be marketed as historical romances and since these were bride stories, I wanted covers that featured strong, individual women. (It wasn't until I was in the process of reissuing this series that I realized they're all marriage of convenience stories. That was not planned, but there they were!) 

MaryJoPutney_TheWildChild800As always, I worked with designer Kim Killion to come up with new covers for these new editions.   Also as always, the biggest challenge is finding appropriate stock images that are the foundation of a good cover.  When I first started reissuing back list books in 2011 (a lifetime in the world of indie publishing!) there were not a lot of image choices. Over the years, new sites and lots of new photos became available. So more choices, but more time spent searching for the best images.

I first released my indie Bride Trilogy in 2017. so five years ago.  I really liked the pictures I found for The Wild Child, Book 1 and The Bartered Bride, Book 3.  They're lovely and I thought the images did a good job of capturing the essences of the characters.  The girl on The Wild Child looked wistful and rather fey, which was just right for Meriel, and the woman on The Bartered Bride looks more mature and more determined, appropriate for Alex.

But I was less than fully satisfied with the image I found for The China Bride.  There simply weren't many MaryJoPutney_TheBarteredBride800available pictures of East Asians, much less of mixed race Chinese European women. I think the cover is attractive in its own right, but it didn't suit my sense of the character and the story, and I didn't think the overall look fit well with the other two books.

A great thing about indie publishing is that you can make changes easily if you want to, so I recently decided to see if I could find a cover image that better suited the story and my heroine, Troth.  And this time–bingo!

MaryJoPutney_TheChinaBride800I really liked that the woman's features look like she could be of mixed Chinese and European heritage.  She looks pensive, as befits a woman living between two worlds, but she's not submissive or defeated, and the sword she's contemplating says that she's a fighter.  Troth doesn't wield a sword like the woman on the cover, but she is certainly a warrior woman who will fight for what is right and the people she loves.

So that is the story of how this particular cover came to be. To me, it looks like Troth.  What do you think? MaryJoPutney_TheChinaBride_800

Mary Jo

    

90 thoughts on “Evolution of a Cover”

  1. I think it’s beautiful.
    I would imagine it is quite satisfying to at last have complete control of the covers of one’s books. I have seen so many stinkers where I could only pity the poor author, who, I was pretty sure, would *never* have chosen that thing. Georgette Heyer must be glaring down from heaven at the covers at her recent reissues.

    Reply
  2. I think it’s beautiful.
    I would imagine it is quite satisfying to at last have complete control of the covers of one’s books. I have seen so many stinkers where I could only pity the poor author, who, I was pretty sure, would *never* have chosen that thing. Georgette Heyer must be glaring down from heaven at the covers at her recent reissues.

    Reply
  3. I think it’s beautiful.
    I would imagine it is quite satisfying to at last have complete control of the covers of one’s books. I have seen so many stinkers where I could only pity the poor author, who, I was pretty sure, would *never* have chosen that thing. Georgette Heyer must be glaring down from heaven at the covers at her recent reissues.

    Reply
  4. I think it’s beautiful.
    I would imagine it is quite satisfying to at last have complete control of the covers of one’s books. I have seen so many stinkers where I could only pity the poor author, who, I was pretty sure, would *never* have chosen that thing. Georgette Heyer must be glaring down from heaven at the covers at her recent reissues.

    Reply
  5. I think it’s beautiful.
    I would imagine it is quite satisfying to at last have complete control of the covers of one’s books. I have seen so many stinkers where I could only pity the poor author, who, I was pretty sure, would *never* have chosen that thing. Georgette Heyer must be glaring down from heaven at the covers at her recent reissues.

    Reply
  6. I have to admit that I bought my Heyer ebooks without really looking at the covers (I still had the images in my mind of the paper versions) but, looking at a selection of the covers on Amazon, they don’t look terrible to me. Just bleh, with no attempt at unity across titles and no suggestion as to what story is being told.
    If you want to see some really atrocious covers I suggest looking at the ebook versions of John Wyndham’s SF novels. The only explanation I can think of is that someone at the publisher is taking pity on a talentless relative with artistic pretensions.

    Reply
  7. I have to admit that I bought my Heyer ebooks without really looking at the covers (I still had the images in my mind of the paper versions) but, looking at a selection of the covers on Amazon, they don’t look terrible to me. Just bleh, with no attempt at unity across titles and no suggestion as to what story is being told.
    If you want to see some really atrocious covers I suggest looking at the ebook versions of John Wyndham’s SF novels. The only explanation I can think of is that someone at the publisher is taking pity on a talentless relative with artistic pretensions.

