Book covers, are they a hook for you? new post by Elisabeth Barrett + Giveaway!

I am just thrilled to be here at Romance @ Random on release day for my debut novel, Deep Autumn Heat! Today, I want to talk about the thing that can hook the reader first.


I’m not talking about a great title.

Or a scintillating first line.

I’m talking about the cover!

I am definitely a written-word kind of girl. I usually respond better to words than I do to visuals. Sure, I enjoy a good movie now and then, but I’d rather read the book! I always read the book first (and if the book is amazing, sometimes I don’t go see the movie for fear of ruining my ideas about what the characters should look and sound like). And despite writing about extremely good-looking men, I’d much prefer to read about them and form my own impressions, than to stare at what someone else thinks they should look like on a book cover.

Or would I?

I’d never given much thought to covers before becoming an author (sad, but true). As an avid romance reader, I did tons of research before purchasing a new book…reading reviews, seeing what my friends thought…but rarely did I buy a book simply based on the cover. It just didn’t seem that important. First, sometimes the covers didn’t match the descriptions of the hero/heroines—a huge turn-off—and second, as I mentioned, I always enjoyed picturing the protagonists in my own mind, rather than have someone impress their depiction on me.

So imagine my surprise when I saw a draft cover for Deep Autumn Heat…and for the first time—EVER—understood what all the hype was about.

When I opened the email from Random House’s art department, Sebastian Grayson (the book’s hero) jumped out at me in all his glory, riding his motorcycle with his low-slung pants and his grommet belt and his “perfect, wicked lips.” My mouth dropped open. Then I screamed. And jumped up and down. A lot.

I finally, finally got it: A good cover can enhance the content in a big way, sending a signal to a prospective reader (me!) about the content.

I began to look at other book covers with a new eye. Did a particular cover make me more likely to buy the book? What effect was the cover trying to achieve? As a reader, I’m more aware of what works and what doesn’t, and I use that knowledge as a writer. Happily, the art department at Random House is really generous (as is my amazing editor) and they give me a huge amount of input into the covers.

Check out the cover for Blaze of Winter:elisabeth barrett
And there you have it—another cover that I think truly enhances the book!
Thank you for helping me to celebrate my debut release. I hope you love reading Deep Autumn Heat as much as I enjoyed writing it!


How about a Giveaway?
One commenter will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of Deep Autumn Heat, winners announced on Sunday

What covers do you think are the hottest/sexiest/most visceral, and what draws you in…or pushes you away?

Read an excerpt of DEEP AUTUMN HEAT, CLICK HERE


Buy Here just $2.99


And here’s what reader’s are saying:
“Elisabeth Barrett’s Deep Autumn Heat is a delicious debut that leaves the reader hungry for more.” – Emily March, NYT & USA Today Bestselling author of Nightingale Way.

“Deep Autumn Heat has a delicious hero and a sexy romance, a perfect combination!” – Molly O’Keefe, author of Can’t Buy Me Love

“Elisabeth Barrett’s Star Harbor debut offers New England charm, deeply felt emotion, and a whole lot of sizzle. A must read!” – Ruthie Knox, author of Ride with Me

“This book has all the ingredients of a great romance – sexy characters, intriguing plot, and a town I want to vist!” – Jennifer Probst, NYT and USA Bestselling author

“Deep autumn Heat serves up a heaping helping of sexy, with sweet and spicy on the side.” – USA Today Bestselling author, Heidi Betts

“I did not want the book to end, DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett is a definite must read.” 5 out of 5 stars, Lindsey at United by Books.com

“Deep Autumn Heat by Elisabeth Barrett is an emotionally charged, well developed, superb story . . . As a series lover, this is one that is destined to become a favorite of mine.” 5 Stars & the PUREST DELIGHT Award, Slick at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews.com

“Deep Autumn Heat warms up a cool fall day with intriguing characters in a new must read series, Star Harbor. Strong emotions, inspiring food, and some tense suspense add up a spectacular must read.” 5 out of 5 stars, Shari at Delighted Reader.com


elisabeth barrettAbout Elisabeth:
Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicks off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter (coming September 2012). Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. She is learning to appreciate what makes a good romance novel cover.


Find Elisabeth online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |Goodreads

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