Guest Blog – Cover Love by Inara Scott


If there’s one thing an author learns, it’s the power of a cover. Sure, we like to think our words mean all the difference, but the truth is, when people are deciding what book to pick up—whether that’s electronically or physically—the cover makes a huge difference.

Really, if you think about it, that single picture has a lot of work to do. It must convey the tone of the book—dark and sexy, or light and funny? It must convey the level of heat—drop dead sexy, or subtly romantic? And of course, whatever image ends up on the cover is going to stay in the mind of the reader throughout the book. So if there’s an image of one of the characters on the cover, it better be “right” for that character. Once a reader sees a picture, it’s almost impossible to erase that picture from her mind, regardless of how differently the character is portrayed in the book.

I have to say that I’ve been incredibly lucky when it comes to covers. My first adult romance cover was for my 2011 Entangled Publishing release, RADIANT DESIRE. It’s a gloriously evocative cover, with subtle teal and pink colors. RADIANT DESIRE is about a faerie sent break the heart of a human man, and the cover absolutely captures the tone of the book: sophisticated and sexy, but with a dreamy, mystical quality. Above all, it’s romantic and beautiful, just like the heroine, Kaia.

My newest release, RULES OF NEGOTIATION, is a very different story, and you’ll see that in the cover. RULES is a steamy contemporary romance about a twenty-something lawyer named Tori and the sexy CEO who sweeps her off her feet. RULES is fast-paced, funny, and real. No faeries here, but definitely plenty of romance and happily ever after! I adore the way the picture leaves you with a hint as to the romance and sensuality, but doesn’t hit you over the head with it. And I can fantasize about the cover model all day long—you know he’s tall, dark and handsome, but by leaving his face partially obscured, you can still fill in your own picture of him in your imagination.

So what do you look for in a cover? A sexy six-pack? Beautiful woman? Do you love the headless covers, or do you like to look your hero in the eye? One comment wins a copy of RULES!  Winner will be selected 2/21/12, using

About Rules of Negotiation

She made all the rules…

After juggling the demands of her career and the stress of caring for her ailing mother, high-powered corporate attorney Tori Anderson doesn’t have time for relationships—but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to feel like a woman. When Brit Bencher, NYC’s most eligible bachelor, offers a no-strings attached fling, it sounds like exactly what she needs. But what will she do when her Brit decides he won’t take “one night stand” for an answer?

…until he started breaking them.

Brit Bencher will do anything to take care of his family, even seduce Tori Anderson in the hopes of getting her to reveal confidential information about one of her clients. But for the first time in his life, he finds he’s falling for a woman. When Tori uncovers his lies, will he lose his chance with her forever?

Get your copy at Amazon  & Barnes & Noble

About Inara Scott

Inara Scott is a writer, lawyer, teacher, mother, and coffee-addict currently growing mold in the beautiful (but rainy) Pacific Northwest. Inara also writes for teens in her paranormal young adult series The Talents. Inara firmly believes in magic and fairy tales, and doesn’t think happily ever after is the least bit unrealistic.

Inara loves to hear from readers; you can find her on Twitter (@inarascott) or Facebook ( far more than is healthy. For email contact information, event schedules, her blog, and much more, check out

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26 thoughts on “Guest Blog – Cover Love by Inara Scott

  1. I just love your cover of Rules of Negotiation..
    I like a book cover that draws me in, if it has a good looking couple on it or a horse running across a field with beautiful hills and valleys in the background. Or it could be a picture of Rosebush, with the petals falling around a garden gate. It just has to have the right “pull” and i will taking it off the shelf to see what’s inside the book..
    Sometimes, it’s more and sometimes the cover is not enough to make me want to read further.

  2. I am definitely drawn to the cover of a book. It sets the town that the book is trying to portray. I love all kinds. sexy sixpack, no face, with the face, even a beautiful landscape. that will make me want to grab it but the story will have to capture me to read it.
    congrats on your new release!

  3. Hi Kathleen! I’m so glad you like the cover, I think it’s gorgeous–sexy but subtle. And yes, I agree, the cover alone isn’t enough. What’s inside counts!

  4. With covers, it’s hard to pinpoint one thing I look for; honestly, it just has to catch my eye somehow. And most of the time a nice set of eyes or (I’ll admit) glittery writing will do that lol 🙂 LOVE the covers for Rules of Negotiation & Radiant Desire! They are both definitely fun to look at 🙂

  5. I’ll admit I have bought more than my share of books based on the cover art. I have to say, I have rarely been disappointed after doing so. Looking forward to reading Rules of Negotiation.

  6. I look at the entire cover. Some catch my interest more than others. Especially when trying a new author, if the cover interests me to pick up the book to read the blurb, I will most likely buy the book. Oh, by the way, I really love seeing a man’s shoulders on a cover.