    Reply
  8. I have to admit that I bought my Heyer ebooks without really looking at the covers (I still had the images in my mind of the paper versions) but, looking at a selection of the covers on Amazon, they don’t look terrible to me. Just bleh, with no attempt at unity across titles and no suggestion as to what story is being told.
    If you want to see some really atrocious covers I suggest looking at the ebook versions of John Wyndham’s SF novels. The only explanation I can think of is that someone at the publisher is taking pity on a talentless relative with artistic pretensions.

    Reply
  9. I have to admit that I bought my Heyer ebooks without really looking at the covers (I still had the images in my mind of the paper versions) but, looking at a selection of the covers on Amazon, they don’t look terrible to me. Just bleh, with no attempt at unity across titles and no suggestion as to what story is being told.
    If you want to see some really atrocious covers I suggest looking at the ebook versions of John Wyndham’s SF novels. The only explanation I can think of is that someone at the publisher is taking pity on a talentless relative with artistic pretensions.

    Reply
  10. I have to admit that I bought my Heyer ebooks without really looking at the covers (I still had the images in my mind of the paper versions) but, looking at a selection of the covers on Amazon, they don’t look terrible to me. Just bleh, with no attempt at unity across titles and no suggestion as to what story is being told.
    If you want to see some really atrocious covers I suggest looking at the ebook versions of John Wyndham’s SF novels. The only explanation I can think of is that someone at the publisher is taking pity on a talentless relative with artistic pretensions.

    Reply
  11. Oh, Mike, you’re so right about the John Wyndham covers — they’re quite dreadful!
    I’m not a fan of the current Heyer covers — for a start the era is all wrong, and the images have little to do with the story — but they at least look attractive.

    Reply
  12. Oh, Mike, you’re so right about the John Wyndham covers — they’re quite dreadful!
    I’m not a fan of the current Heyer covers — for a start the era is all wrong, and the images have little to do with the story — but they at least look attractive.

    Reply
  13. Oh, Mike, you’re so right about the John Wyndham covers — they’re quite dreadful!
    I’m not a fan of the current Heyer covers — for a start the era is all wrong, and the images have little to do with the story — but they at least look attractive.

    Reply
  14. Oh, Mike, you’re so right about the John Wyndham covers — they’re quite dreadful!
    I’m not a fan of the current Heyer covers — for a start the era is all wrong, and the images have little to do with the story — but they at least look attractive.

    Reply
  15. Oh, Mike, you’re so right about the John Wyndham covers — they’re quite dreadful!
    I’m not a fan of the current Heyer covers — for a start the era is all wrong, and the images have little to do with the story — but they at least look attractive.

    Reply
  16. That is a lovely cover! It’s been a while since I read the book, but it fits my memory of the spirit of the book as well as the character.
    Actually, you wenches seem to do quite well with your covers. So many books have sort of generic covers with nothing but a long skirt to say they’re historic. Some months every book seems to have a purple gown and then the next month it’s all red gowns. Do you suppose it’s something in the water?

    Reply
  17. That is a lovely cover! It’s been a while since I read the book, but it fits my memory of the spirit of the book as well as the character.
    Actually, you wenches seem to do quite well with your covers. So many books have sort of generic covers with nothing but a long skirt to say they’re historic. Some months every book seems to have a purple gown and then the next month it’s all red gowns. Do you suppose it’s something in the water?

    Reply
  18. That is a lovely cover! It’s been a while since I read the book, but it fits my memory of the spirit of the book as well as the character.
    Actually, you wenches seem to do quite well with your covers. So many books have sort of generic covers with nothing but a long skirt to say they’re historic. Some months every book seems to have a purple gown and then the next month it’s all red gowns. Do you suppose it’s something in the water?

    Reply
  19. That is a lovely cover! It’s been a while since I read the book, but it fits my memory of the spirit of the book as well as the character.
    Actually, you wenches seem to do quite well with your covers. So many books have sort of generic covers with nothing but a long skirt to say they’re historic. Some months every book seems to have a purple gown and then the next month it’s all red gowns. Do you suppose it’s something in the water?

    Reply
  20. That is a lovely cover! It’s been a while since I read the book, but it fits my memory of the spirit of the book as well as the character.
    Actually, you wenches seem to do quite well with your covers. So many books have sort of generic covers with nothing but a long skirt to say they’re historic. Some months every book seems to have a purple gown and then the next month it’s all red gowns. Do you suppose it’s something in the water?

