However, there is always a however. I typically dislike howevers. However ... I received feedback from two unrelated sources that the cover was not reflective of the novel's genre and target audience. One response was, "lovely cover, and intriguing, but looks like a novel from the 70's or 80's." The other comment was similar, but not as friendly. Hurtful words, indeed. But after careful consideration, I found that I could not vigorously disagree. My emotional push back to the comments peaked at pathetic. So, back to the drawing board. Literally.
Based on a Wattpad experience of posting the first portion of the story, I know that the market for this novel are females under the age of thirty and over the age of fifty. Strange, I know, but the vast majority of the thirty fans of the Wattpad excerpt fell into those two categories. A little research told me that the first group (under-thirty women) are looking for bodice-ripper romance in imaginative forms - paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. The second group craves the same, but in gentler forms, as if seen through the lens of nostalgic memory. Covers for such novels have certain hallmarks, including:
- A woman and a man with obscured or semi-obscured faces
- Photo realistic renderings of the woman and man (not drawings)
- Hot guys with bare chests
- Women ignoring said hot guys, or playing hard-to-get
- Women physically assaulting said hot guys with lips, arms, and legs
- Visible emotional or sexual tension between the two