Guest Topic – Lisa Greer talks about Cover Art

Today I want to welcome author Lisa Greer who I asked to do a topic of her choice.

Lisa is a very well-read author whose area of specialty is gothic romances.  She has an M.A. in 18th century British Literature and has a wonderful ability to evoke time and place from the first page of her books. I encourage people to visit her author page on Amazon and read samples from her books to see what I’m talking about. I’ll also lead in with her own description from Amazon:

Lisa Greer writes gothic romance reminiscent of the early authors of the genre but with an updated, contemporary slant. She’s tried to do just a regular romance, but her characters usually don’t go along. When they do, it’s fun, but generally they want graveyards, murder, mouldering ancestral mansions, and isolated spaces.

Her wishes are twofold: that readers who love gothic romance will pick up her books on a gloomy day and be transported back to the romances they read as teenagers, or maybe that they still read. The other is that those who haven’t read the genre will find they enjoy the edgy atmosphere of gothic romance. She is a bestselling and multi-published author, teacher, tutor, and nearly lifelong Alabamian–with the exception of years spent in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Vancouver (Canada), and Texas. Her adventures around the country and in Canada inform her writing, so if you have a gypsy soul, dig in, and enjoy the darker side of romance.

Without further ado, here she is to speak about the importance of Covert Art:

Lisa Greer – on Cover Art

Thanks for having me on the forum!

Let’s talk cover art. Authors both love and dread it, but when it’s right, it’s amazing. I’ve had the bad luck to have cover art go terribly wrong more than once, so I really love it when the chemistry is all right and produces a winner.

For a serial set, it’s even more nerve wracking to decide what you want for cover art and make sure it gets implemented—at least to the extent that is possible. The concept needs to have potential for multiple books. I have a new release out May 25th called The Montmoors 1: The Governess and the Master. It’s a serial that starts off a series of stories about the Montmoor family. It’s written in historical gothic romance style. Think Victoria Holt, only with more atmosphere—at least that’s the plan.

Anyway, I needed a cover to match the sort of spooky feeling I want the book and the series to evoke.

The amazingly talented cover artists at Musa Publishing did exactly what I wanted. I’m a huge fan of colors that match the mood of a story. The black, gray, red, and white do just that—at least in my mind. I also love a cover with the moon on it. In fact, I think I have three or four covers now with that heavenly body gracing them.

The coolest elements of this cover, though, are the graveyard in the mist and the gate that opens to… a cemetery, but what else? And that is the question. What sort of journey is our heroine on, and will she prevail?

The next two covers for the set will be linked in color, font, and style. I’m hoping for a spooky castle on one and a moldy mausoleum on the next. And the moon… well, maybe not for the next two. Then again… who knows?

So, how about you? How do you figure out what you want on your covers? What is your favorite cover–your book or another author’s? Tell me more in the comments.
Facebook: LisaGreerAuthor
Read and excerpt and Pre-order The Montmoors 1: The Governess and the Master here:  Musa Publishing – The Montmoors 1 by Lisa Greer

9 thoughts on “Guest Topic – Lisa Greer talks about Cover Art

  1. An excellent post, and cover! I agree that covers should reflect the story of the novel. In your case, if the cover was neon green and yellow, it probably wouldn’t match the tone of the novel. 😛 As a reader, I would be thoroughly confused by the cover after reading the book, or confused by the book after seeing the cover. 🙂

  2. Lisa,

    Love the new book cover!

    I began reading Victoria Holt novels when I was about 13 years old. “Mistress of Mellyn” my true first introduction to gothic romance. Up until then, I was a fan of Nancy Drew! I remember being drawn in and fascinated by the cover art of a dark and forboding castle overlooking an angry stormy cove. And the ghostly vision of a mystery woman in a long white satin gown.

    What is often confusing to me is the seemngly constant change up of the original cover art on many novels…and not just the mouldy oldies that need a new generation makeover. Maybe it’s just a publishing twist to get better sales, etc.

    Very often, my decision to purchase a book, especially randomly off the shelves, is the subconscious emotional connection I have with the cover art. So it is definitely part of the overall marketing savvy to sell a book.

  3. Great post! I, too, am a huge fan of cover art that has to depict what’s going on in the book. When the cover matches the story, it’s magic. I also love the “old style” Gothics; in fact, my first three published novels were Gothic Suspense. I can’t wait to read your series; it sounds like the Gothics I read so avidly and would like to read again.
    Jan Flores

  4. I liked the colour combination on the cover of The Governess and the Master. Visiting the website and looking through the ‘coming soon’ widget it seems as though Musa have a distinctive house style for their designs, but it seems to work well for a range of genres.

    As far as cover art goes, I’ve always been a fan of Alan Lee and John Howe, as well as Josh Kirby who did the earlier Terry Pratchett Discworld novels.

  5. Love your cover! I am very drawn to those same colors. If you know that you are in the midst of a book that has a sequel, it is important to try to be strategic about the covers in advance. It saves angst down the road! I’m into staircases for the covers of one of my series right now- it’s funny how you just KNOW what’s right when you hit on it.

  6. Great post, Lisa! So true the way tone of good novels are reflected on the cover! I noted that you are carrying similar colors/atmosphere/art through to the next in the series. As a voracious reader, I look for good covers, and know the artist, author, and publishing company are working together when it all flows perfectly, cover to cover and everything in between. Thanks for hosting, Matthew!

  7. Cover art is usually the first thing that people look at so it has to be right and grab them straight away, if it doesn’t then regardless of what people say about how they do x y and z before selecting a title then you’ve potentially lost the sale.

    The main problem I’ve come across is when a book has a cover that has nothing to do with the content. (Actually quite common in Fantasy.) Now there’s usually a number of reasons for this, but the main one is that the piece was commissioned for another piece and the rights are then lost by the artist and becomes the property for the publisher who then sells it on to others. Quite awful when you think about it to be honest.

    Were I to have a choice on a cover, I’d want something fun, something grabby and something I think would give the reader a tantalising taste of whats between the pages. Were I allowed to choose an artist there’s quite a few that I love. For Steampunk probably Stephan Martiniere, were it a fantasy, I love John Bolton or Luis Royo, were it something romantic, I’d want a pinup artist (so many I love out there.) But finding that key piece that resonates, well thats the secret. Whilst many of us have to just dream about the event, you get to live it.

    A great post and thanks Matthew for hosting it.

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