Musings of a Romance Editor

We’re delighted to welcome Avon Senior Editor Erika Tsang to our Word Wenches blog!

Erika joined Avon books in 2002 intending to expand their historical romance list, and since then she has also added paranormal, romantic suspense and multicultural romance novels to her impressive list of authors and books. Currently interested in all subgenres of romance, she loves stories with creative concepts, and heroes fashioned after Harrison Ford or Ewan MacGregor….

Now we’ll turn the blog over to Erika, who has some intriguing questions for readers….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I thought there’d be more skin.”

“I thought their swords would be bigger.”

— a conversation overheard at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Lyndhurst, NJ.

Okay, I confess. I started the above conversation.

Medieval_times This past weekend, we celebrated a friend’s birthday by taking her to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. If you’ve never been, it’s basically a show where men on horseback, dressed in period clothing, joust and have sword fights accompanied by an amazing soundtrack. 
As I’m tearing apart the roasted chicken with my bare hands (there was no silverware in Medieval times, you see), I’m watching the swordplay and cheering on my knight, who did not resemble any knights I know. Conan

“I thought there’d be more skin,” I say to my friend. “The knights on my romance covers show more skin.”
“I know,” my friend smirked.  “I thought their swords would be bigger.”

One of the benefits of being a romance editor is that I can forget about the reality of the past.  I conveniently forget things like the lack of hygiene, lack of women’s rights, lack of silverware and so forth, because I’m too immersed in the fantasy of romance and pageantry, where knights fight for the honor of their ladies, the good guy always wins, and happily-ever-afters do exist.

Stealing_sophiejpg So I forget that in reality, knights are covered in armor and are very rarely bare-chested like you see on romance novel covers. 

But if you were to see an accurate depiction of a medieval (or Regency, or Georgian) scene, would you be more or less likely to buy that romance? Do you judge a book by its cover?Prideprejudice

~Erika

225 thoughts on “Musings of a Romance Editor”

  1. Hi Erika! So glad you are here.
    Honestly, the covers with half naked people make me shy away, unless I really, really want to read the author’s work. A true-to-life cover might be okay, as long as it wasn’t a scratch and sniff one.

    Reply
  2. Hi Erika! So glad you are here.
    Honestly, the covers with half naked people make me shy away, unless I really, really want to read the author’s work. A true-to-life cover might be okay, as long as it wasn’t a scratch and sniff one.

    Reply
  3. Hi Erika! So glad you are here.
    Honestly, the covers with half naked people make me shy away, unless I really, really want to read the author’s work. A true-to-life cover might be okay, as long as it wasn’t a scratch and sniff one.

    Reply
  4. Hi Erika! So glad you are here.
    Honestly, the covers with half naked people make me shy away, unless I really, really want to read the author’s work. A true-to-life cover might be okay, as long as it wasn’t a scratch and sniff one.

    Reply
  5. Hi Erika! So glad you are here.
    Honestly, the covers with half naked people make me shy away, unless I really, really want to read the author’s work. A true-to-life cover might be okay, as long as it wasn’t a scratch and sniff one.

    Reply
  6. I prefer my people fully dressed – otherwise I am embarrassed to read it in public. Even more now, I am preferring the covers of books that don’t actually feature people at all. HOwever, if it is by a writer whose work I like, I don’t actually even look at the cover. HOw’s that for waffling?

    Reply
  7. I prefer my people fully dressed – otherwise I am embarrassed to read it in public. Even more now, I am preferring the covers of books that don’t actually feature people at all. HOwever, if it is by a writer whose work I like, I don’t actually even look at the cover. HOw’s that for waffling?

    Reply
  8. I prefer my people fully dressed – otherwise I am embarrassed to read it in public. Even more now, I am preferring the covers of books that don’t actually feature people at all. HOwever, if it is by a writer whose work I like, I don’t actually even look at the cover. HOw’s that for waffling?

    Reply
  9. I prefer my people fully dressed – otherwise I am embarrassed to read it in public. Even more now, I am preferring the covers of books that don’t actually feature people at all. HOwever, if it is by a writer whose work I like, I don’t actually even look at the cover. HOw’s that for waffling?

    Reply
  10. I prefer my people fully dressed – otherwise I am embarrassed to read it in public. Even more now, I am preferring the covers of books that don’t actually feature people at all. HOwever, if it is by a writer whose work I like, I don’t actually even look at the cover. HOw’s that for waffling?

    Reply
  11. The cover and/or stepback art is what makes me pick a book off the shelf. The back cover copy is what makes me buy it.
    I always tend to shy away from naked folks on covers, because I don’t like the looks I get on my subway commutes. I know I get them, because I give those looks when I see women reading them myself.
    And, it’s true, I *did* think the swords would be bigger. *snerk*

    Reply
  12. The cover and/or stepback art is what makes me pick a book off the shelf. The back cover copy is what makes me buy it.
    I always tend to shy away from naked folks on covers, because I don’t like the looks I get on my subway commutes. I know I get them, because I give those looks when I see women reading them myself.
    And, it’s true, I *did* think the swords would be bigger. *snerk*

    Reply
  13. The cover and/or stepback art is what makes me pick a book off the shelf. The back cover copy is what makes me buy it.
    I always tend to shy away from naked folks on covers, because I don’t like the looks I get on my subway commutes. I know I get them, because I give those looks when I see women reading them myself.
    And, it’s true, I *did* think the swords would be bigger. *snerk*

    Reply
  14. The cover and/or stepback art is what makes me pick a book off the shelf. The back cover copy is what makes me buy it.
    I always tend to shy away from naked folks on covers, because I don’t like the looks I get on my subway commutes. I know I get them, because I give those looks when I see women reading them myself.
    And, it’s true, I *did* think the swords would be bigger. *snerk*

    Reply
  15. The cover and/or stepback art is what makes me pick a book off the shelf. The back cover copy is what makes me buy it.
    I always tend to shy away from naked folks on covers, because I don’t like the looks I get on my subway commutes. I know I get them, because I give those looks when I see women reading them myself.
    And, it’s true, I *did* think the swords would be bigger. *snerk*

    Reply
  16. Thank you for joining us, Erika ~
    I’ve learned not to judge a book by its cover. FLOWERS by Lisa Kleypas had a cover I’d be too embarrassed to be seen reading in public (Fabio) but it’s a fabulous story. I love Loretta Chase’s cover for NOT QUITE A LADY, and adore the story. LORD PERFECT is a perfectly wonderful book, too, but I don’t (cringe) like that cover. I confess to loving Avon’s stepback covers. I like the slightly rougher textured books more than the glossy.

    Reply
  17. Thank you for joining us, Erika ~
    I’ve learned not to judge a book by its cover. FLOWERS by Lisa Kleypas had a cover I’d be too embarrassed to be seen reading in public (Fabio) but it’s a fabulous story. I love Loretta Chase’s cover for NOT QUITE A LADY, and adore the story. LORD PERFECT is a perfectly wonderful book, too, but I don’t (cringe) like that cover. I confess to loving Avon’s stepback covers. I like the slightly rougher textured books more than the glossy.

    Reply
  18. Thank you for joining us, Erika ~
    I’ve learned not to judge a book by its cover. FLOWERS by Lisa Kleypas had a cover I’d be too embarrassed to be seen reading in public (Fabio) but it’s a fabulous story. I love Loretta Chase’s cover for NOT QUITE A LADY, and adore the story. LORD PERFECT is a perfectly wonderful book, too, but I don’t (cringe) like that cover. I confess to loving Avon’s stepback covers. I like the slightly rougher textured books more than the glossy.

    Reply
  19. Thank you for joining us, Erika ~
    I’ve learned not to judge a book by its cover. FLOWERS by Lisa Kleypas had a cover I’d be too embarrassed to be seen reading in public (Fabio) but it’s a fabulous story. I love Loretta Chase’s cover for NOT QUITE A LADY, and adore the story. LORD PERFECT is a perfectly wonderful book, too, but I don’t (cringe) like that cover. I confess to loving Avon’s stepback covers. I like the slightly rougher textured books more than the glossy.

    Reply
  20. Thank you for joining us, Erika ~
    I’ve learned not to judge a book by its cover. FLOWERS by Lisa Kleypas had a cover I’d be too embarrassed to be seen reading in public (Fabio) but it’s a fabulous story. I love Loretta Chase’s cover for NOT QUITE A LADY, and adore the story. LORD PERFECT is a perfectly wonderful book, too, but I don’t (cringe) like that cover. I confess to loving Avon’s stepback covers. I like the slightly rougher textured books more than the glossy.

    Reply
  21. Covers with the gentleman fully dressed — be it the linen shirt, waistcoat and breeches of the Regency gentleman, or the chain mail of the medieval knight — are so much more attractive than those horrifically CHEESY bare-chested steroid-takers on far too many historical romance covers (Avon, mostly). (And really — do these “heroes” wax their chest hair for such womanly smoothness?) I have often opted against purchasing a book because the naked-from-the-waist-up “hero” in some overtly macho pose was just so … not sexy. In fact, it’s really kind of creepy.

    Reply
  22. Covers with the gentleman fully dressed — be it the linen shirt, waistcoat and breeches of the Regency gentleman, or the chain mail of the medieval knight — are so much more attractive than those horrifically CHEESY bare-chested steroid-takers on far too many historical romance covers (Avon, mostly). (And really — do these “heroes” wax their chest hair for such womanly smoothness?) I have often opted against purchasing a book because the naked-from-the-waist-up “hero” in some overtly macho pose was just so … not sexy. In fact, it’s really kind of creepy.

    Reply
  23. Covers with the gentleman fully dressed — be it the linen shirt, waistcoat and breeches of the Regency gentleman, or the chain mail of the medieval knight — are so much more attractive than those horrifically CHEESY bare-chested steroid-takers on far too many historical romance covers (Avon, mostly). (And really — do these “heroes” wax their chest hair for such womanly smoothness?) I have often opted against purchasing a book because the naked-from-the-waist-up “hero” in some overtly macho pose was just so … not sexy. In fact, it’s really kind of creepy.

    Reply
  24. Covers with the gentleman fully dressed — be it the linen shirt, waistcoat and breeches of the Regency gentleman, or the chain mail of the medieval knight — are so much more attractive than those horrifically CHEESY bare-chested steroid-takers on far too many historical romance covers (Avon, mostly). (And really — do these “heroes” wax their chest hair for such womanly smoothness?) I have often opted against purchasing a book because the naked-from-the-waist-up “hero” in some overtly macho pose was just so … not sexy. In fact, it’s really kind of creepy.

    Reply
  25. Covers with the gentleman fully dressed — be it the linen shirt, waistcoat and breeches of the Regency gentleman, or the chain mail of the medieval knight — are so much more attractive than those horrifically CHEESY bare-chested steroid-takers on far too many historical romance covers (Avon, mostly). (And really — do these “heroes” wax their chest hair for such womanly smoothness?) I have often opted against purchasing a book because the naked-from-the-waist-up “hero” in some overtly macho pose was just so … not sexy. In fact, it’s really kind of creepy.

    Reply
  26. Welcome to the WordWenches, Erika! It’s so nice to see you here.
    I’ve done a Medieval Times tournament too, and it was great fun. I loved the falconry exhibition. The food was simple but surprisingly good (even without silverware!)
    I must say that I find the still shot from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE far more romantic than the guys with bare, waxed chests and steroid problems. I like covers where the characters show emotion and tenderness. Though I know that’s not easy to create.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  27. Welcome to the WordWenches, Erika! It’s so nice to see you here.
    I’ve done a Medieval Times tournament too, and it was great fun. I loved the falconry exhibition. The food was simple but surprisingly good (even without silverware!)
    I must say that I find the still shot from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE far more romantic than the guys with bare, waxed chests and steroid problems. I like covers where the characters show emotion and tenderness. Though I know that’s not easy to create.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  28. Welcome to the WordWenches, Erika! It’s so nice to see you here.
    I’ve done a Medieval Times tournament too, and it was great fun. I loved the falconry exhibition. The food was simple but surprisingly good (even without silverware!)
    I must say that I find the still shot from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE far more romantic than the guys with bare, waxed chests and steroid problems. I like covers where the characters show emotion and tenderness. Though I know that’s not easy to create.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  29. Welcome to the WordWenches, Erika! It’s so nice to see you here.
    I’ve done a Medieval Times tournament too, and it was great fun. I loved the falconry exhibition. The food was simple but surprisingly good (even without silverware!)
    I must say that I find the still shot from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE far more romantic than the guys with bare, waxed chests and steroid problems. I like covers where the characters show emotion and tenderness. Though I know that’s not easy to create.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  30. Welcome to the WordWenches, Erika! It’s so nice to see you here.
    I’ve done a Medieval Times tournament too, and it was great fun. I loved the falconry exhibition. The food was simple but surprisingly good (even without silverware!)
    I must say that I find the still shot from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE far more romantic than the guys with bare, waxed chests and steroid problems. I like covers where the characters show emotion and tenderness. Though I know that’s not easy to create.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  31. I agree with the other posters. I much prefer a tasteful cover to the cheesy naked people poses. The imagination is a wondrous thing–a handsome man fully clothed is much more intriguing than one flexing his naked assets (especially if he’s standing in snow! LOL!)
    I will pick up a book if the cover catches my eye. But the blurb on the back is the deciding factor on whether or not it goes back on the shelf.
    I’m not sure if you’re taking questions, but I have one. You say that you’re interested in ALL sub-genres of romance. Does that include western historicals? Do you see them ever making a comeback at Avon? Frankly, since Susan Kay Law and Rebecca Wade’s western historicals were dropped, there are now only a couple of Avon authors on my must-read list.
    Thank you for being here. :o)

    Reply
  32. I agree with the other posters. I much prefer a tasteful cover to the cheesy naked people poses. The imagination is a wondrous thing–a handsome man fully clothed is much more intriguing than one flexing his naked assets (especially if he’s standing in snow! LOL!)
    I will pick up a book if the cover catches my eye. But the blurb on the back is the deciding factor on whether or not it goes back on the shelf.
    I’m not sure if you’re taking questions, but I have one. You say that you’re interested in ALL sub-genres of romance. Does that include western historicals? Do you see them ever making a comeback at Avon? Frankly, since Susan Kay Law and Rebecca Wade’s western historicals were dropped, there are now only a couple of Avon authors on my must-read list.
    Thank you for being here. :o)

    Reply
  33. I agree with the other posters. I much prefer a tasteful cover to the cheesy naked people poses. The imagination is a wondrous thing–a handsome man fully clothed is much more intriguing than one flexing his naked assets (especially if he’s standing in snow! LOL!)
    I will pick up a book if the cover catches my eye. But the blurb on the back is the deciding factor on whether or not it goes back on the shelf.
    I’m not sure if you’re taking questions, but I have one. You say that you’re interested in ALL sub-genres of romance. Does that include western historicals? Do you see them ever making a comeback at Avon? Frankly, since Susan Kay Law and Rebecca Wade’s western historicals were dropped, there are now only a couple of Avon authors on my must-read list.
    Thank you for being here. :o)

    Reply
  34. I agree with the other posters. I much prefer a tasteful cover to the cheesy naked people poses. The imagination is a wondrous thing–a handsome man fully clothed is much more intriguing than one flexing his naked assets (especially if he’s standing in snow! LOL!)
    I will pick up a book if the cover catches my eye. But the blurb on the back is the deciding factor on whether or not it goes back on the shelf.
    I’m not sure if you’re taking questions, but I have one. You say that you’re interested in ALL sub-genres of romance. Does that include western historicals? Do you see them ever making a comeback at Avon? Frankly, since Susan Kay Law and Rebecca Wade’s western historicals were dropped, there are now only a couple of Avon authors on my must-read list.
    Thank you for being here. :o)

    Reply
  35. I agree with the other posters. I much prefer a tasteful cover to the cheesy naked people poses. The imagination is a wondrous thing–a handsome man fully clothed is much more intriguing than one flexing his naked assets (especially if he’s standing in snow! LOL!)
    I will pick up a book if the cover catches my eye. But the blurb on the back is the deciding factor on whether or not it goes back on the shelf.
    I’m not sure if you’re taking questions, but I have one. You say that you’re interested in ALL sub-genres of romance. Does that include western historicals? Do you see them ever making a comeback at Avon? Frankly, since Susan Kay Law and Rebecca Wade’s western historicals were dropped, there are now only a couple of Avon authors on my must-read list.
    Thank you for being here. :o)

    Reply
  36. Like Mary Jo, I like covers that show the man and woman together in attitudes of tenderness, emotion, hope, and yes — a hint of lust. Yes, a little difficult to convey, but we’ve seen it done many times, all the same.
    And one question: why this trend of showing a well-dressed hero’s face from the nose down?? Does he wear glasses, or something?

