I’ve just finished drafting a short story titled “Original Sin.” It’s the origin story of Lilith, the demon who has been a minor character in every Touched by a Demon story so far. I’m planning to offer it as a freebie to all the subscribers to my newsletter.
Because I don’t plan to receive any revenue from this story, it’s really tempting to cheap out on the cover. (Likewise, to skip paying an editor.) But if the story’s purpose is to attract and keep readers, it needs to be shiny and polished—my best stuff.
Ergo, professional cover (and copy editor).
I was thinking about doing a cover depicting the Garden of Eden beneath the arc of fiery angel wings that are the hallmark of my first two covers but Eight Lady Jilly thought that was a mistake.
“I’m convinced,” she said, “that the most effective covers for romance depict the main character.” Her cover for The Seeds of Power, you may recall, features Princess Christal Hollin of Larrochar and it’s worked well for her.
After some discussion, I conceded that she could be right.
“And,” she said, “I think it works best if the model is making eye contact.”
For the next book (as opposed to short story) in the series features Lilith. I’ve already picked out a model for that cover.
If a woman ever looked like she knows how to exploit your worst weakness, this is that woman.
Using Jilly’s logic, if this is the model for Book 3, I would have to find a model who looked like a much younger, more innocent version of the same person for “Original Sin.”
Jilly agreed. “It would be great if you found a suitable model who had pictures taken years apart.”
“Right,” I said. Seriously? What are the chances of that?
It would need to depict Lilith soon after she was created, before the snake convinced her to dump Adam and hightail it out of Eden. This picture of a similar but much younger woman would need to be making eye contact with the camera. And, since the story takes place before the Adam and Eve story, she would need to be nude.
The chances of finding such a picture seemed astronomically small.
(Also, the idea of typing “naked teenager” into the Shutterstock search box was deeply disturbing.)
Jilly is wise in the ways of covers, though, so I dutifully went out to Shutterstock, brought up my model and clicked on “Same Model.” To my amazement, there are 54 pages of pictures of this woman on Shutterstock, going back to when she was a teenager. Including this one:
What do you think? Does she look like a dewy-eyed innocent version of the woman above?