Guest Author & Giveaway: Beth Kery "Cover Girl"

Wednesday, October 7

 ***This giveaway is over. Thanks for entering***

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday once again…how time flies.  Seriously I can’t believe it’s already October, but the good news is that the wait is over for Beth Kery’s newest romance, Paradise Rules.  Yesterday was the official release day.   Congratulations!  

Beth is my special guest today to discuss what we all know to be true…that as much as we hate to admit it, we do judge a book by it’s cover...

Cover Girl by Beth Kery

Lest the title fool you, I’m not an expert on covers or cover art. These are just my ramblings on that shiny, flashy surface that draws so much attention from authors and readers alike.

I’ve had a couple readers bring me to task a time or two in regard to my covers, so I thought I’d try and lay a few misunderstandings to rest.

First off, authors have relatively little input to their covers, but there is diversity among publishers as far as how much input an author gets. When I write for e-pubs, like Samhain and Ellora’s Cave, there is actually a fairly detailed ‘cover sheet’ that the author fills out in regard to what she wants. It includes things like character description, significant story elements (i.e. a huge mansion or a medieval sword, etc.). But even with a detailed cover sheet, I’ve never received a cover that coincides with the images in my artistically-challenged brain.

Every publisher has a different method for how they do the cover process, but I think most authors generally agree that what they end up with was often quite different from what he or she originally envisioned. Why is that? Well, we’re not artists or marketing people, for the most part. It’s not really our forte. At Berkley, my editor asks me about ‘ideas’ I have for the cover and I give her a loose description. While I love my covers, I have to admit, the ideas I’ve given rarely even approximate the end product. I’m fairly pragmatic about this truth, and don’t tend to get too upset about covers. After all, the one that I thought would turn people off when they see it in a bookstore can be the same one that flies off the shelf.

For example, I suggested the cover for my February, 2010 book Release be a front shot of a scantily clad woman’s hands pressed over her head to a floor to ceiling window while a blizzard raged outside, and some evidence of a man behind her. Here’s what I got.

I’m not complaining, I think it’s a lovely cover. Just saying, my vision is rarely going to match what an art department a) knows sells and b) has resources to create.

Another myth that needs to be addressed in regard to covers is that somehow photo shoots and models are involved. I’m sure that must be the case in some wildly popular author’s case, or at places like Ellora’s Cave, where they do use live models for many of their special releases, but for the most part, covers come from stock art. Yes, if you go to, you will probably see the photos from many covers for books you know and love.

It’s a bit discouraging for an author, but one of the consequences of this is that—sigh—your cover can show up on someone else’s book. Even if you go right now to Borders Romance section online and browse through ten pages or so, you might notice a few doubled up covers, even in recent releases. The color tint may be different, the fonts vary, but yes…the same photos are used. Somebody said to me recently when a cover from one of my books showed up on another book, “Isn’t that illegal?” Answer: Nope, not at all. As a matter of fact, in the instance of this particular cover, someone had used it before mine, so that’s a total of three covers that I know of using the same photo. Royalty free photos mean you buy the rights to use it, and it’s yours to use…along with everyone else’s who buys the rights. :(

I loved my cover for my newest release, Paradise Rules. Maybe one of the reasons is that I didn’t expect much. I said something about a tropical setting and mentioned that my hero and heroine were both multi-ethnic. I will say that I’ve never seen a person on my cover and thought—wow, that looks just like Heroine X or Hero Y. However, just by chance, the art department almost hit the target precisely for my defiant, emotionally vulnerable heroine Lana on the cover of Paradise Rules.

I already admitted to not being an expert on covers, so I thought I’d ask my friend, Fiona Jayde about the subject of what makes a good cover. Fiona is not only an author, but a web designer and cover artist, not to mention being an artist in the general sense of the word. Fiona gave me three things that relate to good vs. bad cover art.

1. Anything that "pops": Its hard to capture the reader's attention, so anything that stands out - via color or strong interesting fonts or engaging subject matter is a great cover in my opinion. This is especially true for online retailers which display various cover thumbnails on a page.

2. Simplicity of a closeup: One of my pet peeves about a cover is capturing too many details in a small space. This makes a cover busy and details too small and almost inconsequential. If a cover has only one detail - but that detail is striking, I think it makes a more effective selling tool because it draws the eye.

3. Hard to read fancy font: If a user can't read the title or an
author's name because the font is too scripty or drippy or blends in too much, then the cover isn't as effective as it could be.

I asked Fiona to give an example of a favorite cover that highlights her points. “I Love Scott Westerfield covers for the Uglies trilogy. The covers always grab me.”

Do you have a favorite cover? If so, why is it your favorite? Have you ever been in a book store and bought a book almost exclusively on the cover?

