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Katie MacAlister
Fiction With Attitude
The Cover Situation 
12th-Feb-2014 01:12 pm
Sad Katie
Over on the Official Katie Mac Discussion area (https://www.facebook.com/groups/359678384170905/)  Reader Nadia posted a comment and question about covers: I love ALL of Katie's books from the historicals, to the Dark Ones, to the delicious dragons. The one problem I have had is that for example in the dragons series, Aisling's covers are different than the silver dragons and the light dragon covers are waaaay different [I'm a wee bit OCD]. So when I buy the books in paperback I twitch, does anyone else have this problem with their series covers not matching?

Covers are both a delight and a bain to authors. Usually, we have input on the covers, but we don’t always have the final say in either the design or the subject. My publishers always ask me for suggestions of what I’d like to see, and they run covers by me for approval,  but  I very seldom put my foot down and say no, that cover will simply not do (actually, I’ve only done that once).


That said, in the situation that Reader Nadia was describing, I did have influence on the covers…but only the Baltic series. The covers for the Aisling books came out at a time when cartoon (or illustrated) covers were hot, hot, hot. The art dudes at Penguin came up with a spiffy design for You Slay Me, and they ran with it for the subsequent three Aisling books. You’ll notice that the artwork for all four of those books is similar, with sharp pointy edges, and bold colors.


By the time the silver dragon books came along, the precedence had been set—they did cartoon covers for the first sept, so they’d do the same for the silver dragons. They changed up the style, however, using softer lines, and different color schemes so the books would stand out.
Then came the light dragons. By the time I was writing those books, I felt a change was needed in the dragon covers. I wanted the covers to reflect the fact that Baltic was Mr. Sexy Pants, and asked my editor if we could switch from cartoon to a photo cover, preferably with a guy bearing a dragon tattoo. Boy howdy, did they come through.


The cover for Love in the Time of Dragons quickly became my most lickable…er…favorite, and they continued with the bare-chested/backed guy theme for the other two Baltic books (the back view on the Sparks Fly cover was my idea, as well. I do love a sexy, sexy back).

While it might drive readers like Nadia nuts that the covers don’t all match, the reality is that art departments are going to do what they think will sell best. If covers of half-naked men bearing dragon tats weren’t selling, they’d never have let me have one on a cover, let alone three. So I’m afraid the best I can do for those folks is explain why the covers change, and hope they’ll look past them to the stories inside.
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