    Reply
  21. Mary Jo, I have commented before that I like your recent covers much more than the originals. I think you do an excellent job at capturing your characters and creating evocative and compelling images. For example I love every single new cover of the Fallen Angels series. When I first read The China Bride I actually went and googled Chinese models to try and find a visual for Troth. (Did the same for Maxima 😉 You are absolutely right, the previous image and the one on the hardcover don’t do it justice. This one fits just right. This is Troth. I think the problem lies with traditional publishers and their art department. They are not authors. They don’t know the romance genre and I feel that when they do covers such as those for Georgette Heyer’s and those cartoonish covers that have been coming out recently, they don’t know the romance reader. They are just trying to be artsy and “hip” without understanding that what we want is a visual that would help us imagine the world and the characters inside the book. And the characters have to be attractive and compelling. It is a fantasy. And I think the art department should work closely with the author and bring her ideas to life instead of having a designer with no clue of the genre decide what is a “good cover”

    Reply
  22. Mary Jo, I have commented before that I like your recent covers much more than the originals. I think you do an excellent job at capturing your characters and creating evocative and compelling images. For example I love every single new cover of the Fallen Angels series. When I first read The China Bride I actually went and googled Chinese models to try and find a visual for Troth. (Did the same for Maxima 😉 You are absolutely right, the previous image and the one on the hardcover don’t do it justice. This one fits just right. This is Troth. I think the problem lies with traditional publishers and their art department. They are not authors. They don’t know the romance genre and I feel that when they do covers such as those for Georgette Heyer’s and those cartoonish covers that have been coming out recently, they don’t know the romance reader. They are just trying to be artsy and “hip” without understanding that what we want is a visual that would help us imagine the world and the characters inside the book. And the characters have to be attractive and compelling. It is a fantasy. And I think the art department should work closely with the author and bring her ideas to life instead of having a designer with no clue of the genre decide what is a “good cover”

    Reply
  23. Mary Jo, I have commented before that I like your recent covers much more than the originals. I think you do an excellent job at capturing your characters and creating evocative and compelling images. For example I love every single new cover of the Fallen Angels series. When I first read The China Bride I actually went and googled Chinese models to try and find a visual for Troth. (Did the same for Maxima 😉 You are absolutely right, the previous image and the one on the hardcover don’t do it justice. This one fits just right. This is Troth. I think the problem lies with traditional publishers and their art department. They are not authors. They don’t know the romance genre and I feel that when they do covers such as those for Georgette Heyer’s and those cartoonish covers that have been coming out recently, they don’t know the romance reader. They are just trying to be artsy and “hip” without understanding that what we want is a visual that would help us imagine the world and the characters inside the book. And the characters have to be attractive and compelling. It is a fantasy. And I think the art department should work closely with the author and bring her ideas to life instead of having a designer with no clue of the genre decide what is a “good cover”

    Reply
  24. Mary Jo, I have commented before that I like your recent covers much more than the originals. I think you do an excellent job at capturing your characters and creating evocative and compelling images. For example I love every single new cover of the Fallen Angels series. When I first read The China Bride I actually went and googled Chinese models to try and find a visual for Troth. (Did the same for Maxima 😉 You are absolutely right, the previous image and the one on the hardcover don’t do it justice. This one fits just right. This is Troth. I think the problem lies with traditional publishers and their art department. They are not authors. They don’t know the romance genre and I feel that when they do covers such as those for Georgette Heyer’s and those cartoonish covers that have been coming out recently, they don’t know the romance reader. They are just trying to be artsy and “hip” without understanding that what we want is a visual that would help us imagine the world and the characters inside the book. And the characters have to be attractive and compelling. It is a fantasy. And I think the art department should work closely with the author and bring her ideas to life instead of having a designer with no clue of the genre decide what is a “good cover”

    Reply
  25. Mary Jo, I have commented before that I like your recent covers much more than the originals. I think you do an excellent job at capturing your characters and creating evocative and compelling images. For example I love every single new cover of the Fallen Angels series. When I first read The China Bride I actually went and googled Chinese models to try and find a visual for Troth. (Did the same for Maxima 😉 You are absolutely right, the previous image and the one on the hardcover don’t do it justice. This one fits just right. This is Troth. I think the problem lies with traditional publishers and their art department. They are not authors. They don’t know the romance genre and I feel that when they do covers such as those for Georgette Heyer’s and those cartoonish covers that have been coming out recently, they don’t know the romance reader. They are just trying to be artsy and “hip” without understanding that what we want is a visual that would help us imagine the world and the characters inside the book. And the characters have to be attractive and compelling. It is a fantasy. And I think the art department should work closely with the author and bring her ideas to life instead of having a designer with no clue of the genre decide what is a “good cover”

    Reply
  26. Truth to tell – I don’t notice covers all that much if the author is already known to me. Looking at the covers of the books presented on this page, I have to agree with Lil that you wenches do a pretty good job with yours.
    A cover can make a difference to me if I’m browsing through authors who are new to me. It can make a difference as to whether I even want to pick up a book to read the blurb on the back. My least favorite are the beefcake shots of the guy with the waxed chest who usually in no way resembles the hero. You would think that whoever is in charge of choosing covers would at least take enough interest in the book to check the description of the person that they are portraying.
    BTW, THE CHINA BRIDE cover is beautiful and the story sounds really interesting. I think I’ve read the other two book in this series, but I have missed this one. I’ll have to check it out.

