For The King book cover: the winner is…

Hands down, Gerard’s portrait of fellow painter Isabey!

Thank you very, very much for your wonderful insights and suggestions. This is what the kind of exchange that makes blogging so much fun.

I also tallied the emailed votes of comment-shy readers and my family’s
impressions. The trend is consistent. My brother noted that there would be a beautiful continuity and symmetry between this cover and that of Mistress of the Revolution. Each would have a single character, one female, one male, both almost full-length.

I will leave the comment track open under the prior post. Feel free to change your mind, add new suggestions or give me your input if you have not already done so.

This is only the beginning of the process, and I should receive pretty soon my publisher’s first cover suggestions. Stay tuned…

And while we are on the topic of book covers, I really enjoyed this piece brought to my attention by a post at Writing the Renaissance, itself from a track by at I agree with  Karen Heller (No faces, please, we’re women) on that unfortunate trend, which has apparently spread well beyond the confines of historical fiction. Yet I am told that the headless heroine still works wonders in terms of sales.

And finally, for those who find some modern covers tacky, take a look at this Jean Plaidy from the 50s at Reading, Raving and Ranting. Bravo, Susan, for this acquisition! Makes you wonder whether it is thanks to cover art of this sort that historical fiction acquired its “lowbrow” reputation.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

12 Comments to “For The King book cover: the winner is…”

  1. Pam S says:

    Hello Catherine and Penny…there’s another factor in cover design: Alas, all who publish are aware that their major customers have tastes that tie closely to decisions to buy the book or not. These are often very SMART buyers, who track the performance of hundreds, if not thousands of genre titles. I think this cover meets the criteria for >high quality>literary>historical>all readers, and another, more subtle element: it is different from many of the others, and still as attractive. It will look terrific on the shelf!

  2. Penny Klein says:

    Ma Chere Catherine,
    the stereotype of men not reading seems rather old fashioned. but then i am just an American who takes trains, does not drive and yet as a woman i am not supposed to be a sci fi fan, but i am. so it should be interesting what the publisher does decide on, won’t it. won’t be long now till the publication. don’t forget i want an autograph.

  3. Catherine Delors says:

    Ah but Penny, the demographics of movies and books are supposed to be totally different. Books are supposed to be bought by women, movies to be watched by men. I agree that the smoke and fire scene would be a better fit for the theme of the book. Stay tuned….

  4. Penny Klein says:

    no battle scenes because they kill sales? huh? didn’t Clint Eastwood make a ton of money on his war movies? why would battle scenes kill sales? who is the demographic? a battle scene might bring in both genders. or at least more men.

  5. Catherine Delors says:

    Dear Penny, my publisher said “Read my lips: no battle scenes.” Why not? Apparently they kill sales…

  6. Penny Klein says:

    Ma Chere Catherine,
    I don’t get it. you were really rooting for the one with lots of smoke on the cover. now this one because it looks like continuity? don’t get me wrong, i like the portrait but for me, it looks so serene a cover for a thriller. oh well, that’s life, too bad i can’t spell the french for that.
    Bien amicalement


    I will translate Brigitte’s comment: I just dropped by your blog to see the photo selected for your second novel. You are right, and your brother too, this man, this look, this hat in his hand, departure, arrival?? I love it.

    Thank you, Brigitte! Note, however, that no cover has been chosen yet…

  8. Brigitte says:

    Je viens de passer pour voir la photo choisie sour ton second roman. Tu as raison, et ton frére aussi, cet homme, ce regard,ce chapeau à la main, départ, arrivée ?? j’aime beaucoup.


    My mind is pretty much made up now. The ball is in my publisher’s camp now!

  10. Eva says:

    Yay!! Don’t really have any other input, lol. :)


    Thank you for your input, Dani! Great topic indeed.
    Now I forwarded
    the results to my editor at Dutton, and it is out of my hands for a
    while. I am awaiting with bated breath the first thoughts of the

  12. Danielle says:

    Yay–I love that painting–I think it will be wonderful. It was my favorite of the group. I think the headless woman on covers is overdone now, too. At first I thought it was sort of effective (more so just a partial face perhaps), but it’s lost its pizzazz and now I just think, oh, another one. Cover from the 1960s and 70s were horrible! That Plaidy cover is awful–not at all how I imagine her work to be. I have some old Daphne du Maurier books as well as Elizabeth Bowen paperbacks and they have that same sort of tawdry romanticism, which I don’t at all find in their books–especially not Elizabeth Bowen! Thanks for the links–I think this subject is really fascinating.

Leave a Reply