Cover Love

Covers are important. I know we’re advised not to judge books by them, but I do anyhow.

My publisher sent me the finalized version of my cover, which I’m now able to share.

I think Barbour’s team did a great job. Why? Because it’s my book, and I’m biased. πŸ™‚

In all seriousness, I’m delighted with the cover, in part because it answers many of the questions I ask when I look at a book’s cover.

Is it a romance? The use of the word “bride” in the title lets readers know it is, and the beautiful cover model reinforces that fact.

Is it a contemporary or a historical? Several factors show the reader that the book is a historical: the style of the model’s dress, her hairstyle, the Old West town behind her, and the use of the Western-style font for my name.

Where does the story take place? The use of “El Dorado, California” in the title makes this quite clear. The number and sizes of the buildings show that El Dorado is likely a small town, which is true.

Is the tone of the story dark, funny, or sweet? This can be harder to determine, but I like to think the cover hints at the fact that the story is a sweet romance. What gives me this impression are the choice of colors, the light sky as opposed to a dark one, and the absence of a fearful look on the model’s face. There aren’t any obvious humorous touches, so I wouldn’t expect an overly funny story. (I’ll let you in on a secret. There are some fun places I hope make readers smile or maybe even chuckle a time or two. πŸ™‚

As the author, I can look at the cover and see how Barbour’s design team worked hard to add some important elements from the story.

  • The intent look on the model’s face, coupled with her stance, do an excellent job of conveying Elenora’s determination.
  • The tall building beside the model’s left elbow is Ellie’s shop, and it contains some important features that play a part in the story.
  • Ellie plays violin, and I’d hoped to see her instrument on the cover, although I didn’t see how that would be possible, since her shop is the primary focus of the story. Barbour’s design team figured out how to include it, using it as the icon between the title and my name.

I’d dreamed of seeing my name on a book cover for years and wondered what the cover would look like. Would I like it? The answer is yes. I’m delighted with the cover and am grateful to Barbour for doing such a good job.

β€’ β€’ β€’

If you’ve had a book published, what was your reaction when you saw your cover?

If you dream of having a book published, what do you imagine your cover will look like?

If you are a reader, what questions do you like to be answered when you see a book cover?


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curvesβ„’ and reading.
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40 Responses to Cover Love

  1. Marji Laine says:

    Oh it’s beautiful, Keli! I’m so excited for you. You know I’ve never really analyzed covers before. But you’re right. I get a feel from them as to whether or not I’ll like the book. I tend to gravitate toward the ones with real or realistic people on them and avoid the ones with splayed colors – unless I’m looking specifically for something funny. I just never put it all together.

  2. It’s beautiful congrats. Barbour does a great job with their covers.

  3. I loooove it!!! The purple is gorgeous and reminds me of your period dress. πŸ™‚

  4. Darlene says:

    The cover of your book is perfect and it is good that you are happy with it too. I will never forget seeing the cover of my first book and the thrill it gave me. My publisher also captured the essence of my story. The violin is a great touch. This is so exciting!

  5. I’ve been dreaming about my first book for over ten years now. I took a hiatus while growing my family (girls are 7 & 5 and my twin boys are almost 2!), but I am finally back to writing. My first draft is only one chapter away from being done, but then I have to go back through and edit the heck out of it! I’ve been so focused on pounding out the first draft that I haven’t even given the cover a thought, but it’s fun seeing what other current covers look like. I am looking forward to reading your book and getting to know your blog better.

  6. Susan Mason says:

    Lovely cover, Keli! You must be thrilled!



  7. Anne Payne says:

    I didn’t know I wanted any questions answered until I read this post! But you pointed out several things that I would have missed – the violin ( I’m really rolling my eyes over this one too, wondering how I could miss it?!), and most especially the font! Normally I would think that an inconspicuous detail but apparently not! Thanks for breaking it down and bringing all these wonderful points to my attention πŸ™‚ LOVE the cover!!! i can’t wait to read it. Any book with ‘bride’ is usually right up my alley.

  8. Sherrinda says:

    Oh Keli! I absolutely LOVE it! I am so very proud of you and am thrilled that someone as nice and giving as you gets to have their dream come true! May there be many more wonderful books with your name on them in your future! (((hugs)))

  9. gillian says:

    Gorgeous! Friendly, appealing, she looks smart and feisty. I would (and will!) snatch this right up. πŸ™‚ That lavender dress is so lovely.

    Are you going to do signed bookplates? My mother thinks author signatures are the most amazing thing in the world, and inspirational historical romance is her favorite. Because she lives on a farm, she gravitates towards any cover like this.

    I have dreamed of a cover with a gentleman at a desk, his papers and books piled high, and the lady reaching over his shoulder with a quill to correct his work. πŸ™‚ They are scholars, and I’d love it if the cover implied that. Someday!

  10. Sarah Sundin says:

    I love it!!! And I’m so thankful they put her hair up!! I do not like to see long flowing hair on the cover of historicals. Ladies put their hair up. Always. Besides, it would be a tangled mess!

    And I love the model’s expression! Can’t wait to read it!

  11. Pingback: Great Covers Begin with Art Fact Sheets | Keli Gwyn's Blog

  12. laura frantz says:

    Keli, It’s truly beautiful!! And like you, I LOVE that violin:) Also the western town is perfect and speaks so well to the setting. Can’t wait to hold in hand!!

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