The Cover Gods
People keep asking me if I have any say in how my book covers look. Have I blogged about this already? I'm too lazy to go look. Anyway, the short answer is: NO.
I would not request that my heroine appear on a book cover sporting both horns and a halo. Nor would I request a few of the other things that have appeared over the years.
The long answer is, yeah, I have a little bit of say-so. I fill out an "art fact sheet" that asks for information about the story and characters and allows me to describe three possible covers I'd like to have. In many cases some variation of my idea has ended up on the cover, maybe not as I'd pictured it, but hey, I couldn't complain. I usually describe hotter scenes than what finally ends up on the book. I think sex sells--so sue me.
I also think some abstraction is a good thing, so I liked the fact that on the cover of What a Girl Wants, their heads were mostly cut off and the picture was a little blurry. That cover was from a scene I described.
Pleasure for Pleasure's cover also was a variation of one of my ideas. In the book, they're in a car parked at the beach, which is what I suggested for the cover. The artist took some liberties in actually putting them on the beach on the cover, but I loved that cover, so I have not a single criticism.
But mostly what we authors do is pray to the cover gods and hope for the best. Considering the number of covers the artists have to produce each month, there're doing the best they can with the difficult task of translating someone else's ideas into a piece of art. And sometimes, what they produce is amazing.