    Reply
  27. Truth to tell – I don’t notice covers all that much if the author is already known to me. Looking at the covers of the books presented on this page, I have to agree with Lil that you wenches do a pretty good job with yours.
    A cover can make a difference to me if I’m browsing through authors who are new to me. It can make a difference as to whether I even want to pick up a book to read the blurb on the back. My least favorite are the beefcake shots of the guy with the waxed chest who usually in no way resembles the hero. You would think that whoever is in charge of choosing covers would at least take enough interest in the book to check the description of the person that they are portraying.
    BTW, THE CHINA BRIDE cover is beautiful and the story sounds really interesting. I think I’ve read the other two book in this series, but I have missed this one. I’ll have to check it out.

    Reply
  28. Truth to tell – I don’t notice covers all that much if the author is already known to me. Looking at the covers of the books presented on this page, I have to agree with Lil that you wenches do a pretty good job with yours.
    A cover can make a difference to me if I’m browsing through authors who are new to me. It can make a difference as to whether I even want to pick up a book to read the blurb on the back. My least favorite are the beefcake shots of the guy with the waxed chest who usually in no way resembles the hero. You would think that whoever is in charge of choosing covers would at least take enough interest in the book to check the description of the person that they are portraying.
    BTW, THE CHINA BRIDE cover is beautiful and the story sounds really interesting. I think I’ve read the other two book in this series, but I have missed this one. I’ll have to check it out.

    Reply
  29. Truth to tell – I don’t notice covers all that much if the author is already known to me. Looking at the covers of the books presented on this page, I have to agree with Lil that you wenches do a pretty good job with yours.
    A cover can make a difference to me if I’m browsing through authors who are new to me. It can make a difference as to whether I even want to pick up a book to read the blurb on the back. My least favorite are the beefcake shots of the guy with the waxed chest who usually in no way resembles the hero. You would think that whoever is in charge of choosing covers would at least take enough interest in the book to check the description of the person that they are portraying.
    BTW, THE CHINA BRIDE cover is beautiful and the story sounds really interesting. I think I’ve read the other two book in this series, but I have missed this one. I’ll have to check it out.

    Reply
  30. Truth to tell – I don’t notice covers all that much if the author is already known to me. Looking at the covers of the books presented on this page, I have to agree with Lil that you wenches do a pretty good job with yours.
    A cover can make a difference to me if I’m browsing through authors who are new to me. It can make a difference as to whether I even want to pick up a book to read the blurb on the back. My least favorite are the beefcake shots of the guy with the waxed chest who usually in no way resembles the hero. You would think that whoever is in charge of choosing covers would at least take enough interest in the book to check the description of the person that they are portraying.
    BTW, THE CHINA BRIDE cover is beautiful and the story sounds really interesting. I think I’ve read the other two book in this series, but I have missed this one. I’ll have to check it out.

    Reply
  31. Thanks for such an interesting post. All the covers have lovely women. But, yes, I can see that some of the pictures are more appropriate to your stories than others.
    I know it must be hard to control covers when a publisher is in charge. I have seen covers -blondes when the heroine is a fiery red head whose hair color is on every other page. And yes, it does seem that we often end up with a formula. Each cover could be on any book. But, evidently only authors and readeers are the ones who realize that covers are cookie cutter.
    I like pretty covers. But, in reality, I care about authors most often. And then I look at plots. Surprising as it may be….I do want a well written book. Covers are nice but it is like sprinkles on a sundae. Pretty but not necessarily important to me.
    I hope everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  32. Thanks for such an interesting post. All the covers have lovely women. But, yes, I can see that some of the pictures are more appropriate to your stories than others.
    I know it must be hard to control covers when a publisher is in charge. I have seen covers -blondes when the heroine is a fiery red head whose hair color is on every other page. And yes, it does seem that we often end up with a formula. Each cover could be on any book. But, evidently only authors and readeers are the ones who realize that covers are cookie cutter.
    I like pretty covers. But, in reality, I care about authors most often. And then I look at plots. Surprising as it may be….I do want a well written book. Covers are nice but it is like sprinkles on a sundae. Pretty but not necessarily important to me.
    I hope everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  33. Thanks for such an interesting post. All the covers have lovely women. But, yes, I can see that some of the pictures are more appropriate to your stories than others.
    I know it must be hard to control covers when a publisher is in charge. I have seen covers -blondes when the heroine is a fiery red head whose hair color is on every other page. And yes, it does seem that we often end up with a formula. Each cover could be on any book. But, evidently only authors and readeers are the ones who realize that covers are cookie cutter.
    I like pretty covers. But, in reality, I care about authors most often. And then I look at plots. Surprising as it may be….I do want a well written book. Covers are nice but it is like sprinkles on a sundae. Pretty but not necessarily important to me.
    I hope everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  34. Thanks for such an interesting post. All the covers have lovely women. But, yes, I can see that some of the pictures are more appropriate to your stories than others.
    I know it must be hard to control covers when a publisher is in charge. I have seen covers -blondes when the heroine is a fiery red head whose hair color is on every other page. And yes, it does seem that we often end up with a formula. Each cover could be on any book. But, evidently only authors and readeers are the ones who realize that covers are cookie cutter.
    I like pretty covers. But, in reality, I care about authors most often. And then I look at plots. Surprising as it may be….I do want a well written book. Covers are nice but it is like sprinkles on a sundae. Pretty but not necessarily important to me.
    I hope everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  35. Thanks for such an interesting post. All the covers have lovely women. But, yes, I can see that some of the pictures are more appropriate to your stories than others.
    I know it must be hard to control covers when a publisher is in charge. I have seen covers -blondes when the heroine is a fiery red head whose hair color is on every other page. And yes, it does seem that we often end up with a formula. Each cover could be on any book. But, evidently only authors and readeers are the ones who realize that covers are cookie cutter.
    I like pretty covers. But, in reality, I care about authors most often. And then I look at plots. Surprising as it may be….I do want a well written book. Covers are nice but it is like sprinkles on a sundae. Pretty but not necessarily important to me.
    I hope everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  36. Janice, you’re right, cover control is something indie authors LOVE, but we are limited by the picture choices available, so that can be frustrating. But at least I don’t have to fight with art directors anymore. *G*

