When you start working with a book cover designer, they give you a questionnaire. Themes of your book, symbols, characters, etc, and the most fun part: what covers (in your genre) do you love?
Yes, I was totally giggling and clapping my hands when I started on this question.
Even more so when I made the mistake of searching “gay fantasy” on Amazon.
The human imagination is vast. Especially when it comes to sex.
Thank goodness for Goodreads – and Goodreads Listopia. It’s how I find 75% of my fiction to-reads. And I quickly found historical and fantasy gay romance covers that I, as an author, would love to dress my baby up in.
These are the 5 covers I sent to my cover designer. Some of them I’ve read, some of them I haven’t – and their covers scream, “Why the hell not?”
Agamemnon Frost covers are perfect at getting across what you need to know about the book. It’s Victorian era, from the design of the title and the character’s clothes, the metal design hints at tentacles (which could be sci fi or historical urban fantasy — in this case, sci-fi).
The setting doesn’t quite get across — historical Liverpool isn’t very iconic, not to mention small in the upper corner, but let’s face it. I’m not looking at the setting. I’m staring at the character’s waistcoat.
I also love how they leave his face a mystery. I can imagine him to be whoever I want, whatever floats my boat.
I came into M/M through yaoi, so it’s no surprise that a beautiful yaoi-ish illustration would catch my attention. There’s so much detail in this, from the chain indicating slavery or power, to the way the characters are positioned to show intimacy and denial, to their clothes, the castle in the background, the moon… There’s nothing that isn’t tantalizing about this cover.
The Whyborne & Griffin series is one where my opinion might be swayed by how much I love this series. Like, crazy fangirl love. But each of the covers are perfect. They show the character (no ripped abs for these covers, which is refreshing) and from the character, you know it’s a historical piece. The background gives you a taste of the setting and helps differentiate the covers. And with the font and the symbol, you know it’s about magic, for better or worse.
I’ve never actually read this one – I only came across this cover in my cover search. But once I saw it, I loved it. There’s so much intensity, so much going on… There’s some kind of magic going on, a naked man, head back in pain or ecstasy… Yes, I want to know more.
The cover is so striking, and not just because of the handsome man in the corner. I love the mix in colours, almost like a sunset, and the title, which hints that this historical novel takes place at a circus. Not a strong hint – but if you know what it’s about, or have a strong affinity for circuses, you’ll catch it.
There’s not a single thing that I could particularly isolate – okay, the man, but I wouldn’t take him without the rest of the cover. It all works really well together, in my opinion. And it’s a good cover that cross over genres, like Necropolis and perhaps Agamemnon, and reach non M/M readers (because we must share the love).
For now, I have my fingers crossed as I wait for my cover, even though, judging by my cover designer’s work, it’s going to be amazing. God Cursed is my first baby. I worry.
What’s your favorite book cover?