Continued from previous page
Very few readers nominated any of these covers. When it was time for AAR staffers to vote on them, they had such trouble picking any they liked that I had to start talking to them in terms of “least worst.” Of course, I hit them with series covers after we’d done single title cover voting so the image contrast between the two types of covers was starkly stored in their visual memories. Nevertheless, AAR did pick out five series’ covers as nominees. Sandi barraged me with more series’ cover /wp-content/uploads/oldsiteimages afterwards and I finally selected four more as nominees.
The big problem I have visually with these books is that I last took covers out of the library which looked like this when I was a kid in grade school. I was reading adult fiction easily by the time I was eleven. Thereafter, I got used to having adult fiction covers. I was proud of my early reading ability and I’m sure that the voracious readers of this column started early as well with adult fiction.
I feel like a kid again every time I buy these series’ books or check one out from the library. Somehow that seems worse to me than when I buy or check out a single title clinch cover. I guess I’d rather be seen as an adult sex fiend than as a reading-challenged adult! In a nutshell, the more a series’ cover looks as if it should be shelved in Young Adult, the less I like it. This is one voting category where still life renderings of objects score well with me, probably because it is harder for them to look appropriate for any particular age.
Series books don’t ever seem to give art credit for the covers. MIRA, which is owned by Harlequin/Silhouette, publisher of almost all series romances these days, has very attractive single title covers but also gives no art credits. I wonder whether the MIRA and H/S books all get their covers done in the same art department. It’s hard to imagine since MIRA’s art work is so much better but it’s certainly possible.
I noticed after AAR staff voted and after my own final screening for four additional nominees, that Silhouette Intimate Moments (SIM) held up the best in all of the H/S lines. My guess is that its use of background colors which are not garish, plus simple design lines, help it a great deal. The unwritten rule in art is that when you are in doubt about what to use, keep it simple, sleek and classy. SIM follows this rule. By contrast, other series’ covers, for example, have loud, flashy backgrounds or white with stripe backgrounds. These covers do anything but keep it simple. We had a nomination for the new Bouquet series published by Kensington but it didn’t make it into the finals. The current nominees for series covers follow.
Harlequin Intrigue Silhouette Intimate Moments Harlequin Temptation
illustrator, Krystyna DeDeluba
illustrator, Krystyna DeDeluba Silhouette Intimate Moments Silhouette Intimate Moments Return to previous page Continue to next page