    Reply
  37. Janice, you’re right, cover control is something indie authors LOVE, but we are limited by the picture choices available, so that can be frustrating. But at least I don’t have to fight with art directors anymore. *G*

    Reply
  38. Janice, you’re right, cover control is something indie authors LOVE, but we are limited by the picture choices available, so that can be frustrating. But at least I don’t have to fight with art directors anymore. *G*

    Reply
  39. Janice, you’re right, cover control is something indie authors LOVE, but we are limited by the picture choices available, so that can be frustrating. But at least I don’t have to fight with art directors anymore. *G*

    Reply
  40. Janice, you’re right, cover control is something indie authors LOVE, but we are limited by the picture choices available, so that can be frustrating. But at least I don’t have to fight with art directors anymore. *G*

    Reply
  41. LOL about something in the water! We Wenches work hard at creating covers that are effective and appropriate–a lot of versions get passed around behind the scenes before final decisions are made. We aren’t always 100% satisfied with the results, but we do our best!

    Reply
  42. LOL about something in the water! We Wenches work hard at creating covers that are effective and appropriate–a lot of versions get passed around behind the scenes before final decisions are made. We aren’t always 100% satisfied with the results, but we do our best!

    Reply
  43. LOL about something in the water! We Wenches work hard at creating covers that are effective and appropriate–a lot of versions get passed around behind the scenes before final decisions are made. We aren’t always 100% satisfied with the results, but we do our best!

    Reply
  44. LOL about something in the water! We Wenches work hard at creating covers that are effective and appropriate–a lot of versions get passed around behind the scenes before final decisions are made. We aren’t always 100% satisfied with the results, but we do our best!

    Reply
  45. LOL about something in the water! We Wenches work hard at creating covers that are effective and appropriate–a lot of versions get passed around behind the scenes before final decisions are made. We aren’t always 100% satisfied with the results, but we do our best!

    Reply
  46. Laynis, you touch on a lot of good points here. Publisher art departments are often guided more by marketing than authors. (And I can’t say they are wrong to do so–we all want the books to sell.) But art departments tend to be VERY busy and must produce a lot of covers, so they don’t have the time and they don’t care as much as the authors. (I freely admit that authors can be difficult about covers!)
    You get a gold star for actually looking images that would suit Troth. Difficult, as you found! I never tried to find an accurate image for Maxie; since the Fallen Angel covers were couples, it didn’t matter as much. I’ve kept the same cover for ANGEL ROGUE for years because I feel it captures some of the playfulness of the relationship between Robin and Maxie. Your mileage may vary, of course!
    It would have been diffi

    Reply
  47. Laynis, you touch on a lot of good points here. Publisher art departments are often guided more by marketing than authors. (And I can’t say they are wrong to do so–we all want the books to sell.) But art departments tend to be VERY busy and must produce a lot of covers, so they don’t have the time and they don’t care as much as the authors. (I freely admit that authors can be difficult about covers!)
    You get a gold star for actually looking images that would suit Troth. Difficult, as you found! I never tried to find an accurate image for Maxie; since the Fallen Angel covers were couples, it didn’t matter as much. I’ve kept the same cover for ANGEL ROGUE for years because I feel it captures some of the playfulness of the relationship between Robin and Maxie. Your mileage may vary, of course!
    It would have been diffi

