Thursday, May 28, 2020

Looking for a premade cover isn't as straightforward as I thought

I've been looking for a premade contemporary romance cover lately, so I've been stalking A LOT of websites and Facebook groups in search of the "perfect" cover. Why premade, you ask? To be honest, it's mostly a cost issue, but also I don't feel like what I'm looking for should be that difficult to find. And yet...

My specifications are pretty straightforward. The book is one that I'm receiving the rights back from a traditional publisher on, and it was initially published during the New Adult heydey. New Adult still exists, but it's a lot sexier. Especially in terms of covers.

Which means more man chest than couples. I did some market research - aka stalking Amazon - and discovered that a lot of the best-selling New Adult covers feature a male torso, preferably with six-pack abs. Well, that's easy enough to find as a premade, right?

Sort of. There are a lot of male torso premade covers out there, but fonts matter. Fonts mean the difference between a paranormal male torso and an edgey contemporary male torso. Don't believe me? Look at these two:

The glowing text treatment on Last Alpha gives it an otherworldly vibe, yes? (And, ok, there's a wolf in the background too but I didn't notice that at first, I swear.) By contrast, the handwritten brush font on One Night With A Hero is contemporary romance all the way.

Black and white male torsos on New Adult covers are super popular. Most of L. J. Shen's covers are black and white with a dash of color in the title and they definitely work for her. Her recent release hit #1 in the entire Kindle store, and is still #8 overall and #1 in three categories two weeks post-release. That's not due to the cover alone, of course, but the cover doesn't HURT its prospects at all.

Don't worry. I know that L. J. Shen's covers aren't premades - and I'm pretty sure the photos are exclusive, not stock. But it's worth studying what works, and her covers definitely do.

There are a lot of black and white male torso premade covers, and honestly I think I've seen over one hundred since my search began. But nothing is jumping out and saying, "Yes this one!" Yet.

Because that's the other thing, with so many to pick from, it's easy to be SUPER picky. To the point of indecision. I feel like the only way I'm going to actually decide is if I set a deadline and then don't allow myself to look at any premade covers once I've decided. Unless, of course, you have a premade site you think I should check out. Then, by all means, drop it in the comments!

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