Covers & Branding with Mollie Blake

This week we have author Mollie Blake sharing with us about covers and branding. Her new book, Keeping You ~A Cheshire Love Story is out now!

Mollie Blake is a published author of contemporary romance. A lover of reading sexy stories, Mollie decided to go one step further and write her own. Her romances are filled with danger and peppered with hot sexy scenes. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and UK Romantic Novelists Association.

Connect with her on the web:

Website     Facebook      Twitter       Author Page

It’s a Cover Up

So you’ve completed your manuscript. It’s been edited to perfection, or at least to as good as it gets. Now you need to get it seen.

What’s the first thing the reader sees? Not the blurb. Not the editorial reviews. Not the sample chapters. Of course it’s the cover.

In today’s diverse markets of digital versions and paperbacks, it’s hard to find an image that works perfectly. An initial search on Kindle or Apple produces a reasonable size image of the cover. Photographs are generally clear and use of good-sized fonts for the title and the author will be legible. However, if you add additional text in smaller font, this will probably be illegible. The reader will need to choose your book from the range that the seller, in its own judgement of one sort or another, displays with your book.

If the reader is still with you and clicks on your book, the image for the cover is now larger. Even this may not be large enough to read the smaller text included on the cover but now the blurb and the author will be visible at the side so your all important additional text is not lost.

Of course, for the paperback this is not a problem. The reader will fondle the cover with a tactile affection, read every word on the front and back, and hopefully take it to the checkout. But not all of us are fortunate to sell many paperbacks. I love my copies, but with a boutique American publisher printing small runs, they turn out to be rather expensive.

So for the moment I’m going to stick with eBooks. One thing always to remember here, is that covers can be changed relatively easily, but be prepared for mix ups on Amazon and Goodreads and other platforms…

When it comes to choosing the picture for your cover, there are several things to consider. In your genre there may be a common theme. I write erotic romance suspense. The covers tend to be dark backgrounds with hunky men on the front. In more cosy romance genres you often see pastels, and drawings instead of photographs.

You need to decide if you want your book to look similar to the others. A lot of authors and publishers will advocate this sells books. The reader should know what sort of book they are getting. If they already have a taste for books with a certain cover, you could be on to a winner.

Alternatively you may want to try something different. This may not be a good marketing ploy initially, but if you stick with a theme and build up a readership, your books will be easy for them to spot.

I have chosen to develop a brand. My logo with my author name is part of that brand

and my covers are all broadly red and white. I wanted to be different and the art guy at my publishers really liked it. Visually it’s easy to see the books are by the same author. I am also able to brand them as a series, even though they are mainly stand-alone stories in their own right and the style of cover lends itself to that.

I have two further draft covers which I’ll share here with you, but these will probably change when the books are published over the coming months.

These two books are part one and two, and the title is therefore two tiered.
An Unconventional Affair Book One - Email Indulgence &
An Unconventional Affair Book Two – A Risk Worth Sharing

With respect to my thoughts above, these titles may be too wordy, and the imagery I have chosen makes it difficult for the reader to see the full title. As I said, these two covers are work-in-progress.

For me, I am still at the bottom of my mountain climb to a best seller, but I am beginning to build up a following of readers, who can recognise my covers, and I get some very nice compliments. Of course, you can’t please everyone.

If you’re lucky enough to have one of the larger publishers, they may use templates for their covers. Again the readers will recognise what sort of story they are buying by that template. Obvious examples are Harlequin, Mills and Boon.

I have several friends who write for Harlequin. One was told what would be on her cover, even though the author preferred her own imagery that she had used previously. One of her covers was changed again when one of the biggest supermarkets in the UK put it on their shelves. The buyer chose what he wanted on the cover. But she didn’t mind J

Another friend writes historical romance and was most upset when her publisher put glass in the windows of the castle in the background. Glass wouldn’t have been around at the time of the setting of her story.

But, hey! If I was lucky enough to work with a big publisher, with expertise in marketing, I wouldn’t complain.

Thanks for inviting me over to share my thoughts and let me know how you choose your covers and/or branding. 

Keeping You: A Cheshire Love Story (Cheshire Love Stories Book 3)

His past haunts him. Revenge drives him. Can her love save him?

After a chance meeting in a bookshop, young Suzy Harper is engaged by multi-multimillionaire, Lawrence Bane, to work on translating a French document. They embark on an intense relationship, but he is surrounded by mystery and shame as demons from his past threaten to destroy everything he has worked for, including her love for him.

This exciting erotic romantic thriller traces the increasingly intense and tender relationship between the inexperienced Suzy and her wealthy, troubled lover, Lawrence. There are two obsessions in Lawrence’s life—his passion for Suzy and his drive for revenge against the gangland boss who murdered his best friend.

Will Suzy be strong enough to accept Lawrence for the man he is? Will Lawrence trust the woman he loves enough to reveal his darkest secrets to her? Will their love survive the challenges that lie ahead?

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  1. Wow, I love all your covers. Bright and eye-catching!

    1. Thanks Mandy - so glad you like them. Of course, what's inside is more important, but covers have to open the door to the words, as it were. x

  2. I’ve developed a brand and logo as well as an author tag line. My covers were done by my publisher’s cover artists, but the next time I self-publish I’ll have to remember to add my tag line and logo to the cover. Great tip!

  3. Good idea to have your covers all be similar. People don't really look closely at things, so a good visual cue is helpful.

  4. I absolutely love your logo! Congrats, Mollie!

    1. Thanks Cherie. I was nervous of it at first - and a little envious of the legs lol :) xx

  5. We all know books shouldn't be judged by their covers - yet they do seem very important to sales.

    1. I know, Patsy. As I said earlier, the words inside are more important but the cover can lead the way xx

  6. Great advice. Awesome that your author logo works so well. It really does look consistent.

  7. Hi Mollie and Nas ... excellent ideas here - thanks for letting us know and giving that extra suggestion re the logo and tag - also to make sure we brand our books for our future publications - cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary - good luck with your books x

  8. I buy entirely on name recognition (ones I already read) and cover. So definitely important things to keep in mind :)

  9. Interesting point about the marketing problems inherent in switching from trends. I like to break mold, but within reason.


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