She didn’t believe in paradise… 

To most people Hawaii’s crystal blue shores are an inviting opportunity to escape reality. But for Lana Rodriguez who grew up there, the picture-perfect vacation getaway disguises the bitter truths she escaped years ago, and not without some emotional scars. Now a successful blues singer, Lana’s returning to Waikiki with a different outlook on the past, and a bold defiance when it comes to men, romance, and sex. This time, it’s on her terms.

Until she found it in him. 

Local celebrity, businessman and island god, Jason Koa, may be every woman’s dream. For Lana, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Though their start is rocky, they can’t deny the passions they arouse in each other. Jason refuses to become Lana’s pawn. It’s time to show her who makes the rules on this island—and in the bedroom. But will Jason’s attempt at breaking Lana’s shell reveal secrets that neither are prepared to face, or will they allow themselves to get swept away by a tidal wave of desire?

You can find Beth on her website, blog, Myspace,  & her Yahoo group Total Exposure

I have to admit I am a cover lover :)  But Beth has nothing to worry about because I think all of her recent covers have been great.  

My favorite cover so far this year is the cover from Deeper by Megan Hart.  It was my first Seductive Museums of Fine Cover Art pick (a monthly meme that anyone is invited to participate in).  My favorite Beth Kery cover so far this year is hard to choose from because Daring Time and Sweet Restraint were fabulous covers, but I think Paradise Rules is my favorite to date.  I haven't read the book yet, but the cover is striking, simple, sexy and appears to represent the book content well.  I'm in total agreement with Fiona!

My many thanks to Beth for doing this post while being so busy with her new book, being on vacation, and her own blog contest.  To celebrate the release of Paradise Rules Beth is giving away a signed copy to one lucky commenter.  Woo hoo!!! Here's how you enter to win a little bit of paradise:

Ways to earn entries:
  • In order to be eligible you must answer Beth's question she posed to readers in her post, and leave a meaningful comment 
  • Become a follower of Seductive Musings, and/or mention that you are already a follower in your comment (good for 3 extra entries) 
  • Blog about this contest on your blog and leave a link with your comment (good for 10 extra entries)
  •  If you don't have a blog, don't worry you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they leave a comment on this post and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries (good for 2 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend)
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 20 entries, or 30 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter: 
  • You must answer Beth's question and leave a meaningful comment in order to be eligible. 
  • You can choose to earn extra entries as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
  • Your comment MUST include your email address in order for you to be eligible
Rules and disclaimers: 
  • This contest is open to absolutely anyone who would love to win this book (unless you live in a country that considers this book illegal due to content) 
  • The contest will end Monday October 12th at 11:59 pm EST and the winner will be posted on this blog 
  • Winner will be selected using 
  • The winner will have THREE days from the date they are posted as the winner to provide the requested information. If you do not respond within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS 
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed 
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice

Good Luck!!!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links :)


jeanette8042 October 7, 2009 at 12:36 AM  

My favorite book cover would have to be Maya Bank's Sweet Persuasion because I think it's very attractive and it made me want to read the book to find out about the actual story. I've bought Charlene Teglia's book Wicked Hot based on the cover alone.
I'm a follower! and I blogged about the interview and giveaway on my blog:

Alicia0605 October 7, 2009 at 2:15 AM  

I know its bad but I almost alway judge a book by its cover. One of my favorite covers so far is Kim Harrison's White Witch Black Curse. The colors were so vivid and I loved the fountain in the background.

I have been waiting on Paradise Rules to come out. I plan to get it sometime this week.

Thanks so much!!

I am a follower

Razlover's Book Blog October 7, 2009 at 2:56 AM  

One of my favorite covers is "Dance with the Devil" by Sherrilyn Kenyon" because I thought the color scheme is quite beautiful and the cover model is wearing a leather jacket which is sexy and he's hot looking!

I also thought the cover of "Haunting Beauty" by Erin Quinn is really beauty and I love the color purple.

I'm a follower and I posted your giveaway here:


etirv October 7, 2009 at 2:57 AM  

I appreciate nice covers but I never buy books because I was attracted to the cover. I can't really remember a standout cover off the top of my head. Even with romance books. I don't dwell on the covers and since there's a child at home, all romance books are covered while being read.


booklover0226 October 7, 2009 at 4:10 AM  

When I used to buy books at bookstores, the covers drew me to the books. Usually, I was unfamiliar with the author and if the cover had fangs and blood, I wanted it.

I can't recall a book with a standout cover for me. I do like the cover of a manga, though, Yebisu Celebrities.

I am a follower.

