You can visit her website to find out more about her blog tour, as well as snippets from Bargain with the Devil. She has a PG room and a NC-17 room, take your pick. Plus, she, of course, blogs (when she’s not off globe-trotting!). In addition to Bargain with the Devil, Enid is the author of In Quest of Theta Magic. She writes sexy and erotic romance, both modern, historical, paranormal or science fiction. And today, she’s here to talk about creating the cover of her latest, Bargain with the Devil.
The Hunt of Steamy Darcy
One of the perks of self-publishing is you get to decide on the book cover design yourself.
When I published my first sexy paranormal romance In Quest of Theta Magic which was originally written as a Pride and Prejudice fantasy, I made the mistake of trying to design the cover myself.
I used a picture I took myself. It came out mystical enough to symbolize the fantasy world I created for the novel but didn’t represent the story at all.
Unhappy with it two weeks after its release, I talked to other self published authors and they told me they sourced photographs from online stock photo libraries such as istockphoto, fotolia, shutterstock, 123RF, bigstockphoto. The fee is reasonable, around US$30 for a high resolution photo, if your book is sold for less than 250,000 copies. (haha, I wish it could sell for more than that!)
I then talked to my readers in chat rooms. They, both men and women, all agreed that for a sexy romance about love, it must feature Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet together on the cover. Here is the final book cover of Theta Magic. The sales after the change of book cover were unbelievable. Seven months after its publication, I still have sales every month. Of course, several four to five stars reviews of the book help too.
When I decided to publish my second novel Bargain with the Devil: A spicy retelling of Pride and Prejudice, I was aware that the search for a lovely Darcy and Lizzy was very important.
But to get an ancient painting for the cover was very expensive. One online site which stocks ancient paintings charges US$3,000 for a five year copyright. Of course it was way beyond my budget.
I talked to an illustrator, Zuki, and she suggested I found a modern stock photograph and she could turn it into an ancient illustration for me.
So I asked the readers again. The scene they most remembered from my story which had been published for free in serial format before was with a drunken Mr. Darcy at a fisherman hut.
Elizabeth and he disguised as labourers to search for Lydia. Mr. Darcy got drunk and did some funny and naughty things to Lizzy. Readers still remember that scene even if they read it nearly a year ago.
Zuki suggested this photo as it was taken far enough to include some background detail and the bed. However during the illustration process, it was apparent that by changing it into a fisherman hut, the colour would not be as striking as turning it into a rich setting with elegant patterns on the bed sheet and rich drapes in the bedroom.
It suited another scene in my story very well: Lizzy was under the influence of witchcraft and spent a night of steamy encounter with Mr. Darcy at Pemberley.
The illustration was then turned into the present book cover by Susan.
I absolutely love the cover. Susan and Zuki’s fees were affordable.
Most readers love the cover too, except one. She told me she wanted her Mr. Darcy OLDER!
Well, the search for a steamy Mr. Darcy is never complete and that’s the fun of it.
Thank you Enid! I swear, I am totally amazed by what you accomplished in creating such a beautiful cover.
Okay, I said I’d tell you more about Enid’s wonderful giveaways. I have an extra copy (surely you didn’t think I’d give up mine) of Bargain with the Devil. Leave a comment here to have your name put in the drawing (be sure there’s a link back so I can let you know that you won). On Saturday, I’ll put all names on the floor atop a doggie treat and let my miniature Schnauzer, Ruffles, choose the winner (the winner is whoever's name doesn't get torn to pieces).
To have your name put in the drawing for one of two prizes Enid is giving away on her blog, just go there and leave her a comment today. She’s giving away a necklace and some really nice coasters. (I may arm wrestle you for the coasters.)
Again, thank you Enid for stopping by to talk about how you designed the cover for Bargain with the Devil. And thank all of you in advance for commenting or asking Enid questions. And remember to enter for all the giveaways. She’s going to be suspicious if all the entries link back to me.