    Reply
  37. Like Mary Jo, I like covers that show the man and woman together in attitudes of tenderness, emotion, hope, and yes — a hint of lust. Yes, a little difficult to convey, but we’ve seen it done many times, all the same.
    And one question: why this trend of showing a well-dressed hero’s face from the nose down?? Does he wear glasses, or something?

    Reply
  38. Like Mary Jo, I like covers that show the man and woman together in attitudes of tenderness, emotion, hope, and yes — a hint of lust. Yes, a little difficult to convey, but we’ve seen it done many times, all the same.
    And one question: why this trend of showing a well-dressed hero’s face from the nose down?? Does he wear glasses, or something?

    Reply
  39. Like Mary Jo, I like covers that show the man and woman together in attitudes of tenderness, emotion, hope, and yes — a hint of lust. Yes, a little difficult to convey, but we’ve seen it done many times, all the same.
    And one question: why this trend of showing a well-dressed hero’s face from the nose down?? Does he wear glasses, or something?

    Reply
  40. Like Mary Jo, I like covers that show the man and woman together in attitudes of tenderness, emotion, hope, and yes — a hint of lust. Yes, a little difficult to convey, but we’ve seen it done many times, all the same.
    And one question: why this trend of showing a well-dressed hero’s face from the nose down?? Does he wear glasses, or something?

    Reply
  41. Hello Erika. Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Yes [sigh], I do judge a book by its cover. My reading time is often limited to train and air travel so I must be conscious to what others see in my hand as my suit lapel is blazing a very recognizable company logo.
    In general, I prefer covers that are (1) more historically accurate (2) free of bared chests and exposed shoulders (My impressionable 12 year old looks at my books too) and (3) say something accurate about the story being advertised.
    On the last point… There was a time when I questioned the competency of a writer who couldn’t get her cover “right.” Why would I want to read something written by a person that disorganized? Of course, thanks to Word Wenches, I now know authors have little to no control over such things.
    But, if I could find the persons who did, I would encourage them to make a more concerted effort to create book covers that say something accurate about the stories inside. IMHO, busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts. We do not accept such efforts in our subordinates, in our children and certainly not in ourselves. So, why should we continue to pay money for a product that is not well put together?
    This post is, of course, just the humble opinions of a woman who is a full-time executive, wife, mother, writer and romance reader.
    Now a few questions for you, Erika, if I may. What future do you see for the paranormal subgenre? And, what will be, in your opinion, the fastest growing subgenre in the next two years and why?
    Nina

    Reply
  42. Hello Erika. Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Yes [sigh], I do judge a book by its cover. My reading time is often limited to train and air travel so I must be conscious to what others see in my hand as my suit lapel is blazing a very recognizable company logo.
    In general, I prefer covers that are (1) more historically accurate (2) free of bared chests and exposed shoulders (My impressionable 12 year old looks at my books too) and (3) say something accurate about the story being advertised.
    On the last point… There was a time when I questioned the competency of a writer who couldn’t get her cover “right.” Why would I want to read something written by a person that disorganized? Of course, thanks to Word Wenches, I now know authors have little to no control over such things.
    But, if I could find the persons who did, I would encourage them to make a more concerted effort to create book covers that say something accurate about the stories inside. IMHO, busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts. We do not accept such efforts in our subordinates, in our children and certainly not in ourselves. So, why should we continue to pay money for a product that is not well put together?
    This post is, of course, just the humble opinions of a woman who is a full-time executive, wife, mother, writer and romance reader.
    Now a few questions for you, Erika, if I may. What future do you see for the paranormal subgenre? And, what will be, in your opinion, the fastest growing subgenre in the next two years and why?
    Nina

    Reply
  43. Hello Erika. Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Yes [sigh], I do judge a book by its cover. My reading time is often limited to train and air travel so I must be conscious to what others see in my hand as my suit lapel is blazing a very recognizable company logo.
    In general, I prefer covers that are (1) more historically accurate (2) free of bared chests and exposed shoulders (My impressionable 12 year old looks at my books too) and (3) say something accurate about the story being advertised.
    On the last point… There was a time when I questioned the competency of a writer who couldn’t get her cover “right.” Why would I want to read something written by a person that disorganized? Of course, thanks to Word Wenches, I now know authors have little to no control over such things.
    But, if I could find the persons who did, I would encourage them to make a more concerted effort to create book covers that say something accurate about the stories inside. IMHO, busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts. We do not accept such efforts in our subordinates, in our children and certainly not in ourselves. So, why should we continue to pay money for a product that is not well put together?
    This post is, of course, just the humble opinions of a woman who is a full-time executive, wife, mother, writer and romance reader.
    Now a few questions for you, Erika, if I may. What future do you see for the paranormal subgenre? And, what will be, in your opinion, the fastest growing subgenre in the next two years and why?
    Nina

    Reply
  44. Hello Erika. Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Yes [sigh], I do judge a book by its cover. My reading time is often limited to train and air travel so I must be conscious to what others see in my hand as my suit lapel is blazing a very recognizable company logo.
    In general, I prefer covers that are (1) more historically accurate (2) free of bared chests and exposed shoulders (My impressionable 12 year old looks at my books too) and (3) say something accurate about the story being advertised.
    On the last point… There was a time when I questioned the competency of a writer who couldn’t get her cover “right.” Why would I want to read something written by a person that disorganized? Of course, thanks to Word Wenches, I now know authors have little to no control over such things.
    But, if I could find the persons who did, I would encourage them to make a more concerted effort to create book covers that say something accurate about the stories inside. IMHO, busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts. We do not accept such efforts in our subordinates, in our children and certainly not in ourselves. So, why should we continue to pay money for a product that is not well put together?
    This post is, of course, just the humble opinions of a woman who is a full-time executive, wife, mother, writer and romance reader.
    Now a few questions for you, Erika, if I may. What future do you see for the paranormal subgenre? And, what will be, in your opinion, the fastest growing subgenre in the next two years and why?
    Nina

    Reply
  45. Hello Erika. Welcome to Word Wenches.
    Yes [sigh], I do judge a book by its cover. My reading time is often limited to train and air travel so I must be conscious to what others see in my hand as my suit lapel is blazing a very recognizable company logo.
    In general, I prefer covers that are (1) more historically accurate (2) free of bared chests and exposed shoulders (My impressionable 12 year old looks at my books too) and (3) say something accurate about the story being advertised.
    On the last point… There was a time when I questioned the competency of a writer who couldn’t get her cover “right.” Why would I want to read something written by a person that disorganized? Of course, thanks to Word Wenches, I now know authors have little to no control over such things.
    But, if I could find the persons who did, I would encourage them to make a more concerted effort to create book covers that say something accurate about the stories inside. IMHO, busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts. We do not accept such efforts in our subordinates, in our children and certainly not in ourselves. So, why should we continue to pay money for a product that is not well put together?
    This post is, of course, just the humble opinions of a woman who is a full-time executive, wife, mother, writer and romance reader.
    Now a few questions for you, Erika, if I may. What future do you see for the paranormal subgenre? And, what will be, in your opinion, the fastest growing subgenre in the next two years and why?
    Nina

    Reply
  46. A cover can grab my attention and inspire me to pick up a book and read the back cover copy. Usually, it’s “pretty” in some way and shows that it’s a historical. I do tend to shy away from the more garish covers with a lot of skin or the passionate clinch with a lot of skin, but I will buy them if the book is written by a favorite author. I just won’t read it on the metro.
    Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.
    I also like the inside cover art that Harlequin Historicals have done for a while – the detailed picture of a scene from the book.
    But, I do buy mostly by author. No matter how pretty the cover, if I don’t like that author, I won’t buy it – and vice versa.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  47. A cover can grab my attention and inspire me to pick up a book and read the back cover copy. Usually, it’s “pretty” in some way and shows that it’s a historical. I do tend to shy away from the more garish covers with a lot of skin or the passionate clinch with a lot of skin, but I will buy them if the book is written by a favorite author. I just won’t read it on the metro.
    Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.
    I also like the inside cover art that Harlequin Historicals have done for a while – the detailed picture of a scene from the book.
    But, I do buy mostly by author. No matter how pretty the cover, if I don’t like that author, I won’t buy it – and vice versa.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  48. A cover can grab my attention and inspire me to pick up a book and read the back cover copy. Usually, it’s “pretty” in some way and shows that it’s a historical. I do tend to shy away from the more garish covers with a lot of skin or the passionate clinch with a lot of skin, but I will buy them if the book is written by a favorite author. I just won’t read it on the metro.
    Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.
    I also like the inside cover art that Harlequin Historicals have done for a while – the detailed picture of a scene from the book.
    But, I do buy mostly by author. No matter how pretty the cover, if I don’t like that author, I won’t buy it – and vice versa.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  49. A cover can grab my attention and inspire me to pick up a book and read the back cover copy. Usually, it’s “pretty” in some way and shows that it’s a historical. I do tend to shy away from the more garish covers with a lot of skin or the passionate clinch with a lot of skin, but I will buy them if the book is written by a favorite author. I just won’t read it on the metro.
    Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.
    I also like the inside cover art that Harlequin Historicals have done for a while – the detailed picture of a scene from the book.
    But, I do buy mostly by author. No matter how pretty the cover, if I don’t like that author, I won’t buy it – and vice versa.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  50. A cover can grab my attention and inspire me to pick up a book and read the back cover copy. Usually, it’s “pretty” in some way and shows that it’s a historical. I do tend to shy away from the more garish covers with a lot of skin or the passionate clinch with a lot of skin, but I will buy them if the book is written by a favorite author. I just won’t read it on the metro.
    Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.
    I also like the inside cover art that Harlequin Historicals have done for a while – the detailed picture of a scene from the book.
    But, I do buy mostly by author. No matter how pretty the cover, if I don’t like that author, I won’t buy it – and vice versa.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  51. Thanks so much for doing this, Erika!!
    I too judge a book by it’s cover, and I tend to agree with several of the previous posters. A cover I will *always* pick up would be either a medieval castle, or a Regency Hero with his flowing linens, open just the slightest bit over his chest, skin tight breeches, black books, and the Heroine in his embrace. Of course, the Heroine’s dress must be falling off, but not quite to the point of indecency yet :D. Those are the covers that really get to me.
    Erika, if you’re taking questions, I’d also like to ask if there are certain storylines that have become so overdone that you’re going to throw an MS at a wall if you see it again?

    Reply
  52. Thanks so much for doing this, Erika!!
    I too judge a book by it’s cover, and I tend to agree with several of the previous posters. A cover I will *always* pick up would be either a medieval castle, or a Regency Hero with his flowing linens, open just the slightest bit over his chest, skin tight breeches, black books, and the Heroine in his embrace. Of course, the Heroine’s dress must be falling off, but not quite to the point of indecency yet :D. Those are the covers that really get to me.
    Erika, if you’re taking questions, I’d also like to ask if there are certain storylines that have become so overdone that you’re going to throw an MS at a wall if you see it again?

    Reply
  53. Thanks so much for doing this, Erika!!
    I too judge a book by it’s cover, and I tend to agree with several of the previous posters. A cover I will *always* pick up would be either a medieval castle, or a Regency Hero with his flowing linens, open just the slightest bit over his chest, skin tight breeches, black books, and the Heroine in his embrace. Of course, the Heroine’s dress must be falling off, but not quite to the point of indecency yet :D. Those are the covers that really get to me.
    Erika, if you’re taking questions, I’d also like to ask if there are certain storylines that have become so overdone that you’re going to throw an MS at a wall if you see it again?

    Reply
  54. Thanks so much for doing this, Erika!!
    I too judge a book by it’s cover, and I tend to agree with several of the previous posters. A cover I will *always* pick up would be either a medieval castle, or a Regency Hero with his flowing linens, open just the slightest bit over his chest, skin tight breeches, black books, and the Heroine in his embrace. Of course, the Heroine’s dress must be falling off, but not quite to the point of indecency yet :D. Those are the covers that really get to me.
    Erika, if you’re taking questions, I’d also like to ask if there are certain storylines that have become so overdone that you’re going to throw an MS at a wall if you see it again?

    Reply
  55. Thanks so much for doing this, Erika!!
    I too judge a book by it’s cover, and I tend to agree with several of the previous posters. A cover I will *always* pick up would be either a medieval castle, or a Regency Hero with his flowing linens, open just the slightest bit over his chest, skin tight breeches, black books, and the Heroine in his embrace. Of course, the Heroine’s dress must be falling off, but not quite to the point of indecency yet :D. Those are the covers that really get to me.
    Erika, if you’re taking questions, I’d also like to ask if there are certain storylines that have become so overdone that you’re going to throw an MS at a wall if you see it again?

    Reply
  56. Wow. Okay. I come back from the weekly editorial meeting to see lots of interesting comments. Excellent!
    To answer your question, Devon, sadly, I do not see the Western historicals coming back anytime soon. The reading public doesn’t seem to be responding to them the way they used to. In my opinion, readers who liked westerns liked it because of the good guy vs bad guy theme, the unexplored territory, the romance of the unknown wilderness. I think most of that is being addressed in paranormals, where authors are inventing their own worlds and exploring the unknown…which brings me to Nina’s question.
    Paranormals are here to stay, though I see this subgenre evolving into something more than the traditional vampires and werewolves. You can only reinvent those myths so many times in so many ways before readers get tired of it. So authors who want to write paranormals will have to come up with even more orginal concepts to really capture an audience.
    That said, I don’t think historicals are going anywhere. If Julie Garwood is coming back to historicals (a dream come true for me!), that must say something, don’t you think?
    And Bethany, if I see another spy story, I wouldn’t necessarily throw the manuscript at a wall, but I’d make my assistant read it first.
    Thank you all for your comments. Keep them coming. Me, I’m going to go grab lunch!

    Reply
  57. Wow. Okay. I come back from the weekly editorial meeting to see lots of interesting comments. Excellent!
    To answer your question, Devon, sadly, I do not see the Western historicals coming back anytime soon. The reading public doesn’t seem to be responding to them the way they used to. In my opinion, readers who liked westerns liked it because of the good guy vs bad guy theme, the unexplored territory, the romance of the unknown wilderness. I think most of that is being addressed in paranormals, where authors are inventing their own worlds and exploring the unknown…which brings me to Nina’s question.
    Paranormals are here to stay, though I see this subgenre evolving into something more than the traditional vampires and werewolves. You can only reinvent those myths so many times in so many ways before readers get tired of it. So authors who want to write paranormals will have to come up with even more orginal concepts to really capture an audience.
    That said, I don’t think historicals are going anywhere. If Julie Garwood is coming back to historicals (a dream come true for me!), that must say something, don’t you think?
    And Bethany, if I see another spy story, I wouldn’t necessarily throw the manuscript at a wall, but I’d make my assistant read it first.
    Thank you all for your comments. Keep them coming. Me, I’m going to go grab lunch!

    Reply
  58. Wow. Okay. I come back from the weekly editorial meeting to see lots of interesting comments. Excellent!
    To answer your question, Devon, sadly, I do not see the Western historicals coming back anytime soon. The reading public doesn’t seem to be responding to them the way they used to. In my opinion, readers who liked westerns liked it because of the good guy vs bad guy theme, the unexplored territory, the romance of the unknown wilderness. I think most of that is being addressed in paranormals, where authors are inventing their own worlds and exploring the unknown…which brings me to Nina’s question.
    Paranormals are here to stay, though I see this subgenre evolving into something more than the traditional vampires and werewolves. You can only reinvent those myths so many times in so many ways before readers get tired of it. So authors who want to write paranormals will have to come up with even more orginal concepts to really capture an audience.
    That said, I don’t think historicals are going anywhere. If Julie Garwood is coming back to historicals (a dream come true for me!), that must say something, don’t you think?
    And Bethany, if I see another spy story, I wouldn’t necessarily throw the manuscript at a wall, but I’d make my assistant read it first.
    Thank you all for your comments. Keep them coming. Me, I’m going to go grab lunch!