    Reply
  48. Laynis, you touch on a lot of good points here. Publisher art departments are often guided more by marketing than authors. (And I can’t say they are wrong to do so–we all want the books to sell.) But art departments tend to be VERY busy and must produce a lot of covers, so they don’t have the time and they don’t care as much as the authors. (I freely admit that authors can be difficult about covers!)
    You get a gold star for actually looking images that would suit Troth. Difficult, as you found! I never tried to find an accurate image for Maxie; since the Fallen Angel covers were couples, it didn’t matter as much. I’ve kept the same cover for ANGEL ROGUE for years because I feel it captures some of the playfulness of the relationship between Robin and Maxie. Your mileage may vary, of course!
    It would have been diffi

    Reply
  49. Laynis, you touch on a lot of good points here. Publisher art departments are often guided more by marketing than authors. (And I can’t say they are wrong to do so–we all want the books to sell.) But art departments tend to be VERY busy and must produce a lot of covers, so they don’t have the time and they don’t care as much as the authors. (I freely admit that authors can be difficult about covers!)
    You get a gold star for actually looking images that would suit Troth. Difficult, as you found! I never tried to find an accurate image for Maxie; since the Fallen Angel covers were couples, it didn’t matter as much. I’ve kept the same cover for ANGEL ROGUE for years because I feel it captures some of the playfulness of the relationship between Robin and Maxie. Your mileage may vary, of course!
    It would have been diffi

    Reply
  50. Laynis, you touch on a lot of good points here. Publisher art departments are often guided more by marketing than authors. (And I can’t say they are wrong to do so–we all want the books to sell.) But art departments tend to be VERY busy and must produce a lot of covers, so they don’t have the time and they don’t care as much as the authors. (I freely admit that authors can be difficult about covers!)
    You get a gold star for actually looking images that would suit Troth. Difficult, as you found! I never tried to find an accurate image for Maxie; since the Fallen Angel covers were couples, it didn’t matter as much. I’ve kept the same cover for ANGEL ROGUE for years because I feel it captures some of the playfulness of the relationship between Robin and Maxie. Your mileage may vary, of course!
    It would have been diffi

    Reply
  51. Mary T, authors appreciate when our books are chosen by our names, but of course we want to broaden our readership as well. I also work to capture the essence of the stories and characters as much as possible. I’m with you in not enjoying waxed beefcake!
    Some publishers make an effort to match cover models to the characters in the story–Harlequin is generally very good at this. But one of the big historical romance houses once had a policy that hero and heroine had to have different hair colors no matter what the story characters looked like. Ugh!
    I’m glad you like the new China Bride cover. I’m very pleased with it.

    Reply
  52. Mary T, authors appreciate when our books are chosen by our names, but of course we want to broaden our readership as well. I also work to capture the essence of the stories and characters as much as possible. I’m with you in not enjoying waxed beefcake!
    Some publishers make an effort to match cover models to the characters in the story–Harlequin is generally very good at this. But one of the big historical romance houses once had a policy that hero and heroine had to have different hair colors no matter what the story characters looked like. Ugh!
    I’m glad you like the new China Bride cover. I’m very pleased with it.

    Reply
  53. Mary T, authors appreciate when our books are chosen by our names, but of course we want to broaden our readership as well. I also work to capture the essence of the stories and characters as much as possible. I’m with you in not enjoying waxed beefcake!
    Some publishers make an effort to match cover models to the characters in the story–Harlequin is generally very good at this. But one of the big historical romance houses once had a policy that hero and heroine had to have different hair colors no matter what the story characters looked like. Ugh!
    I’m glad you like the new China Bride cover. I’m very pleased with it.

    Reply
  54. Mary T, authors appreciate when our books are chosen by our names, but of course we want to broaden our readership as well. I also work to capture the essence of the stories and characters as much as possible. I’m with you in not enjoying waxed beefcake!
    Some publishers make an effort to match cover models to the characters in the story–Harlequin is generally very good at this. But one of the big historical romance houses once had a policy that hero and heroine had to have different hair colors no matter what the story characters looked like. Ugh!
    I’m glad you like the new China Bride cover. I’m very pleased with it.

    Reply
  55. Mary T, authors appreciate when our books are chosen by our names, but of course we want to broaden our readership as well. I also work to capture the essence of the stories and characters as much as possible. I’m with you in not enjoying waxed beefcake!
    Some publishers make an effort to match cover models to the characters in the story–Harlequin is generally very good at this. But one of the big historical romance houses once had a policy that hero and heroine had to have different hair colors no matter what the story characters looked like. Ugh!
    I’m glad you like the new China Bride cover. I’m very pleased with it.

