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Feb 16 2013

I’ll be damned…book covers really ARE important, by Stella Berkley

ibdA warm welcome to my guest, Stella Berkley, who also happens to be a fellow member of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pens, a supportive group of writers who met at an online writing forum. It’s my extreme pleasure to turn my blog over to her today to talk about the importance of a book’s cover and to share news about her latest release, I’ll Be Damned, a collection of erotic stories from Evernight Publishing.

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How important are book covers to you when selecting something to read?  Maybe you’re the kind of person who searches out reviews and couldn’t care less about the cover?  Or maybe you’re like me, picking up a book from the shelf because I can’t help but stop and admire a cover that catches my eye.

For me, the cover is an expression on the face of a book.  Is it smiling, welcoming?  Is it subtly devious and makes me wonder what’s going on within?  Is it a bold come-on?  Dark and shadowy?  Mysterious?  Is it a monstrosity of scowling mismatched colors and fonts?  Or worse yet, is it so bland and uninteresting I don’t even notice it staring up at me?

I have to admit that if the cover doesn’t catch my eye, I often won’t read the blurb.  It’s not that I’m that shallow but simply because there are millions of books out there and the ones with great covers are the first ones I notice.

The cover is the first selling feature of many.  The bold “I’m for sale” sign hanging in an author’s business window.  The better the cover, the better chance you have of someone stopping to browse.  Of course you need to back that up with an enticing blurb and a great first page, as those are the final cogs in the wheel to get a reader up to the counter with your book and some cash in hand.

I’d love to be able to offer you the formula for creating the perfect cover, but there are so many different kinds of covers I couldn’t begin to do that, so I’ll tell you what does it for me.

It tells a small story.  A look on the model’s face, the scenery in the background, the era the story is from.  It gives the flavor of the book either with bold, bright colors, or dark shades for a darker story.  It isn’t too busy, distracting from the title, but a just-right blend of images and colors to become a cohesive piece of art.  I love high contrast and simple images the best.

What is your favorite book cover of all time?  Do you know why you love it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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About Stella:

Stella Berkley grew up in small town Ontario as a farmer’s daughter, usually up to her ears in some kind of trouble.  A career daydreamer, Stella has a vivid imagination and a love for fantasy, especially the dark and steamy kind.  Two of her novellas have been published with Cobblestone Press, and two novels by her tamer self were published last year.  When she isn’t writing, she hangs out with her husband and young daughter at their little house in the woods.

Find Stella here:

Website  |  BlogFacebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

I’ll Be Damned Blurb:

Erotic Short Story Collection

For one night, love is enough to bridge the distance between heaven and hell.

In Devil Be Mine, Lucifer’s soul whore, Delilah, is tempted by her favorite submissive, Micah, an angel as pure as she is naughty.

In Fire and Ice, heaven’s black sheep, Qenna, meets her match in Pyro, chaos incarnate and devilish charm in a designer suit.

In Raven, a reaper forces the Guardian, Mara, to accept what’s in her heart or say goodbye to her Raven forever.

In Hunting Pleasure, Lucifer’s Lieutenant, Selene, indulges in heaven’s highest ranking sentinels, Michael and Arael, who turn the hunter into the hunted.

And finally, in No Mercy, God’s right hand, Gabriella, must convince Lucifer to abolish the law standing between her brethren and their lovers.  To right a wrong she played a part in, Gabriella agrees to a private meeting with the object of her darkest fantasies—the devil himself.

Excerpt from “Fire and Ice“:

Giant snowflakes drifted down around me, where I perched on the ledge of the war monument.  The wings of the stone angel at my back, along with the growing darkness, would mask my own silver wings from any humans who might wander through Centennial Park.

Beneath me, Micah, one of my brothers on high, walked by cloaked in a black trench coat and a fedora.

“You’re not going to Lu’s titty bar, by any chance, are you?” I shouted down to him while suppressing a snicker.  “Gabriella’s going to be pissed.”

Micah stopped and turned striking blue eyes up at me, cutting across the winter twilight like beacons.  “I—how did—it’s none of your concern, Qenna.”  He rolled his head until his neck cracked.  “What are you doing down here?  Gabriella told you to remain in the upper realm tonight since she’s with Him and Lucifer and can’t keep you out of trouble.”

No wonder she was so crabby earlier.  She totally wanted to bone Lu—it was written all over her every time someone mentioned his name.  I quirked up an eyebrow and shrugged.  “If you won’t answer me, why the hell should I answer you?”  I snorted and leaned forward, my long, white hair tumbling over the edge of the monument in spirals.  “And you’re one to talk.  She told you to stay put, too.”

His eyes darkened before tilting his head forward, obscured once again by the brim of his hat.  He gave a disgruntled huff.  “Just do us all a favor and keep out of trouble, though saying that to you is like telling a kitten to stay away from a dangling scrap of yarn.”  Micah continued in the direction he’d been going.  “Lucifer isn’t around to watch his kind tonight, so you’re on your own.”

“Say hi to Delilah for me.”

Micah’s shoulders hunched up, but he never turned back.  “And give my regards to Pyro.”

Buy I’ll Be Damned here:

Amazon  |  All Romance Ebooks  |  Evernight Publishing

Erotica By Stella

4 comments

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  1. Sandra Bunino (@SandraBunino)

    Great topic, Stella! In fact, I’m covering covers in my next column. Book covers are the first exposure authors receive from a potential readers. We have a fraction of a second to wow them into reading the blurb, aka the 2nd most important selling point.

    Love yours, btw! I wish you much luck with your blog tour.

    xoxo
    ~S

    1. Stella Berkley

      Hey, thanks! Yes, I don’t think even a lot of publishers understand just how important the cover is.

  2. Stella Berkley

    Thanks for having me over, Lila!

    1. Lila

      My pleasure, Stella!

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