RS: (Please Don’t) Judge My Books By Their Covers?

There’s a wonderful (misguidedly), optimistic phrase that goes like this; ‘Never judge a book by its cover. You know that one right? I think everyone does. It is applied to people as well as books and seems to be the accepted catch-all for telling people that appearances aren’t always an indication of what lies beneath.

But is that true?

Yes . . . in short, I believe this is true, and will give people, places and situations with an unusual feel the benefit of the doubt. I try my hardest to know something(one) at least a little before I judge (I don’t always manage, but I damn well try!).

With books, however, no matter what the old adage is, the fact remains that this is exactly what people do. They make a snap decision about whether a book suits them by what they see on the front cover. If you’re lucky, they may take a look at the blurb, but very often, nope.

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I’m working hard on making the covers for my ‘Slippers & Chains’ series exciting, fresh and new. I need them to show people exactly what to expect when they open the book so they aren’t disappointed when they start reading. But I also need to coax people in. My original cover (the one I’m not longer allowed to use since Breathless Press’ closure) was beautiful. It’s nothing like what I had in mind when I began this process, but it ticked all the boxes one might expect from a work of erotic fiction. Live models, sensual colours (reds, purples and deep blues), near nudity, moody lighting, ‘sexy’ text. There were even chains on it to suit the title. I loved that cover.

But now, since I full have full control over all things ‘Slippers & Chains’ (and everything else) I want to make sure that the cover meets my original dream. That being a sexy cover that matches the mundane, every day aspects of a romantic relationships with those of a BDSM one. Since that’s what the series is about.

But matching that vision with the reality is pretty damn hard. In fact, I’m not sure that I can successfully. How to get the homely, comfortable feel of an established, loving relationship to match up with the kink aspect of a D/s couple? Something’s gotta give and I’m not sure what it is. Though I’m pissed at the idea of having to compromise (it’s not something I’m very good at).

These are the sketches I put together for the ideas across the series. Forgive my crappy drawing, but I want you to see where I was going with my ideas. Without colours and depth and shiny bits, it will be tricky to see exactly what I imagine when I think of them, but try to picture the same dark colours and shadows associated with erotic book covers. What do you think?

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This boils down to the need to make some tough decisions. I’m not sure which way I’ll swing this yet, but you’ll see in my goals later today, I’ve got to pin this down if I want to get the ebook out by the end of the month.

*sigh* No rest for the wicked indie author.

Raven's Signature In Black

About Raven ShadowHawk

I take great pleasure in writing erotica and am merely one side of the proverbial coin. My other half, 'Ileandra Young' writes fantasy and the occasional comedy piece. My six-part series 'Meeting Each Other' is available in full, through Amazon and Smashwords while my debut novella 'Sugar Dust' is now re-released (!) available through Amazon via Little Vamp Press.
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3 Responses to RS: (Please Don’t) Judge My Books By Their Covers?

  1. I really like your covers, and I guess you are right, people are swayed by visuals. Its a human thing.
    Have to be honest, a cover can sometimes really put me off, and I do try to rise above it and pick up the book and have a read of the blurb. Not really an issue if I am familiar with the author, as I’ll know their writing, but if its a newbie, well, it could make or break I think.

    You plan, and have a process, and your covers are quality. So no worries there for you. 🙂


    • True about new authors, I’m just the same. I wish I wasn’t – I shouldn’t be! – but if I feel someone isn’t making the effort I end up thinking that’s the same inside the book too.
      Some I’ve taken the chance on have disappointed me accordingly while others have been amazing! It’s a real lucky-dip sort of scenario; you just can’t predict what you’ll get.


  2. Pingback: RS: Slippers & Chains: Sugar Dust – Cover Reveal (Take Two!) | Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

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