    Reply
  59. Wow. Okay. I come back from the weekly editorial meeting to see lots of interesting comments. Excellent!
    To answer your question, Devon, sadly, I do not see the Western historicals coming back anytime soon. The reading public doesn’t seem to be responding to them the way they used to. In my opinion, readers who liked westerns liked it because of the good guy vs bad guy theme, the unexplored territory, the romance of the unknown wilderness. I think most of that is being addressed in paranormals, where authors are inventing their own worlds and exploring the unknown…which brings me to Nina’s question.
    Paranormals are here to stay, though I see this subgenre evolving into something more than the traditional vampires and werewolves. You can only reinvent those myths so many times in so many ways before readers get tired of it. So authors who want to write paranormals will have to come up with even more orginal concepts to really capture an audience.
    That said, I don’t think historicals are going anywhere. If Julie Garwood is coming back to historicals (a dream come true for me!), that must say something, don’t you think?
    And Bethany, if I see another spy story, I wouldn’t necessarily throw the manuscript at a wall, but I’d make my assistant read it first.
    Thank you all for your comments. Keep them coming. Me, I’m going to go grab lunch!

    Reply
  60. Wow. Okay. I come back from the weekly editorial meeting to see lots of interesting comments. Excellent!
    To answer your question, Devon, sadly, I do not see the Western historicals coming back anytime soon. The reading public doesn’t seem to be responding to them the way they used to. In my opinion, readers who liked westerns liked it because of the good guy vs bad guy theme, the unexplored territory, the romance of the unknown wilderness. I think most of that is being addressed in paranormals, where authors are inventing their own worlds and exploring the unknown…which brings me to Nina’s question.
    Paranormals are here to stay, though I see this subgenre evolving into something more than the traditional vampires and werewolves. You can only reinvent those myths so many times in so many ways before readers get tired of it. So authors who want to write paranormals will have to come up with even more orginal concepts to really capture an audience.
    That said, I don’t think historicals are going anywhere. If Julie Garwood is coming back to historicals (a dream come true for me!), that must say something, don’t you think?
    And Bethany, if I see another spy story, I wouldn’t necessarily throw the manuscript at a wall, but I’d make my assistant read it first.
    Thank you all for your comments. Keep them coming. Me, I’m going to go grab lunch!

    Reply
  61. Welcome to the Wenches, Erika. I hope you had a lovely leisurely lunch to recover before the next onslaught of comments!
    I’ve been around much too long to buy any book by its cover art. I think the last one was Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS, and I bought that for the title as much as for the wildly eccentric cover.
    I usually buy by author or storyline these days, but if I’m browsing, a title might catch my eye and cause me to flip to the back, and that’s what will hook me faster than naked men. Not that I want to add any more pressure to your already heavy workload…. “G”

    Reply
  62. Welcome to the Wenches, Erika. I hope you had a lovely leisurely lunch to recover before the next onslaught of comments!
    I’ve been around much too long to buy any book by its cover art. I think the last one was Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS, and I bought that for the title as much as for the wildly eccentric cover.
    I usually buy by author or storyline these days, but if I’m browsing, a title might catch my eye and cause me to flip to the back, and that’s what will hook me faster than naked men. Not that I want to add any more pressure to your already heavy workload…. “G”

    Reply
  63. Welcome to the Wenches, Erika. I hope you had a lovely leisurely lunch to recover before the next onslaught of comments!
    I’ve been around much too long to buy any book by its cover art. I think the last one was Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS, and I bought that for the title as much as for the wildly eccentric cover.
    I usually buy by author or storyline these days, but if I’m browsing, a title might catch my eye and cause me to flip to the back, and that’s what will hook me faster than naked men. Not that I want to add any more pressure to your already heavy workload…. “G”

    Reply
  64. Welcome to the Wenches, Erika. I hope you had a lovely leisurely lunch to recover before the next onslaught of comments!
    I’ve been around much too long to buy any book by its cover art. I think the last one was Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS, and I bought that for the title as much as for the wildly eccentric cover.
    I usually buy by author or storyline these days, but if I’m browsing, a title might catch my eye and cause me to flip to the back, and that’s what will hook me faster than naked men. Not that I want to add any more pressure to your already heavy workload…. “G”

    Reply
  65. Welcome to the Wenches, Erika. I hope you had a lovely leisurely lunch to recover before the next onslaught of comments!
    I’ve been around much too long to buy any book by its cover art. I think the last one was Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS, and I bought that for the title as much as for the wildly eccentric cover.
    I usually buy by author or storyline these days, but if I’m browsing, a title might catch my eye and cause me to flip to the back, and that’s what will hook me faster than naked men. Not that I want to add any more pressure to your already heavy workload…. “G”

    Reply
  66. Hiya! 🙂 I never, ever judge a book by it’s cover. I look at the inside and the outside as two different things. There are plenty of covers that I loved and plenty that I’ve hated. But I only buy based on either the author or if it’s a new or new to me author, what the book is about. I have passed over one or two books because of the cover, but in the end since I really don’t go anywhere, holding the covers for all to see isn’t a big deal. But when that changes, I might watch what I read out in public or something. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  67. Hiya! 🙂 I never, ever judge a book by it’s cover. I look at the inside and the outside as two different things. There are plenty of covers that I loved and plenty that I’ve hated. But I only buy based on either the author or if it’s a new or new to me author, what the book is about. I have passed over one or two books because of the cover, but in the end since I really don’t go anywhere, holding the covers for all to see isn’t a big deal. But when that changes, I might watch what I read out in public or something. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  68. Hiya! 🙂 I never, ever judge a book by it’s cover. I look at the inside and the outside as two different things. There are plenty of covers that I loved and plenty that I’ve hated. But I only buy based on either the author or if it’s a new or new to me author, what the book is about. I have passed over one or two books because of the cover, but in the end since I really don’t go anywhere, holding the covers for all to see isn’t a big deal. But when that changes, I might watch what I read out in public or something. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  69. Hiya! 🙂 I never, ever judge a book by it’s cover. I look at the inside and the outside as two different things. There are plenty of covers that I loved and plenty that I’ve hated. But I only buy based on either the author or if it’s a new or new to me author, what the book is about. I have passed over one or two books because of the cover, but in the end since I really don’t go anywhere, holding the covers for all to see isn’t a big deal. But when that changes, I might watch what I read out in public or something. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  70. Hiya! 🙂 I never, ever judge a book by it’s cover. I look at the inside and the outside as two different things. There are plenty of covers that I loved and plenty that I’ve hated. But I only buy based on either the author or if it’s a new or new to me author, what the book is about. I have passed over one or two books because of the cover, but in the end since I really don’t go anywhere, holding the covers for all to see isn’t a big deal. But when that changes, I might watch what I read out in public or something. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  71. I would far prefer to see a historically accurate cover to a clinch style one with naked, hairless chests on the men and women clutching them.
    Hmm, now I know who NOT to submit my spy ms to. Alas, my heroes all like to be spies.

    Reply
  72. I would far prefer to see a historically accurate cover to a clinch style one with naked, hairless chests on the men and women clutching them.
    Hmm, now I know who NOT to submit my spy ms to. Alas, my heroes all like to be spies.

    Reply
  73. I would far prefer to see a historically accurate cover to a clinch style one with naked, hairless chests on the men and women clutching them.
    Hmm, now I know who NOT to submit my spy ms to. Alas, my heroes all like to be spies.

    Reply
  74. I would far prefer to see a historically accurate cover to a clinch style one with naked, hairless chests on the men and women clutching them.
    Hmm, now I know who NOT to submit my spy ms to. Alas, my heroes all like to be spies.

    Reply
  75. I would far prefer to see a historically accurate cover to a clinch style one with naked, hairless chests on the men and women clutching them.
    Hmm, now I know who NOT to submit my spy ms to. Alas, my heroes all like to be spies.

    Reply
  76. Frankly, I think the cheesy beefcake covers cause your readers (many of whom, like me, are highly educated professional women) unnecessary embarrassment and are Primarily Responsible for the disdain in which the general public holds the romance genre. It is so tiresome to be constantly sitting there with Naked Hulking Hairless Mantitty in your hands and have to say over and over again, to your kids and your husband and your co-workers and your friends (and in my case, my parishioners), apologizing, “It’s a decent book, really. . .” Honestly, I resent that you all in the industry put your readers through this!
    I agree with Nina that “busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts.” We can all see the shortcuts the industry takes, from the “cover of the year” (a man’s naked back! A woman’s naked back!) to the “titles by numbers” –see my “Title Matrix” blog post here:
    http://revmelinda.livejournal.com/1512.html
    Undoubtedly you have some research that says your marketing strategy works, but I find that it unnecessarily tarnishes a good product.
    I love romances, and it distresses me that I feel I have to hide my reading material lest someone judge ME by those corny covers!

    Reply
  77. Frankly, I think the cheesy beefcake covers cause your readers (many of whom, like me, are highly educated professional women) unnecessary embarrassment and are Primarily Responsible for the disdain in which the general public holds the romance genre. It is so tiresome to be constantly sitting there with Naked Hulking Hairless Mantitty in your hands and have to say over and over again, to your kids and your husband and your co-workers and your friends (and in my case, my parishioners), apologizing, “It’s a decent book, really. . .” Honestly, I resent that you all in the industry put your readers through this!
    I agree with Nina that “busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts.” We can all see the shortcuts the industry takes, from the “cover of the year” (a man’s naked back! A woman’s naked back!) to the “titles by numbers” –see my “Title Matrix” blog post here:
    http://revmelinda.livejournal.com/1512.html
    Undoubtedly you have some research that says your marketing strategy works, but I find that it unnecessarily tarnishes a good product.
    I love romances, and it distresses me that I feel I have to hide my reading material lest someone judge ME by those corny covers!

    Reply
  78. Frankly, I think the cheesy beefcake covers cause your readers (many of whom, like me, are highly educated professional women) unnecessary embarrassment and are Primarily Responsible for the disdain in which the general public holds the romance genre. It is so tiresome to be constantly sitting there with Naked Hulking Hairless Mantitty in your hands and have to say over and over again, to your kids and your husband and your co-workers and your friends (and in my case, my parishioners), apologizing, “It’s a decent book, really. . .” Honestly, I resent that you all in the industry put your readers through this!
    I agree with Nina that “busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts.” We can all see the shortcuts the industry takes, from the “cover of the year” (a man’s naked back! A woman’s naked back!) to the “titles by numbers” –see my “Title Matrix” blog post here:
    http://revmelinda.livejournal.com/1512.html
    Undoubtedly you have some research that says your marketing strategy works, but I find that it unnecessarily tarnishes a good product.
    I love romances, and it distresses me that I feel I have to hide my reading material lest someone judge ME by those corny covers!

    Reply
  79. Frankly, I think the cheesy beefcake covers cause your readers (many of whom, like me, are highly educated professional women) unnecessary embarrassment and are Primarily Responsible for the disdain in which the general public holds the romance genre. It is so tiresome to be constantly sitting there with Naked Hulking Hairless Mantitty in your hands and have to say over and over again, to your kids and your husband and your co-workers and your friends (and in my case, my parishioners), apologizing, “It’s a decent book, really. . .” Honestly, I resent that you all in the industry put your readers through this!
    I agree with Nina that “busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts.” We can all see the shortcuts the industry takes, from the “cover of the year” (a man’s naked back! A woman’s naked back!) to the “titles by numbers” –see my “Title Matrix” blog post here:
    http://revmelinda.livejournal.com/1512.html
    Undoubtedly you have some research that says your marketing strategy works, but I find that it unnecessarily tarnishes a good product.
    I love romances, and it distresses me that I feel I have to hide my reading material lest someone judge ME by those corny covers!

    Reply
  80. Frankly, I think the cheesy beefcake covers cause your readers (many of whom, like me, are highly educated professional women) unnecessary embarrassment and are Primarily Responsible for the disdain in which the general public holds the romance genre. It is so tiresome to be constantly sitting there with Naked Hulking Hairless Mantitty in your hands and have to say over and over again, to your kids and your husband and your co-workers and your friends (and in my case, my parishioners), apologizing, “It’s a decent book, really. . .” Honestly, I resent that you all in the industry put your readers through this!
    I agree with Nina that “busy women of today have less tolerance for slapdash efforts.” We can all see the shortcuts the industry takes, from the “cover of the year” (a man’s naked back! A woman’s naked back!) to the “titles by numbers” –see my “Title Matrix” blog post here:
    http://revmelinda.livejournal.com/1512.html
    Undoubtedly you have some research that says your marketing strategy works, but I find that it unnecessarily tarnishes a good product.
    I love romances, and it distresses me that I feel I have to hide my reading material lest someone judge ME by those corny covers!

    Reply
  81. Thank you, Erika, for your kind response to my question. I do agree that the vampire/werewolf plot line is quite overdone. (Although romantic dead guys still hold a special place in my heart.)
    Hoping not to be too intrusive upon your time, I have a second question. The obvious one. Sex. It seems to be firmly established that more is better than less. In historical romance, what kind of sex is selling better — hot and tender or blunt and obvious?
    Nina

    Reply
  82. Thank you, Erika, for your kind response to my question. I do agree that the vampire/werewolf plot line is quite overdone. (Although romantic dead guys still hold a special place in my heart.)
    Hoping not to be too intrusive upon your time, I have a second question. The obvious one. Sex. It seems to be firmly established that more is better than less. In historical romance, what kind of sex is selling better — hot and tender or blunt and obvious?
    Nina

    Reply
  83. Thank you, Erika, for your kind response to my question. I do agree that the vampire/werewolf plot line is quite overdone. (Although romantic dead guys still hold a special place in my heart.)
    Hoping not to be too intrusive upon your time, I have a second question. The obvious one. Sex. It seems to be firmly established that more is better than less. In historical romance, what kind of sex is selling better — hot and tender or blunt and obvious?
    Nina

    Reply
  84. Thank you, Erika, for your kind response to my question. I do agree that the vampire/werewolf plot line is quite overdone. (Although romantic dead guys still hold a special place in my heart.)
    Hoping not to be too intrusive upon your time, I have a second question. The obvious one. Sex. It seems to be firmly established that more is better than less. In historical romance, what kind of sex is selling better — hot and tender or blunt and obvious?
    Nina

    Reply
  85. Thank you, Erika, for your kind response to my question. I do agree that the vampire/werewolf plot line is quite overdone. (Although romantic dead guys still hold a special place in my heart.)
    Hoping not to be too intrusive upon your time, I have a second question. The obvious one. Sex. It seems to be firmly established that more is better than less. In historical romance, what kind of sex is selling better — hot and tender or blunt and obvious?
    Nina

    Reply
  86. RevMelinda:
    Excellent “Title Matrix”. LOL!
    I love reading romances, but hate the cheesy titles, and double-dog hate the Muy Macho ManTitty covers.
    And just my opinion, but the Duke/Earl/Viscount/Tormented younger son who is a Spy for the Crown has become a wall banger for me. I’m on a personal moratorium against those worn-out plots and the inevitable “feisty” (read: unlikeable) heroine who pursues him.

    Reply
  87. RevMelinda:
    Excellent “Title Matrix”. LOL!
    I love reading romances, but hate the cheesy titles, and double-dog hate the Muy Macho ManTitty covers.
    And just my opinion, but the Duke/Earl/Viscount/Tormented younger son who is a Spy for the Crown has become a wall banger for me. I’m on a personal moratorium against those worn-out plots and the inevitable “feisty” (read: unlikeable) heroine who pursues him.

    Reply
  88. RevMelinda:
    Excellent “Title Matrix”. LOL!
    I love reading romances, but hate the cheesy titles, and double-dog hate the Muy Macho ManTitty covers.
    And just my opinion, but the Duke/Earl/Viscount/Tormented younger son who is a Spy for the Crown has become a wall banger for me. I’m on a personal moratorium against those worn-out plots and the inevitable “feisty” (read: unlikeable) heroine who pursues him.

    Reply
  89. RevMelinda:
    Excellent “Title Matrix”. LOL!
    I love reading romances, but hate the cheesy titles, and double-dog hate the Muy Macho ManTitty covers.
    And just my opinion, but the Duke/Earl/Viscount/Tormented younger son who is a Spy for the Crown has become a wall banger for me. I’m on a personal moratorium against those worn-out plots and the inevitable “feisty” (read: unlikeable) heroine who pursues him.

