Readers really do judge a book by its cover.
Sure, descriptions are important. That’s the biggest mistake I made on the covers of my first two romance novels. No description on the back of “Reservations” (WHAT?!) and a reverse type, nondescript blurb that told the reader next to nothing about “Heartland.” Both covers are being revised for second edition reprint.
I was determined not to repeat that mistake with “Belonging,” book three in the New Life in Love trilogy. The first line bold teaser on the back cover reads:
When Marisa’s certain path to her future ends, the struggle to recover from heartbreak begins.
Three short paragraphs later, readers are asked:
Have Marisa and Alistair found forever love in their desired place of “Belonging?”
Now to Mistake #2: Cover art. What’s there must catch the browsing reader’s eye and entice a split-second desire to escape into a strong, well-written story.
Marisa and Alistair meet, mate and fall in love against the mystical backdrop of the Scottish Highlands. I live in Iowa. A sultry night in August with mist rising from the steamy earth to a high sky aglow with fading sunlight provided the perfect canvas for images of … who?
Stock photos of perfect people were not my vision of the characters driving this story. Marisa and Alistair had to be real to me. I kept my eyes open to all possibilities but pinned my hopes on – where else? – a gathering of the clans at a Celtic Highland Games.
The models, she practicing Irish step dance and he wearing a kilt, fit what I had created. These very real people agreed to bring my fictional characters to life on the cover. The stunning image chosen from several poses and angles captured on digital frames embodies that contemporary romance feeling of first love, promises the reader the experience they’re looking for.
And that’s what I was hoping for.
Teresa LaBella published her first contemporary romance novel “Reservations” in 2013. The big city story continued in “Heartland” set in small town Iowa. “Belonging,” the final novel in the New Life in Love trilogy, moved the McKenna family saga to the west coast of Scotland. A freelance writer and consultant, Teresa resides in her Iowa hometown with her husband John and three rescued Husky fur kids