A couple of months ago, there was a bit of a kerfuffle when an author released a new book with a cover that looked eerily like the cover for Trying Sophie (same font, same font placement, similar green overlay). At first I ignored it because there's only so much you can do with a romance cover, but then I received a handful of emails from readers I'd never interacted with angrily (on my behalf) letting me know about the look-alike. I approached the author and after a short conversation, decided to chalk it up to coincidence (after all, what else could I do?). Still, in the back of my head, the similarities kept niggling at me. Then, a couple of weeks ago someone wanted to hire me to design her covers, but having seen the similarities between Trying Sophie and that other book, stated she was worried that I recycled my designs!! Basically, she thought I had copied my own book cover for that other author! That was when I realized I couldn't ignore the situation any longer and decided it was time to give Sophie a facelift. Since I was also in the midst of designing the cover for Ruck Me (Dublin Rugby #2) and getting ready to schedule the tour for its release, it was the perfect opportunity to do a whole series re-brand.
One of the things I fought for a very long time when I first started doing covers was the whole shirtless dude phenomena. Unfortunately, if you know anything at all about romance covers, you know they are ubiquitous and likely aren't going anywhere any time soon. Still, at the back of my mind, I wondered ... what if? Could I get away with designing a cover for Trying Sophie that bucked the trend? I thought long and hard about it y'all. To the point where I even designed a cover using the couple that you've seen on several of my teaser images for this book.
The thing though about the cover with the couple? While beautiful and I love it, it just didn't speak to me for this series. Declan and Sophie are **smoking hot** and these guys look sweet. Oh, I'm sure people could imagine them getting it on every now and again, but those of you who've read Trying Sophie know that sex is a huge part of this book. And it's going to stay that way throughout the series. These aren't erotic novels by any stretch of the imagination, but it's safe to say they skirt the line of what you find in standard romance novels. (I'm still scratching my head over the reviewer who only gave it three flames on her heat index - I can't imagine what an author needs to do to score a five!) Also, the other problem with this version is that nothing about it says SPORTS ROMANCE. This could be any story, about any type of couple. I want readers to know this book has an alpha athlete at its core.
So ... it was back to the drawing board.
I talked it over with a few authors I respect (plus some of my beta readers) and took their insight and feedback into consideration, ultimately deciding to do an amalgamation of the two covers - my original and this one.
And thus, the new Trying Sophie was born.
Same original dude, a stadium background blend, and the new fonts and voila! I can't stop staring at it. I love it so much. And having done all the covers for the series - Ruck Me, Break Down, Locked in Love, and Winging It - they look marvelous lined up all in a row. Now, I just have to get back to writing so you can get them in your hands. (Speaking of ... the cover reveal for Ruck Me is on June 30 and the release date is July 26. If you'd like to sign up to participate in these events, my tour is being hosted by Give Me Books and the link can be found here.)
So, what do you think of the new cover? Like it ... or love it?