Creating a book cover is a challenge. This particular cover is for a FREE ebook, a free novella, that I am creating to giveaway to my newsletter subscribers and new subscribers to my VIP Readers list. This free romantic suspense is the epilogue to my Harlequin Intrigue, The Warrior's Way, which is Tribal Police Detective Jack Bear Den's story.
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When creating a cover for an online read, I first needed a title. I started with Hunting Jack, but later settled on Tropical Target. The original short story that I had planned morphed into 100 pages and so a was born. If all goes well, this exclusive, previously unpublished story will be available in the early fall to my VIP Readers and also to new subscribers as a thank you for joining my list.
Here is the evolution of the cover.
The original cover I created had Jack diving with a spear gun because the opening sequence takes place on Jack and Sophia's honeymoon when Jack is attacked by two scuba divers. But I found this cover looked too much like a spy thriller so I moved on.
My next attempt was the man in the blanket because it reads as Native American to me and showed the setting, Hawaii. But it seemed too passive and my hero is a big man.
On this try, I changed both the title and the hero. He is bigger and perched on a rock. But he's not a target, still passive, and neither cover #2 or #3 read as a romantic suspense.
Only this cover reads romantic suspense to me and definitely echoes the menace of the title with the couple running away with the target between them. I think the man and woman might be too subtle to notice at first glance because of the blue filter. I tried removing them all together and found that cover attempt looked too much like a Tom Clancy release (not a bad thing, perhaps).
The last step, for me, was to sent the covers to my review team for them to weigh in and pick #2. Only they didn’t. The clear majority liked Hunting Jack, as a title and #2 as a cover. Hmm.
Back to the drawing board?