Release Party for Like Fire Through Bone: Let’s Talk Cover Art

September 13, 2013

I was originally going to talk about music but I can’t figure out how to embed the media player so let’s talk about cover art first.

I’ll admit it, I totally judge books by their covers.

As a reader browsing through a brick and mortar bookstore I am far more likely to grab a book that has an exciting or beautiful cover. As a die hard fantasy  and science fiction fan I’m going to be drawn to cover to portray something new and fresh from the genre. A cover with bulky space Marines isn’t going to attract my attention the same way a cover depicting a character walking the streets of a futuristic Delhi would.

When it comes to romance novels I’m just as picky. I’m not a fan of covers which show over developed pectoral muscles as their primarily attraction since they are a dime a dozen in the m/m romance genre. I am much more likely to be attracted to interesting covers even if they are not “sexy” per say. In fact a cover which doesn’t immediately scream “romance” to me is going to be more attractive because it will grab my attention and making me at least read the blurb.

Unless I know the author or have had the book recommended to me the cover art may indeed make or break my decision to buy the book. I know this about myself therefore I take the designing of the covers for my own book very seriously.

Working with a new publisher and new set of cover artists is always a little nerve wracking and the cover art is such an important part of the process that when I sent off my survey form for the cover art of Like Fire Through Bone I was mostly just anxious about how it was going to turn out.

I tried to give as much details about each of the characters as possible along with the over all feeling I was going for.

I really wanted to cover to emphasize the plot and tone of the book over the sex appeal of the characters.

It’s not that Like Fire Through Bone isn’t a sexy book because I think there is great chemistry between Vasilios and Markos and multiple hot sex scenes. On the other hand though the book is not all about the romance as much as it is about combining plot with romance I wanted a cover to reflect that.

What I got back from the talented Brooke Albrecht was four different but equally lovely covers. Two of them really jumped out at me though. In one I loved the cover model and felt like he was closest to my mental picture of Vasilios. The other I was totally in love with the color scene and lettering.

I asked if they could be combined and the cover that resulted was the one we went with. I love it. I think it is a beautiful cover.


“Wow” my brother said to me when I showed it to him “I could see that being a paperback novel in the fantasy section of any bookstore. I’d probably pick it up and read the back too.”

That made me so happy for all sorts of reasons.

So what do people think? What role does the cover art play in your decision whether to buy a book? What kinds of things do you love or hate to see on covers of m/m romance book?

4 Responses to “Release Party for Like Fire Through Bone: Let’s Talk Cover Art”

  1. Trisha says:

    It plays a huge part in it. With ebooks, I’m not as picky. But when I buy a paperback it plays a bigger role. I want a book to look attractive and not just be a good read – although that is important.
    As for m/m book covers. I would like to see more couples on book covers. If the main aspect is the romance, I would like a romantic cover. To me, that makes sense. Although, I do like darker covers, or covers that have something symbolic from the story on them.

  2. Andrea M says:

    Most of the time, the cover isn’t a very important factor for me but I prefer a cover that emphasizes one thing rather than a great blur of colors or half dressed people. I want a good story and if the picture looks like modern art or porn, it’s not going to do much for me. This is a good cover; there is one main focal point and it makes you wonder. I like that.

  3. Theo says:

    I totally judge a book by its cover, LOL. Nowadays, I am quite bored with bare chested men in romance covers. Especially the ones without heads. That’s why I love a lot of DSP’s covers. Their covers are beautiful and intriguing.

    Actually, I decided to purchase your book because I was intrigued by your cover. It made me click further to read the blurb, and voila! I was hooked. Can’t wait to read it!

  4. E.E. Ottoman says:

    thank you all for commenting! I love how we have a nice mix here of people for who covers play a huge role in their book selection and others who feel the cover doesn’t matter so much.

    I am always interested in hearing why some people love one cover and not another, or what they are looking for in a book cover. Both because it is interesting to see how people’s opinions differ from my own but also so I can plot what my next cover will look like :~)

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