    Reply
  90. RevMelinda:
    Excellent “Title Matrix”. LOL!
    I love reading romances, but hate the cheesy titles, and double-dog hate the Muy Macho ManTitty covers.
    And just my opinion, but the Duke/Earl/Viscount/Tormented younger son who is a Spy for the Crown has become a wall banger for me. I’m on a personal moratorium against those worn-out plots and the inevitable “feisty” (read: unlikeable) heroine who pursues him.

    Reply
  91. Hi, Erika. Thanks for visiting WW. A bad cover won’t make me stop buying a book from an author I love, but I’ll hide it behind my handbag as I read it in the teachers’ lunchroom!
    I’ve noticed an ” all red” cover trend lately, as if everyone is in Hell, which is slightly off-putting. The “all blue” is scarely better, but it does seem to work for paranormals and suspense.
    Like many people, I would love to see a classic painting (like Pam Rosenthal’s latest) on the cover. And no half-naked men in the snow, please!

    Reply
  92. Hi, Erika. Thanks for visiting WW. A bad cover won’t make me stop buying a book from an author I love, but I’ll hide it behind my handbag as I read it in the teachers’ lunchroom!
    I’ve noticed an ” all red” cover trend lately, as if everyone is in Hell, which is slightly off-putting. The “all blue” is scarely better, but it does seem to work for paranormals and suspense.
    Like many people, I would love to see a classic painting (like Pam Rosenthal’s latest) on the cover. And no half-naked men in the snow, please!

    Reply
  93. Hi, Erika. Thanks for visiting WW. A bad cover won’t make me stop buying a book from an author I love, but I’ll hide it behind my handbag as I read it in the teachers’ lunchroom!
    I’ve noticed an ” all red” cover trend lately, as if everyone is in Hell, which is slightly off-putting. The “all blue” is scarely better, but it does seem to work for paranormals and suspense.
    Like many people, I would love to see a classic painting (like Pam Rosenthal’s latest) on the cover. And no half-naked men in the snow, please!

    Reply
  94. Hi, Erika. Thanks for visiting WW. A bad cover won’t make me stop buying a book from an author I love, but I’ll hide it behind my handbag as I read it in the teachers’ lunchroom!
    I’ve noticed an ” all red” cover trend lately, as if everyone is in Hell, which is slightly off-putting. The “all blue” is scarely better, but it does seem to work for paranormals and suspense.
    Like many people, I would love to see a classic painting (like Pam Rosenthal’s latest) on the cover. And no half-naked men in the snow, please!

    Reply
  95. Hi, Erika. Thanks for visiting WW. A bad cover won’t make me stop buying a book from an author I love, but I’ll hide it behind my handbag as I read it in the teachers’ lunchroom!
    I’ve noticed an ” all red” cover trend lately, as if everyone is in Hell, which is slightly off-putting. The “all blue” is scarely better, but it does seem to work for paranormals and suspense.
    Like many people, I would love to see a classic painting (like Pam Rosenthal’s latest) on the cover. And no half-naked men in the snow, please!

    Reply
  96. I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all. A couple in love who throws all their energy into expressing that love can be hot and emotionally satisfying without being “blunt and obvious”, as Nina puts it.

    Reply
  97. I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all. A couple in love who throws all their energy into expressing that love can be hot and emotionally satisfying without being “blunt and obvious”, as Nina puts it.

    Reply
  98. I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all. A couple in love who throws all their energy into expressing that love can be hot and emotionally satisfying without being “blunt and obvious”, as Nina puts it.

    Reply
  99. I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all. A couple in love who throws all their energy into expressing that love can be hot and emotionally satisfying without being “blunt and obvious”, as Nina puts it.

    Reply
  100. I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all. A couple in love who throws all their energy into expressing that love can be hot and emotionally satisfying without being “blunt and obvious”, as Nina puts it.

    Reply
  101. Hello, Erika! Welcome to Word Wenches. It’s a thrill to have you here.
    I love discussions of book cover art! This subject has been dissected enthusiastically here at the Word Wenches in the past, with strong opinions abounding. The one constant is that most readers give a thumbs-down to clinch covers. Yet those covers persist. I wonder why? *g* (I really do want to know!)
    Despite readers’ overwhelmingly negative reaction to clinch covers with half-naked models in suggestive poses, those covers continue to appear on romances. There must be a reason. *g* Is it that one can tell it’s a romance from across the bookstore? That seems unnecessary, since romances are generally shelved in their own section, anyway.
    This makes me wonder if clinch covers produce a false marketing statistic. Romances sell, no matter what the cover, and if a higher percentage of covers are clinches, will that make marketers falsely assume that clinch covers sell books?
    If a reader likes the author or back cover blurb or the first page, they’ll buy the book, regardless of cover. And yet covers are an important marketing tool, and can be useful in pulling in the first-time romance reader. Fascinating subject!

    Reply
  102. Hello, Erika! Welcome to Word Wenches. It’s a thrill to have you here.
    I love discussions of book cover art! This subject has been dissected enthusiastically here at the Word Wenches in the past, with strong opinions abounding. The one constant is that most readers give a thumbs-down to clinch covers. Yet those covers persist. I wonder why? *g* (I really do want to know!)
    Despite readers’ overwhelmingly negative reaction to clinch covers with half-naked models in suggestive poses, those covers continue to appear on romances. There must be a reason. *g* Is it that one can tell it’s a romance from across the bookstore? That seems unnecessary, since romances are generally shelved in their own section, anyway.
    This makes me wonder if clinch covers produce a false marketing statistic. Romances sell, no matter what the cover, and if a higher percentage of covers are clinches, will that make marketers falsely assume that clinch covers sell books?
    If a reader likes the author or back cover blurb or the first page, they’ll buy the book, regardless of cover. And yet covers are an important marketing tool, and can be useful in pulling in the first-time romance reader. Fascinating subject!

    Reply
  103. Hello, Erika! Welcome to Word Wenches. It’s a thrill to have you here.
    I love discussions of book cover art! This subject has been dissected enthusiastically here at the Word Wenches in the past, with strong opinions abounding. The one constant is that most readers give a thumbs-down to clinch covers. Yet those covers persist. I wonder why? *g* (I really do want to know!)
    Despite readers’ overwhelmingly negative reaction to clinch covers with half-naked models in suggestive poses, those covers continue to appear on romances. There must be a reason. *g* Is it that one can tell it’s a romance from across the bookstore? That seems unnecessary, since romances are generally shelved in their own section, anyway.
    This makes me wonder if clinch covers produce a false marketing statistic. Romances sell, no matter what the cover, and if a higher percentage of covers are clinches, will that make marketers falsely assume that clinch covers sell books?
    If a reader likes the author or back cover blurb or the first page, they’ll buy the book, regardless of cover. And yet covers are an important marketing tool, and can be useful in pulling in the first-time romance reader. Fascinating subject!

    Reply
  104. Hello, Erika! Welcome to Word Wenches. It’s a thrill to have you here.
    I love discussions of book cover art! This subject has been dissected enthusiastically here at the Word Wenches in the past, with strong opinions abounding. The one constant is that most readers give a thumbs-down to clinch covers. Yet those covers persist. I wonder why? *g* (I really do want to know!)
    Despite readers’ overwhelmingly negative reaction to clinch covers with half-naked models in suggestive poses, those covers continue to appear on romances. There must be a reason. *g* Is it that one can tell it’s a romance from across the bookstore? That seems unnecessary, since romances are generally shelved in their own section, anyway.
    This makes me wonder if clinch covers produce a false marketing statistic. Romances sell, no matter what the cover, and if a higher percentage of covers are clinches, will that make marketers falsely assume that clinch covers sell books?
    If a reader likes the author or back cover blurb or the first page, they’ll buy the book, regardless of cover. And yet covers are an important marketing tool, and can be useful in pulling in the first-time romance reader. Fascinating subject!

    Reply
  105. Hello, Erika! Welcome to Word Wenches. It’s a thrill to have you here.
    I love discussions of book cover art! This subject has been dissected enthusiastically here at the Word Wenches in the past, with strong opinions abounding. The one constant is that most readers give a thumbs-down to clinch covers. Yet those covers persist. I wonder why? *g* (I really do want to know!)
    Despite readers’ overwhelmingly negative reaction to clinch covers with half-naked models in suggestive poses, those covers continue to appear on romances. There must be a reason. *g* Is it that one can tell it’s a romance from across the bookstore? That seems unnecessary, since romances are generally shelved in their own section, anyway.
    This makes me wonder if clinch covers produce a false marketing statistic. Romances sell, no matter what the cover, and if a higher percentage of covers are clinches, will that make marketers falsely assume that clinch covers sell books?
    If a reader likes the author or back cover blurb or the first page, they’ll buy the book, regardless of cover. And yet covers are an important marketing tool, and can be useful in pulling in the first-time romance reader. Fascinating subject!

    Reply
  106. Given that there are so many clinch covers that show a lot of skin, I assume they must sell better. Perhaps we (the majority of word wenches readers) don’t like them and/or don’t want to read them in public, but the majority of the romance buying public must like them if that is what sells best. For some reason, sex sells.
    I’ve got to admit that I like the last few covers for Jo Beverly – “tasteful” (in my mind) clinches – and would probably have picked them up to read the back if they were written by an author new to me. (I picked them up because JB is on my auto-buy list.) It’s pretty and it quickly tells me that it’s a regency historical romance. I’ve also – in the past few years – really enjoyed some books with similiar covers (titles by Gaelen Foley and Liz Carlyle) so subconsciously I may get the message that this book is similar, and I’ll like it.
    I read Lady Beware on the metro. I was HOOKED! Honestly, I do think I’m reaching the point in my life that if someone said something nasty to me on the metro about my choice of reading, I’d be able to hold my own.
    I know this contradicts what I wrote earlier. But, after thinking about it more, I may take the cover into consideration before I’ll read it on a plane or the metro, but if that’s what I REALLY want to read at the moment, I’ll do it – regardless of cover.
    Heck, I’ve gotten to the point that I’ll read category in public if that’s what I want to read. Why should I let other people’s prejudices stop me from doing what I want to do?
    -Michelle

    Reply
  107. Given that there are so many clinch covers that show a lot of skin, I assume they must sell better. Perhaps we (the majority of word wenches readers) don’t like them and/or don’t want to read them in public, but the majority of the romance buying public must like them if that is what sells best. For some reason, sex sells.
    I’ve got to admit that I like the last few covers for Jo Beverly – “tasteful” (in my mind) clinches – and would probably have picked them up to read the back if they were written by an author new to me. (I picked them up because JB is on my auto-buy list.) It’s pretty and it quickly tells me that it’s a regency historical romance. I’ve also – in the past few years – really enjoyed some books with similiar covers (titles by Gaelen Foley and Liz Carlyle) so subconsciously I may get the message that this book is similar, and I’ll like it.
    I read Lady Beware on the metro. I was HOOKED! Honestly, I do think I’m reaching the point in my life that if someone said something nasty to me on the metro about my choice of reading, I’d be able to hold my own.
    I know this contradicts what I wrote earlier. But, after thinking about it more, I may take the cover into consideration before I’ll read it on a plane or the metro, but if that’s what I REALLY want to read at the moment, I’ll do it – regardless of cover.
    Heck, I’ve gotten to the point that I’ll read category in public if that’s what I want to read. Why should I let other people’s prejudices stop me from doing what I want to do?
    -Michelle

    Reply
  108. Given that there are so many clinch covers that show a lot of skin, I assume they must sell better. Perhaps we (the majority of word wenches readers) don’t like them and/or don’t want to read them in public, but the majority of the romance buying public must like them if that is what sells best. For some reason, sex sells.
    I’ve got to admit that I like the last few covers for Jo Beverly – “tasteful” (in my mind) clinches – and would probably have picked them up to read the back if they were written by an author new to me. (I picked them up because JB is on my auto-buy list.) It’s pretty and it quickly tells me that it’s a regency historical romance. I’ve also – in the past few years – really enjoyed some books with similiar covers (titles by Gaelen Foley and Liz Carlyle) so subconsciously I may get the message that this book is similar, and I’ll like it.
    I read Lady Beware on the metro. I was HOOKED! Honestly, I do think I’m reaching the point in my life that if someone said something nasty to me on the metro about my choice of reading, I’d be able to hold my own.
    I know this contradicts what I wrote earlier. But, after thinking about it more, I may take the cover into consideration before I’ll read it on a plane or the metro, but if that’s what I REALLY want to read at the moment, I’ll do it – regardless of cover.
    Heck, I’ve gotten to the point that I’ll read category in public if that’s what I want to read. Why should I let other people’s prejudices stop me from doing what I want to do?
    -Michelle

    Reply
  109. Given that there are so many clinch covers that show a lot of skin, I assume they must sell better. Perhaps we (the majority of word wenches readers) don’t like them and/or don’t want to read them in public, but the majority of the romance buying public must like them if that is what sells best. For some reason, sex sells.
    I’ve got to admit that I like the last few covers for Jo Beverly – “tasteful” (in my mind) clinches – and would probably have picked them up to read the back if they were written by an author new to me. (I picked them up because JB is on my auto-buy list.) It’s pretty and it quickly tells me that it’s a regency historical romance. I’ve also – in the past few years – really enjoyed some books with similiar covers (titles by Gaelen Foley and Liz Carlyle) so subconsciously I may get the message that this book is similar, and I’ll like it.
    I read Lady Beware on the metro. I was HOOKED! Honestly, I do think I’m reaching the point in my life that if someone said something nasty to me on the metro about my choice of reading, I’d be able to hold my own.
    I know this contradicts what I wrote earlier. But, after thinking about it more, I may take the cover into consideration before I’ll read it on a plane or the metro, but if that’s what I REALLY want to read at the moment, I’ll do it – regardless of cover.
    Heck, I’ve gotten to the point that I’ll read category in public if that’s what I want to read. Why should I let other people’s prejudices stop me from doing what I want to do?
    -Michelle

    Reply
  110. Given that there are so many clinch covers that show a lot of skin, I assume they must sell better. Perhaps we (the majority of word wenches readers) don’t like them and/or don’t want to read them in public, but the majority of the romance buying public must like them if that is what sells best. For some reason, sex sells.
    I’ve got to admit that I like the last few covers for Jo Beverly – “tasteful” (in my mind) clinches – and would probably have picked them up to read the back if they were written by an author new to me. (I picked them up because JB is on my auto-buy list.) It’s pretty and it quickly tells me that it’s a regency historical romance. I’ve also – in the past few years – really enjoyed some books with similiar covers (titles by Gaelen Foley and Liz Carlyle) so subconsciously I may get the message that this book is similar, and I’ll like it.
    I read Lady Beware on the metro. I was HOOKED! Honestly, I do think I’m reaching the point in my life that if someone said something nasty to me on the metro about my choice of reading, I’d be able to hold my own.
    I know this contradicts what I wrote earlier. But, after thinking about it more, I may take the cover into consideration before I’ll read it on a plane or the metro, but if that’s what I REALLY want to read at the moment, I’ll do it – regardless of cover.
    Heck, I’ve gotten to the point that I’ll read category in public if that’s what I want to read. Why should I let other people’s prejudices stop me from doing what I want to do?
    -Michelle

    Reply
  111. One more vote for the historically accurate and clothed hero and heroine as opposed to the tacky couple who bear no resemblance to the characters in the book. But I think the real problem is the chasm between the cover and the contents. Wouldn’t it be far more of a lure if the cover depicted an actual scene from the story? Or, for that matter, if whoever writes the copy on the back would first read the book or at least ask the author? There are plenty of books I have picked up because I know and like the author that I would never have touched if all I had to go on was the cover.

    Reply
  112. One more vote for the historically accurate and clothed hero and heroine as opposed to the tacky couple who bear no resemblance to the characters in the book. But I think the real problem is the chasm between the cover and the contents. Wouldn’t it be far more of a lure if the cover depicted an actual scene from the story? Or, for that matter, if whoever writes the copy on the back would first read the book or at least ask the author? There are plenty of books I have picked up because I know and like the author that I would never have touched if all I had to go on was the cover.

