I adore pretty book covers. Getting them made for my books is one of my favourite parts of the publishing process.
My design skills are rudimentary, so I commission a cover artist to give my books a face. These talented artists need me to give them a design brief before they can work, so I spend hours checking out other covers to get an idea for what I want, and researching what readers appear to respond to.
Many authors and graphic designers rely on stock photographs to use on their book covers. These are photos available in a commercial image bank, and anyone can buy a license to use the pictures on book covers, social media, bookmarks, or any other merchandise.
The standard license doesn’t come with exclusivity, so as many people as want can use the same image.
Authors often have similar tastes, so it’s not unusual to see the same happy-looking couple or handsome hero appearing on lots and lots of books!
For my first book series, I wanted smiling couples on the covers. Because what screams “romance” louder than a man and a woman who look like they’re deeply in love? So, I spent a long time sifting through image banks for just the right pictures.
Since publishing, I’ve seen “my” couples on many other authors’ books. This adorable pair below is on my book Hidden in Her Heart, but they first appeared on an earlier edition of Toni Shiloh’s Finding Love, and are also on Rose Fresquez’s upcoming The Soldier’s Trainer. Of course they’re not really “my” couples, since authors shop from the same stock image libraries.
Milla Holt’s Hidden in Her Heart, an early edition of Toni Shiloh’s Finding Love, and Rose Fresquez’s upcomng The Soldier’s Trainer, all feature the same model couple.
Toni’s book Finding Love has since got a gorgeous new cover.
It’s possible to get a license that allows exclusive use of a stock image, but the price for that is well out of range for many.
Some authors, including InspyRomance’s own Tara Grace Ericson, arrange for bespoke photo shoots, getting their own models to pose for pictures. This ensures their covers will be completely unique. Don’t you love this awesome cover from Tara’s Second Chance Fire Station series?