How many times some authors thought about this: “Help! This cover book is not mine!!!” and were rather desperate to have an ugly cover attached with their story or models that were totally not the characters described in their stories and imagination?

How many wrote a bald hero and the cover the model had dark hair? Or the heroine had long hair and the cover had short one and not the right color? Or the characters had big muscles and the cover showed thin androgynous teens? Or the characters were in their 40ish and the models on the covers showed some 20ish? 

Or again really ugly non attractive design, ugly colors, same positions, same models…

I mean the list is endless about how wrong can be a cover book.

With the era of ebooks, I just cannot  believe that cover artists are not blooming all over the place and offering non only quality but fair price due to the variety. I understand that for a while, this job was not popular and therefore prices were over the top and choices were limited but after a couple of years this new industry is all over the place. No more excuses to find different styles and deal with true artist without breaking an arm for it!

I believe that the problem is the publisher who just not care enough or if they care, the readers pay the price. Right now there is hardly a fair middle quality/price.

It also happened that I bought an ebook and the file I got did not even have the cover!!!! Beware with All Romance Ebook, this happened not only one or two times there but many times!

I am not this kind of reader who buy a book by its cover. But of course I would lie if I say that I do not enjoy a nice cover with the story I am reading!

I sure do not understand some erotic publishers in the choice of their covers. I would say the big majority seems to do not care much to fit the cover with the story. And talking with a lot of authors, it seems that they have no say in the choice and they are not even consulted to provide at least some clues to the cover artists.

What a shame!

I am not sure why the publishers continue to provide such non sense. And it happens all the time no matter if the publisher is small or well- known . So it is not only a matter of being cheap here. It is a matter of they do not care as long as the number of people are right. Most of the time it is a poor collage that we see again and again.

There are exceptions of course but rare. Here is a list of what I think with a couple of publishers:

Great:

Loose-Id: so far I think they are the best. They are unique, the colors beautiful and they are reflecting the story pretty much all the time.

Liquid Silver Books: I like very much the variety. They are very erotic which is what I expect to see with my erotic story. I am rarely disappointed.

Good:

Decadent publishing: very pretty but my issue is that when I buy a book from them, half of the price is to pay the cover since the number of words is way under the normal price for the equivalent versus the other publishers. One of the most beautiful website of erotic publishers as well but here also, I have this nagging feeling that I pay more for the website and cover versus the content.

Resplendence Publishing: exact same comment as Decadent publishing above: pretty but methinks that I pay half the price of the book for the cover and the website. I would much prefer more words rather pretty colors on my cover.

Intermediate:

Ellora’s cave: 50/50. My main issue with them is that they do recycle some covers. It is not rare to find the same cover attached with another story with the same models, same position with only a couple of items or clothes different. It looks cheap.

Samhain: 50/50. Sometimes they are beautiful and reflect the story and sometimes it is not at all the characters described. It seems that they think as long as the number is correct, then it is good. The models are generally way too young versus the story which is a disappointment.

Ravenous: Pretty colorful and generally very attractive not always original though.

Silver Publishing: not very original, same position most of the time, but they do pick different models and they are all beautiful and not too young which is a plus.

Average:

Siren Publishing: totally boring. But they decided it is their marketing image, which is fine but still boring. But at least the models are different and the color of hair fit the characters. Not enough erotic IMO although I did find here and there some nude models.

Extasy Books: really average. Some covers are nice but I am really not fond of the fantasy/portray/robot/dolls characters.

Cobblestone Press: very average but they care about the physical details of the characters which give them brownies

Evernight Publishing: not the prettiest but not the ugliest either. They do respect the physical details and try to add details but the colors are pretty blah.

Total E-Bound: not always constant. Some covers are beautiful and some very blah.

Poor:

New Concept Publishing: oh dear. oh dear. oh dear. Everything is wrong. The title and the author’s name are completely unreadable. The design since it is not models goes from great to poor quality. Some drawings are beautiful and some plain ugly. But what bother me the most is the font/color that I can hardly read!!! Alloooo how come it is not obvious to NCP?

Changeling Press: yuck. I think either you like this kind of design or you hate it. I hate it.

.

Of course, this is only a few of the erotic publishers. And I want also to mention that I DID find some very talented cover artist as well but unfortunately too rare.

So overall I am upset because I feel like cheated in a way. I buy a story with its cover. It is part of the price I paid. If the cover shows characters that are completely different, my mind will make a fixation on this and not the quality of the story. It is like drinking a nice cocoa hot drink but the last drop is bitter. You will almost forget how sweet was the taste.

So what do you think? Am I right or not? Please share your opinion! I would love to know it!

~ Mary ~

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About Mary's Ménages Reviews

I read, review, beta read and blog about erotic ménages romances since 2005. Welcome to my world! :)

4 responses

  1. Michelle Hughes says:

    Thankfully I love doing covers and have great author friends that also enjoy creating the. There’s something extremely gratifying about watching your cover come to life.

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  2. Jess says:

    I agree wholeheartedly, including your “ratings” of the covers of various publishers out there.

    A cover may not make me BUY a book, but it ABSOLUTELY is what grabs my attention and helps to shape my mental image of the characters. There are so many talented artists out there at what I think are VERY reasonable rates that in my mind, there’s no excuse for sloppy cover work :-/

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  3. Ana says:

    As to why the covers for some publishers aren’t so great, it’s actually quite simple: artists get paid much less for ebook cover art for small genre publishers than for similar illustration in other fields or for larger publishing houses. I mean hundreds of dollars less in some cases.

    This means that for photomanipulators, there’s generally no time or budget for original photography and they have to use stock photos (so they all have access to the same limited pool of models and photos). For painters, unless they take every shortcut in the world or have a cartoony style, they might not even make minimum wage. The publishers that pay more for cover art will attract the better cover artists and will get the best out of their cover artists. Basically you get what you pay for.

    Also important in making a good cover: thorough spec sheets, reasonable deadlines, and getting author feedback like you mentioned.

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  4. marynaughtywhispers says:

    @Michelle
    You are lucky to work what looks like your passion 🙂
    Thank you for your comment

    @Jess
    Agreed.
    Thank you for your comment

    @Ana
    Thank you for your input!
    Yes I already guessed about the same pool since I found the same cover with different publishers. Your comment confirms me that the publishers are entirely responsible of the covers they attach with the stories and most careless to involve the authors and make sure to provide quality. I understand the lack of cover artist enthusiasm.
    Do you think that publishers who are offering prints do care better?

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