    Reply
  113. One more vote for the historically accurate and clothed hero and heroine as opposed to the tacky couple who bear no resemblance to the characters in the book. But I think the real problem is the chasm between the cover and the contents. Wouldn’t it be far more of a lure if the cover depicted an actual scene from the story? Or, for that matter, if whoever writes the copy on the back would first read the book or at least ask the author? There are plenty of books I have picked up because I know and like the author that I would never have touched if all I had to go on was the cover.

    Reply
  114. One more vote for the historically accurate and clothed hero and heroine as opposed to the tacky couple who bear no resemblance to the characters in the book. But I think the real problem is the chasm between the cover and the contents. Wouldn’t it be far more of a lure if the cover depicted an actual scene from the story? Or, for that matter, if whoever writes the copy on the back would first read the book or at least ask the author? There are plenty of books I have picked up because I know and like the author that I would never have touched if all I had to go on was the cover.

    Reply
  115. One more vote for the historically accurate and clothed hero and heroine as opposed to the tacky couple who bear no resemblance to the characters in the book. But I think the real problem is the chasm between the cover and the contents. Wouldn’t it be far more of a lure if the cover depicted an actual scene from the story? Or, for that matter, if whoever writes the copy on the back would first read the book or at least ask the author? There are plenty of books I have picked up because I know and like the author that I would never have touched if all I had to go on was the cover.

    Reply
  116. Thank you for answering my question, Erika 🙂 I love when aspiring authors get the chance to connect with editors like this, especially at a house I’m looking at targeting! Thanks again!

    Reply
  117. Thank you for answering my question, Erika 🙂 I love when aspiring authors get the chance to connect with editors like this, especially at a house I’m looking at targeting! Thanks again!

    Reply
  118. Thank you for answering my question, Erika 🙂 I love when aspiring authors get the chance to connect with editors like this, especially at a house I’m looking at targeting! Thanks again!

    Reply
  119. Thank you for answering my question, Erika 🙂 I love when aspiring authors get the chance to connect with editors like this, especially at a house I’m looking at targeting! Thanks again!

    Reply
  120. Thank you for answering my question, Erika 🙂 I love when aspiring authors get the chance to connect with editors like this, especially at a house I’m looking at targeting! Thanks again!

    Reply
  121. Erika: You said “I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all.” I find the writing and editing process fascinating even though I’m not a writer. Your comment made me curious about how you, as an editor, select manuscripts. Do you look for your personal preferences in writing style, plot, etc. or do you work from guidelines specified by Avon or is it a combination of the two? If you came across a “down and dirty” historical that was well done in other aspects, would you grit your teeth and accept it or pass on it?

    Reply
  122. Erika: You said “I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all.” I find the writing and editing process fascinating even though I’m not a writer. Your comment made me curious about how you, as an editor, select manuscripts. Do you look for your personal preferences in writing style, plot, etc. or do you work from guidelines specified by Avon or is it a combination of the two? If you came across a “down and dirty” historical that was well done in other aspects, would you grit your teeth and accept it or pass on it?

    Reply
  123. Erika: You said “I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all.” I find the writing and editing process fascinating even though I’m not a writer. Your comment made me curious about how you, as an editor, select manuscripts. Do you look for your personal preferences in writing style, plot, etc. or do you work from guidelines specified by Avon or is it a combination of the two? If you came across a “down and dirty” historical that was well done in other aspects, would you grit your teeth and accept it or pass on it?

    Reply
  124. Erika: You said “I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all.” I find the writing and editing process fascinating even though I’m not a writer. Your comment made me curious about how you, as an editor, select manuscripts. Do you look for your personal preferences in writing style, plot, etc. or do you work from guidelines specified by Avon or is it a combination of the two? If you came across a “down and dirty” historical that was well done in other aspects, would you grit your teeth and accept it or pass on it?

    Reply
  125. Erika: You said “I like my historicals ultra sexy, but I think sometimes people think I mean down and dirty, when that’s not the case at all.” I find the writing and editing process fascinating even though I’m not a writer. Your comment made me curious about how you, as an editor, select manuscripts. Do you look for your personal preferences in writing style, plot, etc. or do you work from guidelines specified by Avon or is it a combination of the two? If you came across a “down and dirty” historical that was well done in other aspects, would you grit your teeth and accept it or pass on it?

    Reply
  126. Hi Erika, welcome to Word Wenches. Thank you so much for doing this. 🙂
    “Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.”
    Michelle, I completely agree. I loved those and they gave a rounded feel for the book. Definitely attracted me to buy, because I want to know there’ll be more in there than clinching, luscious though that is in its place. 🙂
    Oh, and thanks for the kind words about Lady Beware. 🙂 It’s doing splendidly, even one week in. (Gone back to press twice!) I give a bit of credit to the gorgeous cover. To me, it’s what you said — sensuous, romantic, but not over the top.
    Returning to business. I’ll fire some questions because I know some people will want the answers.
    Erika, would you say there’s a type of book that you aren’t seeing enough of?
    How important is it to you that the manuscript be prepared to a certain format. Some writers spend huge amounts of time and energy on this. What about the look of a ms would make you disinclined to read it?
    What about Regency period books not set in Britain? Do you like them? How do they sell?
    What about 20th century historicals?
    Thanks,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  127. Hi Erika, welcome to Word Wenches. Thank you so much for doing this. 🙂
    “Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.”
    Michelle, I completely agree. I loved those and they gave a rounded feel for the book. Definitely attracted me to buy, because I want to know there’ll be more in there than clinching, luscious though that is in its place. 🙂
    Oh, and thanks for the kind words about Lady Beware. 🙂 It’s doing splendidly, even one week in. (Gone back to press twice!) I give a bit of credit to the gorgeous cover. To me, it’s what you said — sensuous, romantic, but not over the top.
    Returning to business. I’ll fire some questions because I know some people will want the answers.
    Erika, would you say there’s a type of book that you aren’t seeing enough of?
    How important is it to you that the manuscript be prepared to a certain format. Some writers spend huge amounts of time and energy on this. What about the look of a ms would make you disinclined to read it?
    What about Regency period books not set in Britain? Do you like them? How do they sell?
    What about 20th century historicals?
    Thanks,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  128. Hi Erika, welcome to Word Wenches. Thank you so much for doing this. 🙂
    “Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.”
    Michelle, I completely agree. I loved those and they gave a rounded feel for the book. Definitely attracted me to buy, because I want to know there’ll be more in there than clinching, luscious though that is in its place. 🙂
    Oh, and thanks for the kind words about Lady Beware. 🙂 It’s doing splendidly, even one week in. (Gone back to press twice!) I give a bit of credit to the gorgeous cover. To me, it’s what you said — sensuous, romantic, but not over the top.
    Returning to business. I’ll fire some questions because I know some people will want the answers.
    Erika, would you say there’s a type of book that you aren’t seeing enough of?
    How important is it to you that the manuscript be prepared to a certain format. Some writers spend huge amounts of time and energy on this. What about the look of a ms would make you disinclined to read it?
    What about Regency period books not set in Britain? Do you like them? How do they sell?
    What about 20th century historicals?
    Thanks,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  129. Hi Erika, welcome to Word Wenches. Thank you so much for doing this. 🙂
    “Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.”
    Michelle, I completely agree. I loved those and they gave a rounded feel for the book. Definitely attracted me to buy, because I want to know there’ll be more in there than clinching, luscious though that is in its place. 🙂
    Oh, and thanks for the kind words about Lady Beware. 🙂 It’s doing splendidly, even one week in. (Gone back to press twice!) I give a bit of credit to the gorgeous cover. To me, it’s what you said — sensuous, romantic, but not over the top.
    Returning to business. I’ll fire some questions because I know some people will want the answers.
    Erika, would you say there’s a type of book that you aren’t seeing enough of?
    How important is it to you that the manuscript be prepared to a certain format. Some writers spend huge amounts of time and energy on this. What about the look of a ms would make you disinclined to read it?
    What about Regency period books not set in Britain? Do you like them? How do they sell?
    What about 20th century historicals?
    Thanks,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  130. Hi Erika, welcome to Word Wenches. Thank you so much for doing this. 🙂
    “Some of my favorite covers were the ones that Bantam used 10 – 15 years ago where they would have a stepback with lots of mini-portraits of scenes from the book. Amanda Quick’s covers were like that as were Pat Potter’s westerns.”
    Michelle, I completely agree. I loved those and they gave a rounded feel for the book. Definitely attracted me to buy, because I want to know there’ll be more in there than clinching, luscious though that is in its place. 🙂
    Oh, and thanks for the kind words about Lady Beware. 🙂 It’s doing splendidly, even one week in. (Gone back to press twice!) I give a bit of credit to the gorgeous cover. To me, it’s what you said — sensuous, romantic, but not over the top.
    Returning to business. I’ll fire some questions because I know some people will want the answers.
    Erika, would you say there’s a type of book that you aren’t seeing enough of?
    How important is it to you that the manuscript be prepared to a certain format. Some writers spend huge amounts of time and energy on this. What about the look of a ms would make you disinclined to read it?
    What about Regency period books not set in Britain? Do you like them? How do they sell?
    What about 20th century historicals?
    Thanks,
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  131. What a great discussion. Welcome, Erika, and thanks for posing such interesting questions!
    I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover of ANY sort, and if the cover has a high artistic level and production value, I’m in — whether it’s clinch or fine art or what. I am a cover slut, and a gorgeous and/or intriguing cover will hook me every time. Even if I don’t want the book, I’ve been known to buy. *g*
    Clinch covers have developed a shortcut visual language–readers recognize them as romances. Point of sale, the spark connects. If romance covers changed dramatically, the books might miss their audience. Some of my medievals books had beautiful castle landscapes, and while the books really did okay in sales and the reviews were outstanding — a lot of readers were confused about the story: was it a romance, or a bigger literary story?
    Avon is doing wonderful clinches for my Sarah Gabriel books (and I’m not just saying this because Erika is my editor!). Bare chested Scotsman and feisty heroines, yes…but the covers are beautifully produced with high art value, and the classic clinches have a romantic, emotional tone that is tender but still very sexy. There’s character shown, not just overproduction of hormones
    (wait ’til you see my December cover — it’s a stunning and classic clinch).
    There are clinches that make you cringe — and there are clinches that make you swoon. Lots of us have been embarrassed to be seen holding a book with a hot-sexy cover while on the train, plane, in the doctor’s office, or even just sitting around with your teenagers at home. Me too.
    But as Michelle and some others have said here, if you love the book and the genre, you read it anyway. For a very long time there’s been a strong trend of market branding for romance. It’s not going to change any time soon.
    Though someday I would dearly love to have a gorgeous pre-Raphaelite fine-art cover… 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  132. What a great discussion. Welcome, Erika, and thanks for posing such interesting questions!
    I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover of ANY sort, and if the cover has a high artistic level and production value, I’m in — whether it’s clinch or fine art or what. I am a cover slut, and a gorgeous and/or intriguing cover will hook me every time. Even if I don’t want the book, I’ve been known to buy. *g*
    Clinch covers have developed a shortcut visual language–readers recognize them as romances. Point of sale, the spark connects. If romance covers changed dramatically, the books might miss their audience. Some of my medievals books had beautiful castle landscapes, and while the books really did okay in sales and the reviews were outstanding — a lot of readers were confused about the story: was it a romance, or a bigger literary story?
    Avon is doing wonderful clinches for my Sarah Gabriel books (and I’m not just saying this because Erika is my editor!). Bare chested Scotsman and feisty heroines, yes…but the covers are beautifully produced with high art value, and the classic clinches have a romantic, emotional tone that is tender but still very sexy. There’s character shown, not just overproduction of hormones
    (wait ’til you see my December cover — it’s a stunning and classic clinch).
    There are clinches that make you cringe — and there are clinches that make you swoon. Lots of us have been embarrassed to be seen holding a book with a hot-sexy cover while on the train, plane, in the doctor’s office, or even just sitting around with your teenagers at home. Me too.
    But as Michelle and some others have said here, if you love the book and the genre, you read it anyway. For a very long time there’s been a strong trend of market branding for romance. It’s not going to change any time soon.
    Though someday I would dearly love to have a gorgeous pre-Raphaelite fine-art cover… 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  133. What a great discussion. Welcome, Erika, and thanks for posing such interesting questions!
    I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover of ANY sort, and if the cover has a high artistic level and production value, I’m in — whether it’s clinch or fine art or what. I am a cover slut, and a gorgeous and/or intriguing cover will hook me every time. Even if I don’t want the book, I’ve been known to buy. *g*
    Clinch covers have developed a shortcut visual language–readers recognize them as romances. Point of sale, the spark connects. If romance covers changed dramatically, the books might miss their audience. Some of my medievals books had beautiful castle landscapes, and while the books really did okay in sales and the reviews were outstanding — a lot of readers were confused about the story: was it a romance, or a bigger literary story?
    Avon is doing wonderful clinches for my Sarah Gabriel books (and I’m not just saying this because Erika is my editor!). Bare chested Scotsman and feisty heroines, yes…but the covers are beautifully produced with high art value, and the classic clinches have a romantic, emotional tone that is tender but still very sexy. There’s character shown, not just overproduction of hormones
    (wait ’til you see my December cover — it’s a stunning and classic clinch).
    There are clinches that make you cringe — and there are clinches that make you swoon. Lots of us have been embarrassed to be seen holding a book with a hot-sexy cover while on the train, plane, in the doctor’s office, or even just sitting around with your teenagers at home. Me too.
    But as Michelle and some others have said here, if you love the book and the genre, you read it anyway. For a very long time there’s been a strong trend of market branding for romance. It’s not going to change any time soon.
    Though someday I would dearly love to have a gorgeous pre-Raphaelite fine-art cover… 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  134. What a great discussion. Welcome, Erika, and thanks for posing such interesting questions!
    I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover of ANY sort, and if the cover has a high artistic level and production value, I’m in — whether it’s clinch or fine art or what. I am a cover slut, and a gorgeous and/or intriguing cover will hook me every time. Even if I don’t want the book, I’ve been known to buy. *g*
    Clinch covers have developed a shortcut visual language–readers recognize them as romances. Point of sale, the spark connects. If romance covers changed dramatically, the books might miss their audience. Some of my medievals books had beautiful castle landscapes, and while the books really did okay in sales and the reviews were outstanding — a lot of readers were confused about the story: was it a romance, or a bigger literary story?
    Avon is doing wonderful clinches for my Sarah Gabriel books (and I’m not just saying this because Erika is my editor!). Bare chested Scotsman and feisty heroines, yes…but the covers are beautifully produced with high art value, and the classic clinches have a romantic, emotional tone that is tender but still very sexy. There’s character shown, not just overproduction of hormones
    (wait ’til you see my December cover — it’s a stunning and classic clinch).
    There are clinches that make you cringe — and there are clinches that make you swoon. Lots of us have been embarrassed to be seen holding a book with a hot-sexy cover while on the train, plane, in the doctor’s office, or even just sitting around with your teenagers at home. Me too.
    But as Michelle and some others have said here, if you love the book and the genre, you read it anyway. For a very long time there’s been a strong trend of market branding for romance. It’s not going to change any time soon.
    Though someday I would dearly love to have a gorgeous pre-Raphaelite fine-art cover… 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  135. What a great discussion. Welcome, Erika, and thanks for posing such interesting questions!
    I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover of ANY sort, and if the cover has a high artistic level and production value, I’m in — whether it’s clinch or fine art or what. I am a cover slut, and a gorgeous and/or intriguing cover will hook me every time. Even if I don’t want the book, I’ve been known to buy. *g*
    Clinch covers have developed a shortcut visual language–readers recognize them as romances. Point of sale, the spark connects. If romance covers changed dramatically, the books might miss their audience. Some of my medievals books had beautiful castle landscapes, and while the books really did okay in sales and the reviews were outstanding — a lot of readers were confused about the story: was it a romance, or a bigger literary story?
    Avon is doing wonderful clinches for my Sarah Gabriel books (and I’m not just saying this because Erika is my editor!). Bare chested Scotsman and feisty heroines, yes…but the covers are beautifully produced with high art value, and the classic clinches have a romantic, emotional tone that is tender but still very sexy. There’s character shown, not just overproduction of hormones
    (wait ’til you see my December cover — it’s a stunning and classic clinch).
    There are clinches that make you cringe — and there are clinches that make you swoon. Lots of us have been embarrassed to be seen holding a book with a hot-sexy cover while on the train, plane, in the doctor’s office, or even just sitting around with your teenagers at home. Me too.
    But as Michelle and some others have said here, if you love the book and the genre, you read it anyway. For a very long time there’s been a strong trend of market branding for romance. It’s not going to change any time soon.
    Though someday I would dearly love to have a gorgeous pre-Raphaelite fine-art cover… 🙂
    ~Susan Sarah

    Reply
  136. Thank you for answering my question about westerns, Erika. Now I’m wondering about the future direction of historicals. Is the market for American-set historicals dying completely? Where can they go if not circle back to past sub-genres that have been pretty much ignored in recent years? For example, Civil War romances, or the Colonial period.
    It seems to me that the market has been saturated for some time now with Regency and Scottish set historicals, yet most publishers guidelines still state that these are the main two periods that interest them. I loved them years ago, but can’t read them anymore. I’m wondering how long these same settings and storylines will be recycled before the publishers finally get a clue that their sales are down because there is nothing new under the sun out there to read.
    Back to the subject of covers–I was very surprised recently to see an Avon cover from an author who writes traditional sensual Regency historical romance end up with a cover that screams erotic because of not only a naked man on the cover, but the woman is naked as well. The cover doesn’t even look historical. There’s nothing there to identify it as such. No period clothing, nothing, just bare skin that appears to be telling a potential reader “this is an erotic romance.” And it isn’t.

