Misconceptions

They’re all around us. We judge people by looks, by their attitudes, by what they drive and a multitude of other things. We also judge books by their cover, genre and even author.

When I do a search for my trilogy online, a bunch of other sites come up in conjunction. “True love waits”, “waiting for true love”, etc, etc, etc. The word true isn’t even in any of the titles. The first book, When Love Waits for some reason comes up with all of the Christian references to abstinence. Say huh?? How the hell did that happen?

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Google search 3-31-14

Well, I’ll tell you. It’s all about the words LOVE WAITS. When I did a Google search for the title, I was only worried about there being another book out there of the same title. At the time, I didn’t notice those other articles coming up. I just hope that people who search for the book don’t think it’s about a couple who waits until after they’re married to have sex> They’re in for a BIG surprise if that’s the case.

Now to my point. When exactly did respect for another person become strictly a Christian concept? I ask not to start a Holy war but to garner discussion. I consistently get asked if my books are Christian or Inspiration. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have people on the covers or because of the titles. In the trilogy, there’s at least one good sex scene that’s open door but not graphically descriptive. None of the couples are married. It’s a quandary that has me thinking of redoing the covers.

I try to portray characters that either have or gain mutual respect for their partners. Of course, there’s a journey they have to take, but I try to have my characters find the person who will ultimately respect the other. The sex is consensual, between adults, and I hope – done tastefully.  My characters are equals. Something I think is missing in some of the younger relationships. Compromises are made, the woman are cherished and are feminine but at the same time are strong and when something needs to be taken care of, they are more than capable of accepting the challenge/responsibility. On the other side, the men are strong in their own right, but not overbearing oafs. (Those who have read When Love Waits and Lingers, I just heard you snort because you thought of Kyle Logan and his attitude.) They treat the woman as equals in the relationship and if they don’t at first, they learn to.

I’ve never thought of those concepts as belonging to one particular religion. I’ve always thought those qualities were needed to have a healthy, balanced relationships where both parties are overall satisfied with the circumstances no matter what your personal beliefs, with regards to religion. This is why I’m confused that people think my stories are Christian. They’re stories of people and their challenges.

Am I trying to eschew those who associate themselves as Christian. Absolutely not! What I am trying to do is make the stories appeal to a wider audience. Something that people of any religion, and hopefully different cultures, can relate to.

So after this cover revelation, why haven’t I put people on the cover? Two reasons. The couples I find that best represent the story really make it look like a Christian novel and damn it, I like the original covers! And I like covers that don’t have people on them. Okay, so that’s three reasons, but you get my point.

I may or may not put people on Renaissance Wench. I’m still trying to decide what to do. All of my ideas aren’t gelling and if I have to resort to a professional cover designer, I may change it up and have people. Time will tell. I’ll see what happens when I really start working on the cover.

Tell me, have you ever picked up a book because of it’s cover and then been totally thrown off when you got into the story?

Have a great week!

Melanie

 

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12 thoughts on “Misconceptions

  1. I absolutely judge books by their covers (at first).

    If it grabs me, I read the blurb. And then if that grabs me, I read the first couple of pages to get a feel for the writing. But the cover has to stop me first.

    As to your quandary, If it’s an author they haven’t read before, I think readers naturally assume if there aren’t any people on the cover, it might mean sex is absent or very light. But ask yourself, what does the building signify on your cover? By itself, it might say very little. What if there was something more revealing by the stair steps like a woman’s summer hat or a man’s bike? You don’t necessarily have to show people, but you do have to suggest a potential relationship in the making. It’s that emotional trigger that draws people in.

    Re: Nora Roberts, et al
    Nora Roberts can have a brown paper bag as her cover and people will buy it regardless. LOL. Debbie MaComber, Jodi Thomas, and La Nora sell because of who they are, not what’s on their covers.

    1. LOL. You’re right about that. I didn’t think about that one extra element. The buildings on the covers are a very big part of the stories which is why I have them on there. I may look at that too, see if there’s something I could add but still use most of the current design. Thanks, Maria! Didn’t think about that.

  2. Believe it or not, I rarely look at covers until after the fact. I think some of that stems from the old romance cover models NOT being what I pictured when reading, thus being disappointed. So I stopped looking at the covers other than to read a blurb. One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed your covers.

    That being said (I know I’m the odd ball) I have started to pay attention to covers more now that I’m writing. I think the 3/4 images represent the romance market better, not seeing the faces allows for the reader to imagine the characters. I also appreciate covers that hint at something I’ll uncover while reading (Maria Zannini’s covers are wonderful for this).

    There’s no doubt covers are a challenge. Best of luck with your decision.

    1. Raelyn, I’m there with you! I stopped looking at the covers long ago because of that same reason. The title and the blurb were what made me buy a book. Now I find myself looking at not only the covers of best sellers, but the covers on my personal bookshelf. I’ve been trying to decipher what it was about that particular book that made me buy it. Thanks. I may hit you up for opinions if I go through with the changes.

  3. I have the same problem when I search my publishing company, Truelove Press. LOL

    I do look at covers (the bodice rippers are usually obvious – LOL), but mostly I go by blurbs, publishing source/co., and reviews. The issue you raise is one of the tough parts of the business, though–making sure our covers and blurbs accurately portray what’s on the inside.

  4. I find covers problematic. I have certainly picked up books based on their covers but I have also not picked up a book because of the cover. I like a unique image that hints at the story but doesn’t give it all away.

    1. Problematic. There’s a good word to describe the process! I’ve been drawn to covers and it’s only the cheesiest of covers that will turn me off from looking at the blurb. Finding unique images is definitely a challenge. Thanks Elizabeth.

    1. That’s what I’m finding Rebecca. I looked at Debbie Macomber and Nora Roberts and Jodi Thomas. They all have houses on their books and I’ve never mistaken them for “clean” romances. I know I’m nowhere near their level, but still. I didn’t think that would be the perception. Thanks Rebecca.

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