  7. Inara, thank you for the great post!

    I admit, covers do catch my eye and I usually go for pretty covers first.

    I love both of your covers =)

  8. I’ll admit I love looking at covers. Funny thing is I’ve discovered that many of my favorite covers are done by the same photographers. I guess those people just know what I like to look at. As for what I want to see, honestly some of my favorite covers are the ones where both the hero and heroine are both on them looking oh so sexy. I like the illusion those provide 🙂

  9. Inara-Thanks so much for you post. I agree, covers have their work cut out for them. Yours definitely pass the test. Rules of Negotiation looks yummy and has been added to my TBR pile.

  10. I think the cover needs to honestly portray the story, what ever that may be. If I am searching on Amazon for a new book, the first thing that catches me is the cover. If I am pulled in by the cover, I will then read the blurb, and then buy.

  11. I have to say a cover that is eye catching is a definite draw. I tend to go for the ones that have a full figure, rather than just a portion of the model, and if it has a symbolic meaning tied to it in the book, that adds to it as well. Love your covers for both books by the way, especially the one about Kaia.

  12. I always say not to judge a book by its cover but it really is a factor in choosing a book. Cover art draws people in and when I am in the mood for a steamy read I look for a cover that fits what I am in the mood for.

  13. Of course, covers are the first things that catches the readers interest. When I was purchasing “regular” books, it was always the cover first and then read the back to see if the cover supported the storyline. Now, with e-reader only, I have to rely on the cover only and hope that the title matches what I think the book would be like. Blogs like GP are a great help when looking for something new and exciting and reader recommendations are great to but, show me a six-pack, a cowboy hat, a collar or a “throws of passion” scene and I will most likely take a chance. Ah, yea, “Rules of Negotiation” is now on the “Wish List”.

  14. I definitely look for a sexy six-pack!!! I like both the headless covers and the ones where the hero looks me in the eye, both are very sexy!!!

  15. For print books, covers are important if I’m not familiar with the author. For ebooks, I rely on recommendations and reviews from blogs and authors I follow.

    There isn’t anything specific I look for in a cover.

  16. Sounds really good.

    I like a cover that draws the eye and gets your attention. But it also has to fit the book. If it doesnt match it will bother me. But even then I wont buy on the cover alone it has to sound like a good book to me too.

  17. Hi Mel! *waves to fabulous fan* You know, I’ve never had glittery writing on one of my covers…making a mental note to write Cover Goddess about that one! 😉

    Thanks for stopping by Sharon–I’m glad to hear that your cover shopping doesn’t steer you wrong!

    Shelly, I totally agree! I am a big shoulder girl. In fact, I got a note from an editor once along the lines of, “the shoulders again?” Yep!

  18. Hey Didi, glad you liked the post! Thanks for hosting me!

    Slick, that’s interesting that you can recognize the artist of the covers you like. Do you check out credits? I also like having both hero and heroine on the cover, though I prefer not being able to see them too clearly. I want something left to my imagination. 😉

    Kimber, you think Rules looks yummy? High praise indeed! 🙂 Thanks so much for adding it to the TBR pile!

  19. Becky J, I agree–nothing worse than a cover that says, “cute and flirty!” on a book that’s really dark or sad. It’s like those movie trailers that make it look like the movie’s going to be funny, when it turns out to be a tear-jerker. Hate that!

    Hi Filia! Thanks for stopping by and I’m thrilled you like the cover for Rules!

    Lisa, great point about color. It’s interesting how some covers (like Radiant Desire) have a really strong color scheme, while other are more focused on, um, flesh colors. 😉

    Asher, that’s a great point about the symbolism of the cover. It makes me a little crazy when the cover doesn’t actually match anything in the book!

  20. Hi Alyn, I totally agree with you–you think you won’t judge a book by the cover, but in reality, when you’re choosing what to read, you need SOME indication of what’s inside the book besides the blurb, and the cover has to do that.

    Kitty, LOL! Love the throw me a six pack, a cowboy hat, or a collar line! Glad to meet a gal who knows what she likes! 🙂

    Timitra, my favorite steamy guy staring you in the eye cover was for one of Anna Campbell’s books–check out Tempt the Devil ( Super sexy man gaze!!

  21. Gennie, glad to know it’s in the TBR pile! Thanks for stopping by!

    Mary, I didn’t realize people used different methods for picking e-books and print. Sounds like for e-books, the cover is even MORE important!!

    Donna, isn’t it odd when there’s some scene on the cover that doesn’t happen in the book? I always wonder about that!! And I agree, the cover might draw me in, but the book has got to sound good, too!

  22. Congrats on your book release! Rules of Negotiation sounds like a story I’ll enjoy and can connect with.

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