    Reply
  137. Thank you for answering my question about westerns, Erika. Now I’m wondering about the future direction of historicals. Is the market for American-set historicals dying completely? Where can they go if not circle back to past sub-genres that have been pretty much ignored in recent years? For example, Civil War romances, or the Colonial period.
    It seems to me that the market has been saturated for some time now with Regency and Scottish set historicals, yet most publishers guidelines still state that these are the main two periods that interest them. I loved them years ago, but can’t read them anymore. I’m wondering how long these same settings and storylines will be recycled before the publishers finally get a clue that their sales are down because there is nothing new under the sun out there to read.
    Back to the subject of covers–I was very surprised recently to see an Avon cover from an author who writes traditional sensual Regency historical romance end up with a cover that screams erotic because of not only a naked man on the cover, but the woman is naked as well. The cover doesn’t even look historical. There’s nothing there to identify it as such. No period clothing, nothing, just bare skin that appears to be telling a potential reader “this is an erotic romance.” And it isn’t.

    Reply
  138. Thank you for answering my question about westerns, Erika. Now I’m wondering about the future direction of historicals. Is the market for American-set historicals dying completely? Where can they go if not circle back to past sub-genres that have been pretty much ignored in recent years? For example, Civil War romances, or the Colonial period.
    It seems to me that the market has been saturated for some time now with Regency and Scottish set historicals, yet most publishers guidelines still state that these are the main two periods that interest them. I loved them years ago, but can’t read them anymore. I’m wondering how long these same settings and storylines will be recycled before the publishers finally get a clue that their sales are down because there is nothing new under the sun out there to read.
    Back to the subject of covers–I was very surprised recently to see an Avon cover from an author who writes traditional sensual Regency historical romance end up with a cover that screams erotic because of not only a naked man on the cover, but the woman is naked as well. The cover doesn’t even look historical. There’s nothing there to identify it as such. No period clothing, nothing, just bare skin that appears to be telling a potential reader “this is an erotic romance.” And it isn’t.

    Reply
  139. Thank you for answering my question about westerns, Erika. Now I’m wondering about the future direction of historicals. Is the market for American-set historicals dying completely? Where can they go if not circle back to past sub-genres that have been pretty much ignored in recent years? For example, Civil War romances, or the Colonial period.
    It seems to me that the market has been saturated for some time now with Regency and Scottish set historicals, yet most publishers guidelines still state that these are the main two periods that interest them. I loved them years ago, but can’t read them anymore. I’m wondering how long these same settings and storylines will be recycled before the publishers finally get a clue that their sales are down because there is nothing new under the sun out there to read.
    Back to the subject of covers–I was very surprised recently to see an Avon cover from an author who writes traditional sensual Regency historical romance end up with a cover that screams erotic because of not only a naked man on the cover, but the woman is naked as well. The cover doesn’t even look historical. There’s nothing there to identify it as such. No period clothing, nothing, just bare skin that appears to be telling a potential reader “this is an erotic romance.” And it isn’t.

    Reply
  140. Thank you for answering my question about westerns, Erika. Now I’m wondering about the future direction of historicals. Is the market for American-set historicals dying completely? Where can they go if not circle back to past sub-genres that have been pretty much ignored in recent years? For example, Civil War romances, or the Colonial period.
    It seems to me that the market has been saturated for some time now with Regency and Scottish set historicals, yet most publishers guidelines still state that these are the main two periods that interest them. I loved them years ago, but can’t read them anymore. I’m wondering how long these same settings and storylines will be recycled before the publishers finally get a clue that their sales are down because there is nothing new under the sun out there to read.
    Back to the subject of covers–I was very surprised recently to see an Avon cover from an author who writes traditional sensual Regency historical romance end up with a cover that screams erotic because of not only a naked man on the cover, but the woman is naked as well. The cover doesn’t even look historical. There’s nothing there to identify it as such. No period clothing, nothing, just bare skin that appears to be telling a potential reader “this is an erotic romance.” And it isn’t.

    Reply
  141. The interesting thing is, Sherrie, that clinch covers work for new authors. As they gain a loyal fanbase over time, the clinch covers become less necessary, but it’s been my experience that readers want to see people on their covers when they’re trying out a new author.

    Reply
  142. The interesting thing is, Sherrie, that clinch covers work for new authors. As they gain a loyal fanbase over time, the clinch covers become less necessary, but it’s been my experience that readers want to see people on their covers when they’re trying out a new author.

    Reply
  143. The interesting thing is, Sherrie, that clinch covers work for new authors. As they gain a loyal fanbase over time, the clinch covers become less necessary, but it’s been my experience that readers want to see people on their covers when they’re trying out a new author.

    Reply
  144. The interesting thing is, Sherrie, that clinch covers work for new authors. As they gain a loyal fanbase over time, the clinch covers become less necessary, but it’s been my experience that readers want to see people on their covers when they’re trying out a new author.

    Reply
  145. The interesting thing is, Sherrie, that clinch covers work for new authors. As they gain a loyal fanbase over time, the clinch covers become less necessary, but it’s been my experience that readers want to see people on their covers when they’re trying out a new author.

    Reply
  146. Erika,
    I believe you are correct in that readers want people on the covers when they are trying new authors. Subconciously, I’ve always done this. I just checked my bookcase, and sure enough ever author “first” that I could remember as such always had a person on the cover. If the author went on my “must read” list, it didn’t really matter at that point. I never noticed my behavior until now, however. I wonder if it’s subconscious??

    Reply
  147. Erika,
    I believe you are correct in that readers want people on the covers when they are trying new authors. Subconciously, I’ve always done this. I just checked my bookcase, and sure enough ever author “first” that I could remember as such always had a person on the cover. If the author went on my “must read” list, it didn’t really matter at that point. I never noticed my behavior until now, however. I wonder if it’s subconscious??

    Reply
  148. Erika,
    I believe you are correct in that readers want people on the covers when they are trying new authors. Subconciously, I’ve always done this. I just checked my bookcase, and sure enough ever author “first” that I could remember as such always had a person on the cover. If the author went on my “must read” list, it didn’t really matter at that point. I never noticed my behavior until now, however. I wonder if it’s subconscious??

    Reply
  149. Erika,
    I believe you are correct in that readers want people on the covers when they are trying new authors. Subconciously, I’ve always done this. I just checked my bookcase, and sure enough ever author “first” that I could remember as such always had a person on the cover. If the author went on my “must read” list, it didn’t really matter at that point. I never noticed my behavior until now, however. I wonder if it’s subconscious??

    Reply
  150. Erika,
    I believe you are correct in that readers want people on the covers when they are trying new authors. Subconciously, I’ve always done this. I just checked my bookcase, and sure enough ever author “first” that I could remember as such always had a person on the cover. If the author went on my “must read” list, it didn’t really matter at that point. I never noticed my behavior until now, however. I wonder if it’s subconscious??

    Reply
  151. Hi Erika,
    You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers! (Hmmm, high-quality cover, must have a high-quality book inside. . .) Similarly, there remain lots of authors I haven’t tried at all because their covers make them Look Like Junk.
    Having said that, however–Susan/Sarah, as you’ll recall I asked for a cover flat of “Stealing Sophie” for a Christmas present for my daughter–it’s hanging framed in her room now. I was SO DELIGHTED to find a romance novel with “Sophie” in the title and a cover Decent enough to give to a 14 year old (everyone is pretty much clothed)! You are right that your Stealing Sophie and Keeping Kate covers are clinchy but beautifully rendered. (The Keeping Kate one is my favorite, wish I had a Big One to hang on the wall. . .)
    Thanks for listening to my pulpit pounding, I’ll bow out now. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  152. Hi Erika,
    You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers! (Hmmm, high-quality cover, must have a high-quality book inside. . .) Similarly, there remain lots of authors I haven’t tried at all because their covers make them Look Like Junk.
    Having said that, however–Susan/Sarah, as you’ll recall I asked for a cover flat of “Stealing Sophie” for a Christmas present for my daughter–it’s hanging framed in her room now. I was SO DELIGHTED to find a romance novel with “Sophie” in the title and a cover Decent enough to give to a 14 year old (everyone is pretty much clothed)! You are right that your Stealing Sophie and Keeping Kate covers are clinchy but beautifully rendered. (The Keeping Kate one is my favorite, wish I had a Big One to hang on the wall. . .)
    Thanks for listening to my pulpit pounding, I’ll bow out now. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  153. Hi Erika,
    You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers! (Hmmm, high-quality cover, must have a high-quality book inside. . .) Similarly, there remain lots of authors I haven’t tried at all because their covers make them Look Like Junk.
    Having said that, however–Susan/Sarah, as you’ll recall I asked for a cover flat of “Stealing Sophie” for a Christmas present for my daughter–it’s hanging framed in her room now. I was SO DELIGHTED to find a romance novel with “Sophie” in the title and a cover Decent enough to give to a 14 year old (everyone is pretty much clothed)! You are right that your Stealing Sophie and Keeping Kate covers are clinchy but beautifully rendered. (The Keeping Kate one is my favorite, wish I had a Big One to hang on the wall. . .)
    Thanks for listening to my pulpit pounding, I’ll bow out now. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  154. Hi Erika,
    You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers! (Hmmm, high-quality cover, must have a high-quality book inside. . .) Similarly, there remain lots of authors I haven’t tried at all because their covers make them Look Like Junk.
    Having said that, however–Susan/Sarah, as you’ll recall I asked for a cover flat of “Stealing Sophie” for a Christmas present for my daughter–it’s hanging framed in her room now. I was SO DELIGHTED to find a romance novel with “Sophie” in the title and a cover Decent enough to give to a 14 year old (everyone is pretty much clothed)! You are right that your Stealing Sophie and Keeping Kate covers are clinchy but beautifully rendered. (The Keeping Kate one is my favorite, wish I had a Big One to hang on the wall. . .)
    Thanks for listening to my pulpit pounding, I’ll bow out now. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  155. Hi Erika,
    You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers! (Hmmm, high-quality cover, must have a high-quality book inside. . .) Similarly, there remain lots of authors I haven’t tried at all because their covers make them Look Like Junk.
    Having said that, however–Susan/Sarah, as you’ll recall I asked for a cover flat of “Stealing Sophie” for a Christmas present for my daughter–it’s hanging framed in her room now. I was SO DELIGHTED to find a romance novel with “Sophie” in the title and a cover Decent enough to give to a 14 year old (everyone is pretty much clothed)! You are right that your Stealing Sophie and Keeping Kate covers are clinchy but beautifully rendered. (The Keeping Kate one is my favorite, wish I had a Big One to hang on the wall. . .)
    Thanks for listening to my pulpit pounding, I’ll bow out now. . .
    Melinda

    Reply
  156. I confess. I do judge books by the cover. The cover often entices me to pick it up and read the back blurb. If the book sounds like one I’d enjoy, or I know I like the author, the cover won’t keep me from buying. Which leaves a class of books that I might enjoy but will never know because the cover turned me off. I dislike covers that are utter fantasy (people in positions or clothing that defies imagination or history, for example) I just wish covers had more to do with the content. Covers that are in-artistic turn me off, too. I’ve seen some that make me think the artist either had no talent or didn’t care. Give me lush, vibrant covers. I tend to leave clinches at home. Covers should look like that publisher cares.
    Odd, though, at my local Renaissance Faire, the swords are bigger. Maybe it’s a Left Coast thing.

    Reply
  157. I confess. I do judge books by the cover. The cover often entices me to pick it up and read the back blurb. If the book sounds like one I’d enjoy, or I know I like the author, the cover won’t keep me from buying. Which leaves a class of books that I might enjoy but will never know because the cover turned me off. I dislike covers that are utter fantasy (people in positions or clothing that defies imagination or history, for example) I just wish covers had more to do with the content. Covers that are in-artistic turn me off, too. I’ve seen some that make me think the artist either had no talent or didn’t care. Give me lush, vibrant covers. I tend to leave clinches at home. Covers should look like that publisher cares.
    Odd, though, at my local Renaissance Faire, the swords are bigger. Maybe it’s a Left Coast thing.

    Reply
  158. I confess. I do judge books by the cover. The cover often entices me to pick it up and read the back blurb. If the book sounds like one I’d enjoy, or I know I like the author, the cover won’t keep me from buying. Which leaves a class of books that I might enjoy but will never know because the cover turned me off. I dislike covers that are utter fantasy (people in positions or clothing that defies imagination or history, for example) I just wish covers had more to do with the content. Covers that are in-artistic turn me off, too. I’ve seen some that make me think the artist either had no talent or didn’t care. Give me lush, vibrant covers. I tend to leave clinches at home. Covers should look like that publisher cares.
    Odd, though, at my local Renaissance Faire, the swords are bigger. Maybe it’s a Left Coast thing.

    Reply
  159. I confess. I do judge books by the cover. The cover often entices me to pick it up and read the back blurb. If the book sounds like one I’d enjoy, or I know I like the author, the cover won’t keep me from buying. Which leaves a class of books that I might enjoy but will never know because the cover turned me off. I dislike covers that are utter fantasy (people in positions or clothing that defies imagination or history, for example) I just wish covers had more to do with the content. Covers that are in-artistic turn me off, too. I’ve seen some that make me think the artist either had no talent or didn’t care. Give me lush, vibrant covers. I tend to leave clinches at home. Covers should look like that publisher cares.
    Odd, though, at my local Renaissance Faire, the swords are bigger. Maybe it’s a Left Coast thing.

    Reply
  160. I confess. I do judge books by the cover. The cover often entices me to pick it up and read the back blurb. If the book sounds like one I’d enjoy, or I know I like the author, the cover won’t keep me from buying. Which leaves a class of books that I might enjoy but will never know because the cover turned me off. I dislike covers that are utter fantasy (people in positions or clothing that defies imagination or history, for example) I just wish covers had more to do with the content. Covers that are in-artistic turn me off, too. I’ve seen some that make me think the artist either had no talent or didn’t care. Give me lush, vibrant covers. I tend to leave clinches at home. Covers should look like that publisher cares.
    Odd, though, at my local Renaissance Faire, the swords are bigger. Maybe it’s a Left Coast thing.

