Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A visit with Sawyer Bennett, author of Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey #2)

 It is my pleasure to welcome the lovely Sawyer Bennett today to chat about book covers. Sawyer's new book, Garrett (the second book in her Cold Fury Hockey series), released last Tuesday. You don't want to miss this series!

Take it away, Sawyer!

Let’s talk book covers and the importance of creating a striking, unique cover.  To do that, we first need to talk models.

Specifically, male models.

Hard, chiseled, strong, sexy, male models.

You know the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?  I call bologna.  Books are absolutely judged by their covers, especially in the romance and erotica genres.  The selection of the perfect cover, and subsequently the perfect model, are paramount.

Choosing the wrong model can mean disaster, even if your book is amazing.  Why?  If a reader doesn’t feel a connection with your cover, they will move on to the next book in line.  And trust me; there are a lot of other books waiting in line.

Readers want to see eyes that show soul, lips that beg to be kissed, abs that scream to be touched.  They want hair they can imagine running their fingers through and arms that make them want to be embraced.  Readers want to read your book and imagine your cover model doing all the things your words say he does.  That model is their escape from reality and into your book for a few precious hours of their lives.

In modern romance and erotica, gone are the days of Fabio and long, flowing dresses (and hair!).  Readers want hard bodies and hot men.

As an author, I have a duty to my readers to find the hardest bodies and hottest men.  And let me tell you, that is such a hardship!  My least favorite days are the ones that I am forced to sit at my computer for hours, scrolling through picture after picture of hard, hot, sometimes sweaty male models.  Even worse?  When I have to screen them in person.  UGH.

I make these sacrifices for you.  I want you, my readers, to have the absolute best cover possible, so I suck it up and deal with the torture for you.  It’s okay, you can thank me later.

Choosing the perfect model or photo for your cover can be tricky.  It is important to not only choose a photo that conveys your message, but to also know what is already out there.  Stock photos are readily accessible and a good stock photo may be used my multiple authors, giving their covers a similar feel to one another.  While it is impossible to prevent this from happening, there are other ways to help your cover stand out.

Fonts, coloring, shading and cropping can all help provide your cover a unique feel, even when the photo may not be.  Branding also plays a significant role.  As an author, developing your brand is a must.  For example, look at the books in my Last Call series.  Each of the books are branded similarly, therefore allowing a reader to identify with my brand.  The pictures may not all be unique, but the branding is.

Another option is hiring a model and photographer for your own photo shoot, where the pictures taken are the property of the author.  I did this when it came time to design the cover for Uncivilized, hiring Jay Byars and Krystal Reynolds to portray Zach and Moira.  Uncivilized is a standalone, with a very different, very raw theme and I wanted the cover to portray exactly that.  I was able to create the cover I envisioned by opting to have photos taken instead of using stock photos.

Bottom line – a cover can make or break your book.  There is no wrong or right way to go about it, and the options for a stand out cover are endless.  Creativity and an open mind are key!

What do you think?  Do you judge a book by it’s cover?  What turns you on to a book when you see it?  What turns you off?

Cold Fury Hockey # 2
Sawyer Bennett
February 17th, 2015

Buy Links:  Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo
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USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett hits the ice with the story of a playboy athlete whose winning ways lead him to a beautiful woman with a lot to lose.

Carolina Cold Fury star Garrett Samuelson never wants to miss out on a single minute of fun. Whether he’s playing hockey, hanging out with friends, or walking the red carpet with a new date on his arm, he lives every day to the fullest. When he meets Olivia Case, he sees someone who’s exactly his type—confident, sexy, smart . . . his next fling. But the more he pursues her, the more Garrett shares a side of himself that other women don’t normally get to see.

Olivia has been keeping a secret. While Garrett lives for the next thrill, Olivia’s not sure she’ll live to see the next day. She’s undergoing treatment for some serious medical issues, and she doesn’t have time for a relationship with no guarantees—especially one with a hot-as-sin womanizer who won’t take no for an answer. But as she gets to know the real Garrett, Olivia can’t help falling for him . . . hard. To reveal the truth would mean risking everything—but you can’t score without taking the tough shots.

USA Today Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her second book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, February 2015.

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