(Full disclosure: I entered GH, but didn’t make it to the finals. Since I had zero expectations of this happening, I wasn’t upset.)
Anyway, the RITA category I take the most interest in is the single title contemporary. As I might have mentioned before, contemporaries are my favorite romance subgenre. I wanted to see if I’d read any of the nominees. Plus, I’m always on the lookout for new (to me) names and the RITAS are a good place to start.
There were a couple on the list that I’ve read and enjoyed - Victoria Dahl’s Lead Me on and Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson (I basically worship the ground she walks on and have read all her books). I haven’t read Nora Roberts’ Happy Ever After, the fourth title in her wedding series. I’ve read the first (which I discussed before) and have no doubts that I’ll read the others at some point. She is La Nora, after all.
I haven’t read Susan Donovan and Jill Shalvis’ books, but I am familiar with their work.
The names I wasn’t familiar with were Molly Harper and Robin Wells, so I headed straight to Amazon. When I saw the cover for Wells’ book, the first thing to pop into my mind was, “I never would’ve picked this book up.”
I have no clue what the book is about (and haven’t read the blurb as to not taint this post), but the cover is kind of wholesome and evokes a dreamy home and hearth feeling from me. The muted colors and the woodsy background don’t appeal to me. I’m a city girl and spending time in the great outdoors really isn’t my thing.
Maybe the book is fast-paced and edgy and current and hilarious and sexy, i.e. the exact thing I love to read, but I don’t get that from the cover. If I saw it at Borders, my eyes would keep right on moving to the next title. It's pretty, but it doesn't "speak" to me.
Let’s contrast Wells’ cover to Dahl’s.
But here’s the cover for the first book in the series, which did matter when I was in the bookstore. It’s sexy and sleek. Love it even more.
Maybe the perceived demographics for Dahl’s and Wells’ books don’t cross over. I suspect that Wells’ book takes place in the country/small town. Ironically, so does Dahl’s. The setting never once bothered me, but it is an interesting choice that Dahl’s publisher made by choosing not to highlight this aspect of the book.
I’m sure there are some people who haven’t read Dahl’s books because the very things that appeal to me turn them off.
It’s a gamble. I assume publishers have done all kinds of market research and know what does and doesn’t appeal to people and they know what they’re doing.
If I’m ever fortunate to get published, I’d like my covers to fall closer to the Dahl end of the spectrum than Wells.
Now with that said, I probably will read Robin Wells’ book because it’s RITA-nominated, so it has to be good. And I don’t like being shallow.
Are you affected by covers or do you give all (most) books a chance and at least read the back of the book blurb before you decide whether or not to purchase? What kind of covers do you like?