    Reply
  56. Annette, I’m with you–the story line and writing really matter! And ideally, the cover will reflect what’s inside. Most of my Kensington covers have been good, and I am duly grateful for that!

    Reply
  57. Annette, I’m with you–the story line and writing really matter! And ideally, the cover will reflect what’s inside. Most of my Kensington covers have been good, and I am duly grateful for that!

    Reply
  58. Annette, I’m with you–the story line and writing really matter! And ideally, the cover will reflect what’s inside. Most of my Kensington covers have been good, and I am duly grateful for that!

    Reply
  59. Annette, I’m with you–the story line and writing really matter! And ideally, the cover will reflect what’s inside. Most of my Kensington covers have been good, and I am duly grateful for that!

    Reply
  60. Annette, I’m with you–the story line and writing really matter! And ideally, the cover will reflect what’s inside. Most of my Kensington covers have been good, and I am duly grateful for that!

    Reply
  61. Mary Jo, the new cover is lovely! Kudos to you and your designer.
    I enjoyed all three Bride books; it’s nice to think that they are attracting new readers twenty years later!

    Reply
  62. Mary Jo, the new cover is lovely! Kudos to you and your designer.
    I enjoyed all three Bride books; it’s nice to think that they are attracting new readers twenty years later!

    Reply
  63. Mary Jo, the new cover is lovely! Kudos to you and your designer.
    I enjoyed all three Bride books; it’s nice to think that they are attracting new readers twenty years later!

    Reply
  64. Mary Jo, the new cover is lovely! Kudos to you and your designer.
    I enjoyed all three Bride books; it’s nice to think that they are attracting new readers twenty years later!

    Reply
  65. Mary Jo, the new cover is lovely! Kudos to you and your designer.
    I enjoyed all three Bride books; it’s nice to think that they are attracting new readers twenty years later!

    Reply
  66. Hi, Mary Jo,
    As you know, “Wild Child” is one of my very favourites of your books so “China Bride” and “Bartered Bride” are up there as they complete the series! It’s a bonus that Bartered Bride features a grown up character from another favourite series!
    The covers have definitely evolved over the years. Mine are the earlier covers. Wild child and China Bride are soft covers but Bartered Bride is a hard cover but a bit smaller than a standard hard cover.
    I really like the new cover of China Bride the most out of the 3 I’ve seen. It evokes her warrior’s spirit better.
    It irritates me when covers don’t match the story. Traditional publishers can be bad for that. “Her dress wasn’t like that!” Or “No! The twins were the younger brothers not the older ones!” ;-D
    It’s much nicer that you can choose your own covers now! 😀

    Reply
  67. Hi, Mary Jo,
    As you know, “Wild Child” is one of my very favourites of your books so “China Bride” and “Bartered Bride” are up there as they complete the series! It’s a bonus that Bartered Bride features a grown up character from another favourite series!
    The covers have definitely evolved over the years. Mine are the earlier covers. Wild child and China Bride are soft covers but Bartered Bride is a hard cover but a bit smaller than a standard hard cover.
    I really like the new cover of China Bride the most out of the 3 I’ve seen. It evokes her warrior’s spirit better.
    It irritates me when covers don’t match the story. Traditional publishers can be bad for that. “Her dress wasn’t like that!” Or “No! The twins were the younger brothers not the older ones!” ;-D
    It’s much nicer that you can choose your own covers now! 😀

    Reply
  68. Hi, Mary Jo,
    As you know, “Wild Child” is one of my very favourites of your books so “China Bride” and “Bartered Bride” are up there as they complete the series! It’s a bonus that Bartered Bride features a grown up character from another favourite series!
    The covers have definitely evolved over the years. Mine are the earlier covers. Wild child and China Bride are soft covers but Bartered Bride is a hard cover but a bit smaller than a standard hard cover.
    I really like the new cover of China Bride the most out of the 3 I’ve seen. It evokes her warrior’s spirit better.
    It irritates me when covers don’t match the story. Traditional publishers can be bad for that. “Her dress wasn’t like that!” Or “No! The twins were the younger brothers not the older ones!” ;-D
    It’s much nicer that you can choose your own covers now! 😀

    Reply
  69. Hi, Mary Jo,
    As you know, “Wild Child” is one of my very favourites of your books so “China Bride” and “Bartered Bride” are up there as they complete the series! It’s a bonus that Bartered Bride features a grown up character from another favourite series!
    The covers have definitely evolved over the years. Mine are the earlier covers. Wild child and China Bride are soft covers but Bartered Bride is a hard cover but a bit smaller than a standard hard cover.
    I really like the new cover of China Bride the most out of the 3 I’ve seen. It evokes her warrior’s spirit better.
    It irritates me when covers don’t match the story. Traditional publishers can be bad for that. “Her dress wasn’t like that!” Or “No! The twins were the younger brothers not the older ones!” ;-D
    It’s much nicer that you can choose your own covers now! 😀