Tracey D
booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

Mary G October 7, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

Paradise Rules has a beautiful cover for a wonderful book. The only book I have ever picked up to look at because of the cover is Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty. I almost didn't buy it because it was a historical but I love Westerns. Thankfully the story was as amazing as the cover.
The only cover issues I have is the books I can take to work & read in public versus the ones I can only read at home. I don't mind torso only covers as everyone imagines the characters differently. Just graphics are fine with no people on the cover. Paradise Rules is an awesome book. The beautiful cover is icing on the cake.

elaing8 October 7, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

For my favorite cover I'm gonna go with a YA book. Hush,Hush..I love the shirtless,fallen angel with feathers floating around,its very intriguing..gray color with a hint of red.My favorite Beth Kery cover is Daring Time.
I haven't bought a book just because of the cover. The cover has drawn me to books.

I'm looking forward to reading Paradise Rules,please enter me in the giveaway.

+3 I am already a follower


tetewa October 7, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

I really enjoyed your cover for Daring Time and also Alyssa Day's covers for her books!

beth kery October 7, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

Morning all. Getting a late start here. Thanks to Carrie for featuring me at her blog. It's interesting the range--some people totally focus on a cover, some completely ignore it. I guess I'm somewhere in between. A cover might get me to pick up a book, but the blurb and possibly a quick read of a couple paragraphs to get an idea of author voice and style is what decides me.
Have a terrific day everyone!

Chris J. October 7, 2009 at 11:32 AM  

Congrats on your new release! It sounds really steamy!
Great blog and I love learning more about an author and about books in general. So that this one grabbed me due to the subject of covers. When I first started reading it didn't matter, years later I am a cover addict, love the ones with beautiful men or women with tatoos. Also the ones like from Gerry Bartlett that are cartooning? (is that the right word.) So it can vary what catches my eye but just a person usually doesn't, it has to be more you know. I also always buy the authors I have read for a while, no matter the covers. But one in particular changed her style of covers, I mean everybody knew who shw was and could instantly pick out her books. She recently changed the covers and proably just a fluke her books aren't the same, they feel different in the writing as well. I wonder if her sales have decreased. If something works don't fix (change) it.
Thanks for a great blog and all the info. :)
As to the contest, I am signed up for Seductive Musings digest (does that count as following? )
I emailed me friends with this contest and the website listed in the digest and cc'd it.
An commented. :)

alba October 7, 2009 at 3:37 PM  

Im a follower and I am signed up to Seductive musings I love this place now more than ever for putting the breast cancer link up being a survivor myself It means a lot Please Please get a MAMMOGRAM early detection is important It was for me.
Congratulations on the release I cant wait to get it. I am a book cover junky 9 times out of 10 it's the cover that pulls me in my top favorites are Karen Marie Monings Highlander books all of them really but 2 have my heart Kiss of a Highlander it Nathan Kamps Lips...Highland Touch its Nathan Kamps arms and lips hot hot hot. I very much like the cover of Release but OMGosh the couple on Paradise rules steamy hot Love it..Have a good one.

Debbie F October 7, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

I must say that I have to like the cover to read a book. I know, I have probablly have missed out on alot of books this way, but I will not pick up a book if the cover is boring. I don't have a favorite book cover that I can think up but I love covers with doorways or windows, or some kind of scenery on it. thanks
+3 follower
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Estella October 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM  

I don't pay much attention to covers. Have never purchased a book because of it's cover.

kissinoak AT verizon DOT net

Mitzi October 7, 2009 at 9:54 PM  

I think my favorite cover to date is also Paradise Rules, but I just bought Deeper and can't wait to read it too!!!

I have bought a book because of it's cover. The book was A Tall Dark Cowboy and the reason I bought it was because the cowboy was the hottest thing I had ever seen. I figured if I didn't like the book, I could at least frame the cover and put it in my office!!! Hehehe.

I've only had the pleasure of reading a couple of your stories, but really liked them and am looking forward to reading more.

Thank you for the chance to win this book!!

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

I'm a follower.

Lisa F. October 7, 2009 at 10:09 PM  

I don't really have a favorite cover. There are so many that I love it's hard to pick one. I will say that Elizabeth Amber's covers stick out. I still remember being in the bookstore and doing a double take at Raine's book. So I ended up buying the first three books. Now I'm hooked on that series.

Congrats on the new release, Beth! I love your books and I can't wait to read Paradise Rules.

lstillman2000 at yahoo dot com

beth kery October 7, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

Chris--very interesting about the cover style changing. I'm not sure why the art department did that, if her style was so recognizable either. The world of marketing is beyond me. :)

Lisa F--OMG, those Elizabeth Amber books are very striking, aren't they?

Mitzi--I couldn't agree more, Deeper is simply a gorgeous cover.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Have a great night.

Cathy M October 8, 2009 at 3:32 PM  

I fall somewhere in the middle too. While I don't buy a book just because of a great cover, if it's a new to me author, that cover might catch my eye and have me reading the blurb to find out more.