    Reply
  161. Hello Erika.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my second question. Your response is greatly appreciated and will be taken to heart as I work through my current ms.
    At the risk of hogging your time, here is a third (and sort of a fourth) question. Aside from grammar and spell check, what is one thing you wish writers would do (or do more of) before submitting a manuscript? And, what is one thing you wish writers would stop doing when sending you a manuscript?
    Thanks,
    Nina

    Reply
  162. Hello Erika.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my second question. Your response is greatly appreciated and will be taken to heart as I work through my current ms.
    At the risk of hogging your time, here is a third (and sort of a fourth) question. Aside from grammar and spell check, what is one thing you wish writers would do (or do more of) before submitting a manuscript? And, what is one thing you wish writers would stop doing when sending you a manuscript?
    Thanks,
    Nina

    Reply
  163. Hello Erika.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my second question. Your response is greatly appreciated and will be taken to heart as I work through my current ms.
    At the risk of hogging your time, here is a third (and sort of a fourth) question. Aside from grammar and spell check, what is one thing you wish writers would do (or do more of) before submitting a manuscript? And, what is one thing you wish writers would stop doing when sending you a manuscript?
    Thanks,
    Nina

    Reply
  164. Hello Erika.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my second question. Your response is greatly appreciated and will be taken to heart as I work through my current ms.
    At the risk of hogging your time, here is a third (and sort of a fourth) question. Aside from grammar and spell check, what is one thing you wish writers would do (or do more of) before submitting a manuscript? And, what is one thing you wish writers would stop doing when sending you a manuscript?
    Thanks,
    Nina

    Reply
  165. Hello Erika.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my second question. Your response is greatly appreciated and will be taken to heart as I work through my current ms.
    At the risk of hogging your time, here is a third (and sort of a fourth) question. Aside from grammar and spell check, what is one thing you wish writers would do (or do more of) before submitting a manuscript? And, what is one thing you wish writers would stop doing when sending you a manuscript?
    Thanks,
    Nina

    Reply
  166. Clinch cover or no, I’m a proud defender of romance fiction, historical/fantasy/paranormal, especially. Romance has the BEST authors, in my opinion. If a smirking someone on my flight asks me about the book I’m reading, I find myself explaining the plot and smiling. And mid-way through the flight, the guy/gal next to me is reading over my shoulder.

    Reply
  167. Clinch cover or no, I’m a proud defender of romance fiction, historical/fantasy/paranormal, especially. Romance has the BEST authors, in my opinion. If a smirking someone on my flight asks me about the book I’m reading, I find myself explaining the plot and smiling. And mid-way through the flight, the guy/gal next to me is reading over my shoulder.

    Reply
  168. Clinch cover or no, I’m a proud defender of romance fiction, historical/fantasy/paranormal, especially. Romance has the BEST authors, in my opinion. If a smirking someone on my flight asks me about the book I’m reading, I find myself explaining the plot and smiling. And mid-way through the flight, the guy/gal next to me is reading over my shoulder.

    Reply
  169. Clinch cover or no, I’m a proud defender of romance fiction, historical/fantasy/paranormal, especially. Romance has the BEST authors, in my opinion. If a smirking someone on my flight asks me about the book I’m reading, I find myself explaining the plot and smiling. And mid-way through the flight, the guy/gal next to me is reading over my shoulder.

    Reply
  170. Clinch cover or no, I’m a proud defender of romance fiction, historical/fantasy/paranormal, especially. Romance has the BEST authors, in my opinion. If a smirking someone on my flight asks me about the book I’m reading, I find myself explaining the plot and smiling. And mid-way through the flight, the guy/gal next to me is reading over my shoulder.

    Reply
  171. Hi Erika,
    A special thanks for stopping by.
    Can you tell us a bit about Avon’s re-branding foray into Avon A?
    Thanks!
    Jane

    Reply
  172. Hi Erika,
    A special thanks for stopping by.
    Can you tell us a bit about Avon’s re-branding foray into Avon A?
    Thanks!
    Jane

    Reply
  173. Hi Erika,
    A special thanks for stopping by.
    Can you tell us a bit about Avon’s re-branding foray into Avon A?
    Thanks!
    Jane

    Reply
  174. Hi Erika,
    A special thanks for stopping by.
    Can you tell us a bit about Avon’s re-branding foray into Avon A?
    Thanks!
    Jane

    Reply
  175. Hi Erika,
    A special thanks for stopping by.
    Can you tell us a bit about Avon’s re-branding foray into Avon A?
    Thanks!
    Jane

    Reply
  176. Jane, I’ll let you in on a little secret: More often than not, the cover concepts are decided before the author is finished writing the manuscript. Sometimes I only have 2 chapters to go on, so we have no way of knowing what scene can be illustrated for the cover.
    MaryK, there are no official guidelines at Avon on what editors can or can’t buy. Our editorial director relies on the expertise of the editors — that is why she hired us, after all. The only “criteria” would be that we love what we’re acquiring. Each of us have our likes and dislikes and if something isn’t for me, I generally pass it on to another editor who I think may enjoy it more.
    Hi, Jo! Hmm…what I’m not seeing enough of is the dark tortured hero, like the ones Laura Kinsale used to write. I’d love to see those stories again… I think writers spend too much of their time and energy deciding on the right font to use and measuring their margins. What is most important is the quality of writing… Historicals are defined as anything before WWII, but to me, historical romance is about the fantasy. If I’m reading about electricity and automobiles in a historical, I’m no longer in that fantasy and it’s less appealing. I think that’s why the Regency and Victorian periods are so popular… Did I answer all your questions???
    Devon, I hear quite often from readers that they’re tired of reading the Regency-set or Scottish historicals, yet that’s exactly what they’ll buy again and again. I’ve tried to publish stories that took place elsewhere, but never to the same level of sales as those that took place in Britain. So while readers may say that they want more exotic locales, the majority of readers like the familiarity of Regency-set historicals and those Scottish Highlanders.
    Nina, I think organizations like RWA really helped in providing new writers with what to do and not to do when it comes to submissions, so I really don’t have any complaints.
    And finally, JaneG: Avon A is our trade paperback program. We were calling them “Avon Trade Paperbacks” but the reading public really didn’t care or know what a trade paperback is. And what was once chick lit is now all types of woman’s fiction speaking to a wide range of female readers. We’ve also broaden our scope to include fun non-fictions.
    Well, that was fun! Thank you all for the warm welcome and lively discussion.

    Reply
  177. Jane, I’ll let you in on a little secret: More often than not, the cover concepts are decided before the author is finished writing the manuscript. Sometimes I only have 2 chapters to go on, so we have no way of knowing what scene can be illustrated for the cover.
    MaryK, there are no official guidelines at Avon on what editors can or can’t buy. Our editorial director relies on the expertise of the editors — that is why she hired us, after all. The only “criteria” would be that we love what we’re acquiring. Each of us have our likes and dislikes and if something isn’t for me, I generally pass it on to another editor who I think may enjoy it more.
    Hi, Jo! Hmm…what I’m not seeing enough of is the dark tortured hero, like the ones Laura Kinsale used to write. I’d love to see those stories again… I think writers spend too much of their time and energy deciding on the right font to use and measuring their margins. What is most important is the quality of writing… Historicals are defined as anything before WWII, but to me, historical romance is about the fantasy. If I’m reading about electricity and automobiles in a historical, I’m no longer in that fantasy and it’s less appealing. I think that’s why the Regency and Victorian periods are so popular… Did I answer all your questions???
    Devon, I hear quite often from readers that they’re tired of reading the Regency-set or Scottish historicals, yet that’s exactly what they’ll buy again and again. I’ve tried to publish stories that took place elsewhere, but never to the same level of sales as those that took place in Britain. So while readers may say that they want more exotic locales, the majority of readers like the familiarity of Regency-set historicals and those Scottish Highlanders.
    Nina, I think organizations like RWA really helped in providing new writers with what to do and not to do when it comes to submissions, so I really don’t have any complaints.
    And finally, JaneG: Avon A is our trade paperback program. We were calling them “Avon Trade Paperbacks” but the reading public really didn’t care or know what a trade paperback is. And what was once chick lit is now all types of woman’s fiction speaking to a wide range of female readers. We’ve also broaden our scope to include fun non-fictions.
    Well, that was fun! Thank you all for the warm welcome and lively discussion.

    Reply
  178. Jane, I’ll let you in on a little secret: More often than not, the cover concepts are decided before the author is finished writing the manuscript. Sometimes I only have 2 chapters to go on, so we have no way of knowing what scene can be illustrated for the cover.
    MaryK, there are no official guidelines at Avon on what editors can or can’t buy. Our editorial director relies on the expertise of the editors — that is why she hired us, after all. The only “criteria” would be that we love what we’re acquiring. Each of us have our likes and dislikes and if something isn’t for me, I generally pass it on to another editor who I think may enjoy it more.
    Hi, Jo! Hmm…what I’m not seeing enough of is the dark tortured hero, like the ones Laura Kinsale used to write. I’d love to see those stories again… I think writers spend too much of their time and energy deciding on the right font to use and measuring their margins. What is most important is the quality of writing… Historicals are defined as anything before WWII, but to me, historical romance is about the fantasy. If I’m reading about electricity and automobiles in a historical, I’m no longer in that fantasy and it’s less appealing. I think that’s why the Regency and Victorian periods are so popular… Did I answer all your questions???
    Devon, I hear quite often from readers that they’re tired of reading the Regency-set or Scottish historicals, yet that’s exactly what they’ll buy again and again. I’ve tried to publish stories that took place elsewhere, but never to the same level of sales as those that took place in Britain. So while readers may say that they want more exotic locales, the majority of readers like the familiarity of Regency-set historicals and those Scottish Highlanders.
    Nina, I think organizations like RWA really helped in providing new writers with what to do and not to do when it comes to submissions, so I really don’t have any complaints.
    And finally, JaneG: Avon A is our trade paperback program. We were calling them “Avon Trade Paperbacks” but the reading public really didn’t care or know what a trade paperback is. And what was once chick lit is now all types of woman’s fiction speaking to a wide range of female readers. We’ve also broaden our scope to include fun non-fictions.
    Well, that was fun! Thank you all for the warm welcome and lively discussion.

    Reply
  179. Jane, I’ll let you in on a little secret: More often than not, the cover concepts are decided before the author is finished writing the manuscript. Sometimes I only have 2 chapters to go on, so we have no way of knowing what scene can be illustrated for the cover.
    MaryK, there are no official guidelines at Avon on what editors can or can’t buy. Our editorial director relies on the expertise of the editors — that is why she hired us, after all. The only “criteria” would be that we love what we’re acquiring. Each of us have our likes and dislikes and if something isn’t for me, I generally pass it on to another editor who I think may enjoy it more.
    Hi, Jo! Hmm…what I’m not seeing enough of is the dark tortured hero, like the ones Laura Kinsale used to write. I’d love to see those stories again… I think writers spend too much of their time and energy deciding on the right font to use and measuring their margins. What is most important is the quality of writing… Historicals are defined as anything before WWII, but to me, historical romance is about the fantasy. If I’m reading about electricity and automobiles in a historical, I’m no longer in that fantasy and it’s less appealing. I think that’s why the Regency and Victorian periods are so popular… Did I answer all your questions???
    Devon, I hear quite often from readers that they’re tired of reading the Regency-set or Scottish historicals, yet that’s exactly what they’ll buy again and again. I’ve tried to publish stories that took place elsewhere, but never to the same level of sales as those that took place in Britain. So while readers may say that they want more exotic locales, the majority of readers like the familiarity of Regency-set historicals and those Scottish Highlanders.
    Nina, I think organizations like RWA really helped in providing new writers with what to do and not to do when it comes to submissions, so I really don’t have any complaints.
    And finally, JaneG: Avon A is our trade paperback program. We were calling them “Avon Trade Paperbacks” but the reading public really didn’t care or know what a trade paperback is. And what was once chick lit is now all types of woman’s fiction speaking to a wide range of female readers. We’ve also broaden our scope to include fun non-fictions.
    Well, that was fun! Thank you all for the warm welcome and lively discussion.

    Reply
  180. Jane, I’ll let you in on a little secret: More often than not, the cover concepts are decided before the author is finished writing the manuscript. Sometimes I only have 2 chapters to go on, so we have no way of knowing what scene can be illustrated for the cover.
    MaryK, there are no official guidelines at Avon on what editors can or can’t buy. Our editorial director relies on the expertise of the editors — that is why she hired us, after all. The only “criteria” would be that we love what we’re acquiring. Each of us have our likes and dislikes and if something isn’t for me, I generally pass it on to another editor who I think may enjoy it more.
    Hi, Jo! Hmm…what I’m not seeing enough of is the dark tortured hero, like the ones Laura Kinsale used to write. I’d love to see those stories again… I think writers spend too much of their time and energy deciding on the right font to use and measuring their margins. What is most important is the quality of writing… Historicals are defined as anything before WWII, but to me, historical romance is about the fantasy. If I’m reading about electricity and automobiles in a historical, I’m no longer in that fantasy and it’s less appealing. I think that’s why the Regency and Victorian periods are so popular… Did I answer all your questions???
    Devon, I hear quite often from readers that they’re tired of reading the Regency-set or Scottish historicals, yet that’s exactly what they’ll buy again and again. I’ve tried to publish stories that took place elsewhere, but never to the same level of sales as those that took place in Britain. So while readers may say that they want more exotic locales, the majority of readers like the familiarity of Regency-set historicals and those Scottish Highlanders.
    Nina, I think organizations like RWA really helped in providing new writers with what to do and not to do when it comes to submissions, so I really don’t have any complaints.
    And finally, JaneG: Avon A is our trade paperback program. We were calling them “Avon Trade Paperbacks” but the reading public really didn’t care or know what a trade paperback is. And what was once chick lit is now all types of woman’s fiction speaking to a wide range of female readers. We’ve also broaden our scope to include fun non-fictions.
    Well, that was fun! Thank you all for the warm welcome and lively discussion.

    Reply
  181. “You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers!”
    Ditto here!!!

    Reply
  182. “You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers!”
    Ditto here!!!

    Reply
  183. “You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers!”
    Ditto here!!!

    Reply
  184. “You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers!”
    Ditto here!!!

    Reply
  185. “You said that clinch covers are necessary for new authors. Just thought you’d like to know that I picked up new-to-me authors Pam Rosenthal, Candice Hern, and Julia Ross because I loved their non-clinch covers!”
    Ditto here!!!

    Reply
  186. Erika,
    Thanks for your time with us fans!!(NOW your in for it!)I really don’t judge too much by the cover, as I do the stepback, I like a desription of the story.. I love true historicals, regency/Scottish Highlanders..
    Garwood is also my fav..I also LOVE all my Avon authors, Enoch, Ranney, Quinn, My last find was Loretta Chase,, Lord of the Scoundrals is the best book I have read and re-read this past two years.. Cathy Maxwell’s In the Bed of the Duke was close 2nd.. LOVED COLSTER.. although the second book with his brother was slightly off, I am soo getting tired of those “fiesty” redheads, for me if I see another redhead cover I really have to think twice about spending my hard earned cash for it.. I like to see more books with the shy/plain heroines, you never see those, I can only think of Guilty Pleasures By LLGuhrke,I think heroines are underated, its hard to write good ones, without being annyoing, whiny, stupid and always saying”no,no,no” until the last chapter, I like stories where the hero/heroine work together instead of against each other, Chase does that the best, so does Ranney. About the length, well that is just a whole different day!!, Thanks for your time!!BTW need any assistants?!
    Thanks Tal

    Reply
  187. Erika,
    Thanks for your time with us fans!!(NOW your in for it!)I really don’t judge too much by the cover, as I do the stepback, I like a desription of the story.. I love true historicals, regency/Scottish Highlanders..
    Garwood is also my fav..I also LOVE all my Avon authors, Enoch, Ranney, Quinn, My last find was Loretta Chase,, Lord of the Scoundrals is the best book I have read and re-read this past two years.. Cathy Maxwell’s In the Bed of the Duke was close 2nd.. LOVED COLSTER.. although the second book with his brother was slightly off, I am soo getting tired of those “fiesty” redheads, for me if I see another redhead cover I really have to think twice about spending my hard earned cash for it.. I like to see more books with the shy/plain heroines, you never see those, I can only think of Guilty Pleasures By LLGuhrke,I think heroines are underated, its hard to write good ones, without being annyoing, whiny, stupid and always saying”no,no,no” until the last chapter, I like stories where the hero/heroine work together instead of against each other, Chase does that the best, so does Ranney. About the length, well that is just a whole different day!!, Thanks for your time!!BTW need any assistants?!
    Thanks Tal