    Reply
  70. Hi, Mary Jo,
    As you know, “Wild Child” is one of my very favourites of your books so “China Bride” and “Bartered Bride” are up there as they complete the series! It’s a bonus that Bartered Bride features a grown up character from another favourite series!
    The covers have definitely evolved over the years. Mine are the earlier covers. Wild child and China Bride are soft covers but Bartered Bride is a hard cover but a bit smaller than a standard hard cover.
    I really like the new cover of China Bride the most out of the 3 I’ve seen. It evokes her warrior’s spirit better.
    It irritates me when covers don’t match the story. Traditional publishers can be bad for that. “Her dress wasn’t like that!” Or “No! The twins were the younger brothers not the older ones!” ;-D
    It’s much nicer that you can choose your own covers now! 😀

    Reply
  71. I’ve read The Bride Trilogy at least twice, they are great stories. I’m probably due for another reread. I like both of the covers showing Troth’s face actually, the one with the backless gown not so much.

    Reply
  72. I’ve read The Bride Trilogy at least twice, they are great stories. I’m probably due for another reread. I like both of the covers showing Troth’s face actually, the one with the backless gown not so much.

    Reply
  73. I’ve read The Bride Trilogy at least twice, they are great stories. I’m probably due for another reread. I like both of the covers showing Troth’s face actually, the one with the backless gown not so much.

    Reply
  74. I’ve read The Bride Trilogy at least twice, they are great stories. I’m probably due for another reread. I like both of the covers showing Troth’s face actually, the one with the backless gown not so much.

    Reply
  75. I’ve read The Bride Trilogy at least twice, they are great stories. I’m probably due for another reread. I like both of the covers showing Troth’s face actually, the one with the backless gown not so much.

    Reply
  76. Kareni, an advantage of writing historicals is that they don’t age the way contemporaries do. *G* Plus my books are adventure stories as well as romances. so that gives them some energy, I think.

    Reply
  77. Kareni, an advantage of writing historicals is that they don’t age the way contemporaries do. *G* Plus my books are adventure stories as well as romances. so that gives them some energy, I think.

    Reply
  78. Kareni, an advantage of writing historicals is that they don’t age the way contemporaries do. *G* Plus my books are adventure stories as well as romances. so that gives them some energy, I think.

    Reply
  79. Kareni, an advantage of writing historicals is that they don’t age the way contemporaries do. *G* Plus my books are adventure stories as well as romances. so that gives them some energy, I think.

    Reply
  80. Kareni, an advantage of writing historicals is that they don’t age the way contemporaries do. *G* Plus my books are adventure stories as well as romances. so that gives them some energy, I think.

    Reply
  81. So true that it’s nice we can control our own covers, Karen! I’ll admit to being a little obsessive on the subject since my first career was as a designer: I want the covers to look good and give a good sense of the story. Some stories are either than others for that!

    Reply
  82. So true that it’s nice we can control our own covers, Karen! I’ll admit to being a little obsessive on the subject since my first career was as a designer: I want the covers to look good and give a good sense of the story. Some stories are either than others for that!

    Reply
  83. So true that it’s nice we can control our own covers, Karen! I’ll admit to being a little obsessive on the subject since my first career was as a designer: I want the covers to look good and give a good sense of the story. Some stories are either than others for that!

    Reply
  84. So true that it’s nice we can control our own covers, Karen! I’ll admit to being a little obsessive on the subject since my first career was as a designer: I want the covers to look good and give a good sense of the story. Some stories are either than others for that!

    Reply
  85. So true that it’s nice we can control our own covers, Karen! I’ll admit to being a little obsessive on the subject since my first career was as a designer: I want the covers to look good and give a good sense of the story. Some stories are either than others for that!

    Reply
  86. Karin, I agree with you, but the backless gown version was designed for a different market and it suited that reasonably well. I like pictures of real people, but they aren’t always easy to find!

    Reply
  87. Karin, I agree with you, but the backless gown version was designed for a different market and it suited that reasonably well. I like pictures of real people, but they aren’t always easy to find!

    Reply
  88. Karin, I agree with you, but the backless gown version was designed for a different market and it suited that reasonably well. I like pictures of real people, but they aren’t always easy to find!

    Reply
  89. Karin, I agree with you, but the backless gown version was designed for a different market and it suited that reasonably well. I like pictures of real people, but they aren’t always easy to find!

    Reply
  90. Karin, I agree with you, but the backless gown version was designed for a different market and it suited that reasonably well. I like pictures of real people, but they aren’t always easy to find!

    Reply

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