Some of my favorite covers are on Eileen Wilks, Joey W Hill and Nalini Singh's books.


flchen1 October 9, 2009 at 12:26 AM  

Hi, Beth!

As much as I love a gorgeous cover, I generally don't tend to buy based on my appreciation for a cover alone. I think that when I did more of my book buying by browsing a bricks-and-mortar store, covers would be part of why I'd pick up a certain book (or not). On the other hand, I have to be sold by the blurb and excerpt, so I tend not to buy just because of a gorgeous cover.

Once I have a book though, the cover's part of the whole experience--I love when the cover captures the feel of the book and also when it accurately portrays the characters (maybe not *exactly* as I'd imagine, but at least getting the general characteristics right--hair color, eyes...) And I do like it to match the tone of the book--I like playful covers for lighter stories, but I love the dark, deep look for the passionate, gut-wrenching tales :)

Some of your covers have been just beautiful--your Berkley ones have been good at capturing the general feel and are really attractive in and of themselves!

f dot chen at comcast dot net
- a follower, and posted about this here:

Maija P. October 9, 2009 at 4:02 AM  

I think Megan Hart has one of the most beautiful covers I've seen (her Spice line books).

Synopsis is the most important to me. Still, of course I'm drawn to a beautiful cover. I'm more likely to check its back blurb than the back blurb of a not that nice looking book...


ddurance October 9, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

I love the cover for Ruined by Paula Morris.

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Marian October 9, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

This might sound weird, but I like the fact that Lana (on the cover of Beth Kery's book) because she isn't as... fulsome, shall we say... as a lot of other heroines on covers.

Sorry, but as a flat-chested girl I just tend to notice that kind of thing.

As for buying books based solely on their covers, never. I might pick them up for that reason, but I'd always read the blurbs, the first few pages, etc. And I'd look at the price.

That being said, my favorite cover is for Tanith Lee's The Book of the Mad. The artist painted a character from the book, trapped within a canvas and looking out. Plus, the color matched the theme of orange that pervaded the book. It was really beautiful.

Marian - mdperera at hotmail dot com

*ina* October 10, 2009 at 3:45 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
*ina* October 10, 2009 at 3:47 PM  

Hi Beth!
I have to say I buy books in the first way because of the cover - there are a lot of fantastic covers and later I discover the story *gg* I'm reading a lot of German books, but the German covers will never reach the covers from the original version - the covers alone are telling gorgeous stories!
My favorite cover this month is from "Eyes Like Stars: Theatre Illuminata, Act I" by Lisa Mantchev *sigh*
Wish you all the best!

inale87 (at) gmx (dot) at

oh, and I forgot - I'm a follower ;)

beth kery October 11, 2009 at 10:24 AM  

Ina--sounds wonderful! It's really interesting to see covers from different editions and also international covers. Thanks for stopping by.

Marian--it doesn't sound 'weird'. I've had other people tell me the exact same thing. :)

Maija--I agree. Megan has been blessed with some lovely covers. They remind me of erotic art, and so are fine representations of her writing style.

Hi Fedora! You make a good point about 'general feel' of a book. Sometimes I cover doesn't portray the exact physical characteristics of the h/h or even an exact even in the story, but it does capture the overall 'feel' or tone of the book. For me, this was true of Wicked Burn. Many will note that Vic never wore a tux in the story--nor was he even the type to ever want to come near one--but nevertheless, the cover caught a certain tone of the overall book. Plus, it had Niall wearing pearls. lol.

Hey there Cathy. Yeah, you mentioned some lovely covers. Joey Hill's are especially eye catching and great for the theme.

Armenia October 11, 2009 at 7:01 PM  

+1 My favorite Beth Kery's books is SWEET RESTRAINT. Another favorite is Lauren Dane's LAID BARE. But I have to admit I tend to judge a book by its cover, and though it seems shallow, I can't help the ones that just grab my attention. Point in case, LORD OF THE DEEP by Dawn Thompson. That cover was to die for, but alas, I lost interest in the middle of the book.

+3 I am a follower

+50 Bought DARING TIME and one other book through SM'S Amazon store, emailed receipt

armiefox at yahoo dot com

Eva S October 12, 2009 at 5:31 AM  

My favorite covers are beautiful and romantic and one I like is Joey W. Hill's A Mermaid's Kiss. Many times I buy books because of the cover, especially historicals.

I'm a follower

eva.silkka at

Amy S. October 12, 2009 at 9:45 PM  

Hi Beth! I love all of the covers. The only ones I don't like too much are the ones that are cartoonish. I usually buy books because of the cover.

Amy S. October 12, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

I'm a follower

amysmith98 @

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