    Reply
  188. Erika,
    Thanks for your time with us fans!!(NOW your in for it!)I really don’t judge too much by the cover, as I do the stepback, I like a desription of the story.. I love true historicals, regency/Scottish Highlanders..
    Garwood is also my fav..I also LOVE all my Avon authors, Enoch, Ranney, Quinn, My last find was Loretta Chase,, Lord of the Scoundrals is the best book I have read and re-read this past two years.. Cathy Maxwell’s In the Bed of the Duke was close 2nd.. LOVED COLSTER.. although the second book with his brother was slightly off, I am soo getting tired of those “fiesty” redheads, for me if I see another redhead cover I really have to think twice about spending my hard earned cash for it.. I like to see more books with the shy/plain heroines, you never see those, I can only think of Guilty Pleasures By LLGuhrke,I think heroines are underated, its hard to write good ones, without being annyoing, whiny, stupid and always saying”no,no,no” until the last chapter, I like stories where the hero/heroine work together instead of against each other, Chase does that the best, so does Ranney. About the length, well that is just a whole different day!!, Thanks for your time!!BTW need any assistants?!
    Thanks Tal

    Reply
  189. Erika,
    Thanks for your time with us fans!!(NOW your in for it!)I really don’t judge too much by the cover, as I do the stepback, I like a desription of the story.. I love true historicals, regency/Scottish Highlanders..
    Garwood is also my fav..I also LOVE all my Avon authors, Enoch, Ranney, Quinn, My last find was Loretta Chase,, Lord of the Scoundrals is the best book I have read and re-read this past two years.. Cathy Maxwell’s In the Bed of the Duke was close 2nd.. LOVED COLSTER.. although the second book with his brother was slightly off, I am soo getting tired of those “fiesty” redheads, for me if I see another redhead cover I really have to think twice about spending my hard earned cash for it.. I like to see more books with the shy/plain heroines, you never see those, I can only think of Guilty Pleasures By LLGuhrke,I think heroines are underated, its hard to write good ones, without being annyoing, whiny, stupid and always saying”no,no,no” until the last chapter, I like stories where the hero/heroine work together instead of against each other, Chase does that the best, so does Ranney. About the length, well that is just a whole different day!!, Thanks for your time!!BTW need any assistants?!
    Thanks Tal

    Reply
  190. Erika,
    Thanks for your time with us fans!!(NOW your in for it!)I really don’t judge too much by the cover, as I do the stepback, I like a desription of the story.. I love true historicals, regency/Scottish Highlanders..
    Garwood is also my fav..I also LOVE all my Avon authors, Enoch, Ranney, Quinn, My last find was Loretta Chase,, Lord of the Scoundrals is the best book I have read and re-read this past two years.. Cathy Maxwell’s In the Bed of the Duke was close 2nd.. LOVED COLSTER.. although the second book with his brother was slightly off, I am soo getting tired of those “fiesty” redheads, for me if I see another redhead cover I really have to think twice about spending my hard earned cash for it.. I like to see more books with the shy/plain heroines, you never see those, I can only think of Guilty Pleasures By LLGuhrke,I think heroines are underated, its hard to write good ones, without being annyoing, whiny, stupid and always saying”no,no,no” until the last chapter, I like stories where the hero/heroine work together instead of against each other, Chase does that the best, so does Ranney. About the length, well that is just a whole different day!!, Thanks for your time!!BTW need any assistants?!
    Thanks Tal

    Reply
  191. Erika, hi!! I’m really late to your fun blog, but absolutely had to stop by to *wave* hello.
    I’ve claimed in far too many place that I do judge a book by its cover, so I can’t now claim otherwise. 🙂
    For those authors who are new to me, the cover is what makes me pick up the book and buy it. The colors, the art, choice of people, placement on the cover, even the font all go into making that buying decision for me.
    I do prefer a look of intelligence about the faces of the H/H on the cover, not mindless, er, vapidity.
    Incorrect historical details in dress, etc. do cause me to pause before I pick the book up. Likewise, I’ll dither over buying a book if I find out that the H/H are completely incorrectly depicted on the cover, even as compared with the tiny description on the back cover copy.
    For my auto-buy authors, however, the cover could be a plain brown grocery-bag cover, I’d still buy it.
    Erika, thanks again for making the time to visit!!

    Reply
  192. Erika, hi!! I’m really late to your fun blog, but absolutely had to stop by to *wave* hello.
    I’ve claimed in far too many place that I do judge a book by its cover, so I can’t now claim otherwise. 🙂
    For those authors who are new to me, the cover is what makes me pick up the book and buy it. The colors, the art, choice of people, placement on the cover, even the font all go into making that buying decision for me.
    I do prefer a look of intelligence about the faces of the H/H on the cover, not mindless, er, vapidity.
    Incorrect historical details in dress, etc. do cause me to pause before I pick the book up. Likewise, I’ll dither over buying a book if I find out that the H/H are completely incorrectly depicted on the cover, even as compared with the tiny description on the back cover copy.
    For my auto-buy authors, however, the cover could be a plain brown grocery-bag cover, I’d still buy it.
    Erika, thanks again for making the time to visit!!

    Reply
  193. Erika, hi!! I’m really late to your fun blog, but absolutely had to stop by to *wave* hello.
    I’ve claimed in far too many place that I do judge a book by its cover, so I can’t now claim otherwise. 🙂
    For those authors who are new to me, the cover is what makes me pick up the book and buy it. The colors, the art, choice of people, placement on the cover, even the font all go into making that buying decision for me.
    I do prefer a look of intelligence about the faces of the H/H on the cover, not mindless, er, vapidity.
    Incorrect historical details in dress, etc. do cause me to pause before I pick the book up. Likewise, I’ll dither over buying a book if I find out that the H/H are completely incorrectly depicted on the cover, even as compared with the tiny description on the back cover copy.
    For my auto-buy authors, however, the cover could be a plain brown grocery-bag cover, I’d still buy it.
    Erika, thanks again for making the time to visit!!

    Reply
  194. Erika, hi!! I’m really late to your fun blog, but absolutely had to stop by to *wave* hello.
    I’ve claimed in far too many place that I do judge a book by its cover, so I can’t now claim otherwise. 🙂
    For those authors who are new to me, the cover is what makes me pick up the book and buy it. The colors, the art, choice of people, placement on the cover, even the font all go into making that buying decision for me.
    I do prefer a look of intelligence about the faces of the H/H on the cover, not mindless, er, vapidity.
    Incorrect historical details in dress, etc. do cause me to pause before I pick the book up. Likewise, I’ll dither over buying a book if I find out that the H/H are completely incorrectly depicted on the cover, even as compared with the tiny description on the back cover copy.
    For my auto-buy authors, however, the cover could be a plain brown grocery-bag cover, I’d still buy it.
    Erika, thanks again for making the time to visit!!

    Reply
  195. Erika, hi!! I’m really late to your fun blog, but absolutely had to stop by to *wave* hello.
    I’ve claimed in far too many place that I do judge a book by its cover, so I can’t now claim otherwise. 🙂
    For those authors who are new to me, the cover is what makes me pick up the book and buy it. The colors, the art, choice of people, placement on the cover, even the font all go into making that buying decision for me.
    I do prefer a look of intelligence about the faces of the H/H on the cover, not mindless, er, vapidity.
    Incorrect historical details in dress, etc. do cause me to pause before I pick the book up. Likewise, I’ll dither over buying a book if I find out that the H/H are completely incorrectly depicted on the cover, even as compared with the tiny description on the back cover copy.
    For my auto-buy authors, however, the cover could be a plain brown grocery-bag cover, I’d still buy it.
    Erika, thanks again for making the time to visit!!

    Reply
  196. Hi Erika! You edit a few of my will-still-buy Avon authors.
    I judge a book by its cover. Avon appears to be the last bastion of clinch covers in the industry–perhaps that’s part of the imprint’s popularity?–but I do like a tasteful clinch now and again. But a GORGEOUS cover like Cheryl Sawyer’s Code of Love or Jo Beverly’s latest will make me sit up and just want to look at the book.
    I love love love the cover for Karen Ranney’s upcoming title(in fact, have loved all her covers) and Kathryn Caskie’s cover is so charming! Is Avon making in effort to move away from the poses they’ve used a lot in the past, or does an author and editor have to submit a concrete concept to get different types of poses(like Jenna Petersen’s books)?
    What about “multi-cultural” historicals? Beverly Jenkins is the only one on the roster writing them. Do you think there is a smaller percentage of writers writing them because they tend to be American-set? What about a multi-cultural romance set in England?

    Reply
  197. Hi Erika! You edit a few of my will-still-buy Avon authors.
    I judge a book by its cover. Avon appears to be the last bastion of clinch covers in the industry–perhaps that’s part of the imprint’s popularity?–but I do like a tasteful clinch now and again. But a GORGEOUS cover like Cheryl Sawyer’s Code of Love or Jo Beverly’s latest will make me sit up and just want to look at the book.
    I love love love the cover for Karen Ranney’s upcoming title(in fact, have loved all her covers) and Kathryn Caskie’s cover is so charming! Is Avon making in effort to move away from the poses they’ve used a lot in the past, or does an author and editor have to submit a concrete concept to get different types of poses(like Jenna Petersen’s books)?
    What about “multi-cultural” historicals? Beverly Jenkins is the only one on the roster writing them. Do you think there is a smaller percentage of writers writing them because they tend to be American-set? What about a multi-cultural romance set in England?

    Reply
  198. Hi Erika! You edit a few of my will-still-buy Avon authors.
    I judge a book by its cover. Avon appears to be the last bastion of clinch covers in the industry–perhaps that’s part of the imprint’s popularity?–but I do like a tasteful clinch now and again. But a GORGEOUS cover like Cheryl Sawyer’s Code of Love or Jo Beverly’s latest will make me sit up and just want to look at the book.
    I love love love the cover for Karen Ranney’s upcoming title(in fact, have loved all her covers) and Kathryn Caskie’s cover is so charming! Is Avon making in effort to move away from the poses they’ve used a lot in the past, or does an author and editor have to submit a concrete concept to get different types of poses(like Jenna Petersen’s books)?
    What about “multi-cultural” historicals? Beverly Jenkins is the only one on the roster writing them. Do you think there is a smaller percentage of writers writing them because they tend to be American-set? What about a multi-cultural romance set in England?

    Reply
  199. Hi Erika! You edit a few of my will-still-buy Avon authors.
    I judge a book by its cover. Avon appears to be the last bastion of clinch covers in the industry–perhaps that’s part of the imprint’s popularity?–but I do like a tasteful clinch now and again. But a GORGEOUS cover like Cheryl Sawyer’s Code of Love or Jo Beverly’s latest will make me sit up and just want to look at the book.
    I love love love the cover for Karen Ranney’s upcoming title(in fact, have loved all her covers) and Kathryn Caskie’s cover is so charming! Is Avon making in effort to move away from the poses they’ve used a lot in the past, or does an author and editor have to submit a concrete concept to get different types of poses(like Jenna Petersen’s books)?
    What about “multi-cultural” historicals? Beverly Jenkins is the only one on the roster writing them. Do you think there is a smaller percentage of writers writing them because they tend to be American-set? What about a multi-cultural romance set in England?

    Reply
  200. Hi Erika! You edit a few of my will-still-buy Avon authors.
    I judge a book by its cover. Avon appears to be the last bastion of clinch covers in the industry–perhaps that’s part of the imprint’s popularity?–but I do like a tasteful clinch now and again. But a GORGEOUS cover like Cheryl Sawyer’s Code of Love or Jo Beverly’s latest will make me sit up and just want to look at the book.
    I love love love the cover for Karen Ranney’s upcoming title(in fact, have loved all her covers) and Kathryn Caskie’s cover is so charming! Is Avon making in effort to move away from the poses they’ve used a lot in the past, or does an author and editor have to submit a concrete concept to get different types of poses(like Jenna Petersen’s books)?
    What about “multi-cultural” historicals? Beverly Jenkins is the only one on the roster writing them. Do you think there is a smaller percentage of writers writing them because they tend to be American-set? What about a multi-cultural romance set in England?

    Reply
  201. Per Erika’s comment, I must be an anomaly, in that a clinch cover on an unknown-to-me author will make me turn to another book. Since the topless-hero-dress-falling-off heroine cover doesn’t appeal to me, if I have no other information, I avoid it. On an author whose books I know and like, I’m more indifferent. And I’m with RevMelinda and Kalen, in that it was precisely the beautiful covers on the Hern, Rosenthal, and Ross books that made me snatch them up. Amanda Quick’s later books also had lovely covers, as did Balogh’s Mistress books.
    A question for Erika: if non-UK set, non-Regencies aren’t popular in the Romance genre, are they popular in other genres? I’m thinking of Barbara Cleverley’s India-set, Jacqueline Winspear’s 1920’s set, and P.B. Ryan’s Gilded Age mysteries.

    Reply
  202. Per Erika’s comment, I must be an anomaly, in that a clinch cover on an unknown-to-me author will make me turn to another book. Since the topless-hero-dress-falling-off heroine cover doesn’t appeal to me, if I have no other information, I avoid it. On an author whose books I know and like, I’m more indifferent. And I’m with RevMelinda and Kalen, in that it was precisely the beautiful covers on the Hern, Rosenthal, and Ross books that made me snatch them up. Amanda Quick’s later books also had lovely covers, as did Balogh’s Mistress books.
    A question for Erika: if non-UK set, non-Regencies aren’t popular in the Romance genre, are they popular in other genres? I’m thinking of Barbara Cleverley’s India-set, Jacqueline Winspear’s 1920’s set, and P.B. Ryan’s Gilded Age mysteries.

    Reply
  203. Per Erika’s comment, I must be an anomaly, in that a clinch cover on an unknown-to-me author will make me turn to another book. Since the topless-hero-dress-falling-off heroine cover doesn’t appeal to me, if I have no other information, I avoid it. On an author whose books I know and like, I’m more indifferent. And I’m with RevMelinda and Kalen, in that it was precisely the beautiful covers on the Hern, Rosenthal, and Ross books that made me snatch them up. Amanda Quick’s later books also had lovely covers, as did Balogh’s Mistress books.
    A question for Erika: if non-UK set, non-Regencies aren’t popular in the Romance genre, are they popular in other genres? I’m thinking of Barbara Cleverley’s India-set, Jacqueline Winspear’s 1920’s set, and P.B. Ryan’s Gilded Age mysteries.

    Reply
  204. Per Erika’s comment, I must be an anomaly, in that a clinch cover on an unknown-to-me author will make me turn to another book. Since the topless-hero-dress-falling-off heroine cover doesn’t appeal to me, if I have no other information, I avoid it. On an author whose books I know and like, I’m more indifferent. And I’m with RevMelinda and Kalen, in that it was precisely the beautiful covers on the Hern, Rosenthal, and Ross books that made me snatch them up. Amanda Quick’s later books also had lovely covers, as did Balogh’s Mistress books.
    A question for Erika: if non-UK set, non-Regencies aren’t popular in the Romance genre, are they popular in other genres? I’m thinking of Barbara Cleverley’s India-set, Jacqueline Winspear’s 1920’s set, and P.B. Ryan’s Gilded Age mysteries.

    Reply
  205. Per Erika’s comment, I must be an anomaly, in that a clinch cover on an unknown-to-me author will make me turn to another book. Since the topless-hero-dress-falling-off heroine cover doesn’t appeal to me, if I have no other information, I avoid it. On an author whose books I know and like, I’m more indifferent. And I’m with RevMelinda and Kalen, in that it was precisely the beautiful covers on the Hern, Rosenthal, and Ross books that made me snatch them up. Amanda Quick’s later books also had lovely covers, as did Balogh’s Mistress books.
    A question for Erika: if non-UK set, non-Regencies aren’t popular in the Romance genre, are they popular in other genres? I’m thinking of Barbara Cleverley’s India-set, Jacqueline Winspear’s 1920’s set, and P.B. Ryan’s Gilded Age mysteries.

    Reply
  206. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  207. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  208. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  209. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  210. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  211. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  212. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  213. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  214. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply
  215. I’ve read some that were written as historical romance with more of the gritty (western historical) and it really made it very visual. Then too I’ve read Historical Fiction books, which were more of just Historicals with all the details and sometimes I’d cringe. With Historical Romances, I know they are fiction so I don’t expect all the gritty stuff, but if its in there here and there, I love learning about it as back then. So it really goes either way for me. Depends on my mood.
    I more enjoy the beautiful historical covers with the clothing, scenery, etc rather than just a naked chest on the cover. (But they are great to see, LOL). I think the book is the whole package, the cover, the blurb, but mostly whats inside it!

    Reply

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