Cover Comment: You know how every so often that old debate flares up about how unrepresentative and diminishing romance covers are? Well, this should be exhibit A the next time around. Ugh.
Here’s Ms. Long’s balanced take on this issue: “Covers may have a lot to do with [the negative image romances have]; many remain quite beef-cakey and florid. LOL. Some readers and authors like this; others are less thrilled with it, as it frightens off some readers who might otherwise really enjoy very good storytelling. I once had an email from a 65-year-old man who out of desperation for something to read grabbed one of my books in an airport, then wrote to tell me he “actually really loved it.” LOL. “Actually” being the operative word—he never expected to, obviously, because of the cover. (It was BEAUTY AND THE SPY.) Then again, those covers are familiar signals to people looking for passionate stories with happy endings—they know to expect those kinds of stories between those covers. If those covers didn’t help sell books, they wouldn’t exist. But even the nature of covers is in a constant state of evolution and calibration. Publishing is stratified, and in order to sell your book effectively, a publisher needs to be able to position it and market it to its most likely audience.”