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Kat Martin | Covers: Bain or Blessing


The cover of a novel is the single most important ingredient in the success or failure of a book. This is not something authors want to hear and it is not always true.

If the book is special enough and it gets loads of word-of-mouth, even a bad cover can’t stop the book from being a success.

If the author’s name is well enough known--and I am speaking here of New York Times bestsellers with very large print runs--a bad cover can’t stop it from being a success.

However most of us fall in the category where a cover can make the difference between success and failure.

TITLEOver the years, I’ve had good covers and bad. One of the prettiest covers I ever had was on a book called MIDNIGHT RIDER. The problem was the cover was completely white. The lovely embossed bird on the front didn’t show up until the reader picked up the book. Not many did!

The title was the second half of the problem. It was chosen by the publisher and no amount of talking could convince them to change it. The combination of bad cover and bad title was lethal.

On the other hand, I have a series of books being re-issued in Sept, Oct, Nov. The Necklace Trilogy, starting with THE BRIDE’S NECKLACE. These were lovely covers on the original books. They have been modernized a bit and turned out very pretty, I think. However, they are not clutch covers-- meaning the hero and heroine are not featured on the front. It will be interesting to see how they sell in the current market.

A cover is always a risk.

My next three books, AGAINST THE WIND, AGAINST THE FIRE, and AGAINST THE LAW, out Jan, Feb, March, the Raines Brothers Trilogy, has what I think may be the best covers I’ve ever had, given the current market and what seems to be selling.

Each has the profile of the hero on the front, along with a hint of the story in the background. I’m particularly proud of these three novels, which are contemporary romantic suspense, and have high hopes for these covers.

I hope you’ll watch for the new books and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the covers. You can reach me through my website, Hope to hear from you. All best wishes,





71 comments posted.

Re: Kat Martin | Covers: Bain or Blessing

Looks like a great book and I would love the chance to win and read it. Thanks for the contest.
(Karen Appleby 8:15pm September 17, 2010)

I love the necklaces on the covers. They look sophisticated and make the books stand out.
(Ginger Hinson 2:33am September 18, 2010)

I also think the necklace covers are very classy. It makes me want to find out the story behind the necklace.

And the new series looks really good and those covers are perfect. I'd much rather see the hero or heroine on the cover and not a 'clutch' cover...hehe!!!

in Germany
(Valerie Bongards 6:46am September 18, 2010)

Unfortunately, you are right about the covers of books. I personally don't buy a book based on the cover alone, but I am sure that many people do. Would read your books if the cover was plain!
(Joanne Reynolds 7:01am September 18, 2010)

I must admit the cover does effect whether I pick up a book or not! Given a choice between the neckless trilogy and the Raines Brother Trilogy book cover, the Raines Brothers win hands down...
(Barbara Hanson 8:18am September 18, 2010)

Oh, wow ~~ the covers for the Raine's Brothers are awesome!! Congrats!! And while I TRY not let a cover sway me, I have to admit the yummy ones call my name and lure to pick up a book and read the blurb.
(Melissa Bradley 11:02am September 18, 2010)

I like the covers with the pearls. They do matter if I am browsing looking for something to read randomly, but if the author is one I am familiar with, the cover matters less.
(Pam Howell 12:22pm September 18, 2010)

I enjoy looking at covers, but I don't buy a book for the cover, I buy it for the story. So unless my interest is caught by the description or the excerpt in the front, or I'm already looking for the book due to word of mouth, I'm not picking it up no matter what the cover looks like.
(Barbara Elness 12:49pm September 18, 2010)

I finally have the completed Necklace's Trilogy. I spent the last five years looking for the Bride's Necklace to complete the collection. I'm glad the covers haven't changed. Otherwise the reprint of the Bride's Necklace cover would not match the Devil's Necklace and the Handmaiden's Necklace.

I'm definitely looking forward to the Raine's Brothers Trilogy. I love the covers better than the Necklace Trilogy. The Raine's Brothers Trilogy covers have an edge to it.
(Kai Wong 1:16pm September 18, 2010)

The cover is very clever.. I really would like to see what this story is all about.. Hope I win...
(Danielle Pontow 2:08pm September 18, 2010)

Your covers are very eye catching! The necklaces are beautiful... Love cowboys!
(Colleen Conklin 2:22pm September 18, 2010)

The story is more important,but a good cover helps.
(Deb Pelletier 3:56pm September 18, 2010)

The old saying is never judge a book by it's cover, but i have to say i am guilty of it. i'll see a cover & if the guy doesn't appeal to me i put it back down without reading the back. so the necklaces on the front of the books are a great idea because 1. their pretty. & 2. the cover matches the title. it took me no time to get hooked on the series.
(April Kirby 4:01pm September 18, 2010)

I love the Necklace covers. I
think they would appeal to more
readers than the clutch covers.
(Jessie OLeary 6:31pm September 18, 2010)

Sounds really good!
(Bridget Lopreiato 6:52pm September 18, 2010)

They are contemporary books? At first I thought they were westerns and I love westerns. But the covers are great and I could tell they were laymen.
(Diane Sadler 7:54pm September 18, 2010)

I love all the covers..but the men have to be given 1st place! Congratulations on your upcoming releases!
(Kimberley Coover 9:12pm September 18, 2010)

I love the covers on the new trilogy!! I can't wait to read them. I think the new covers on the necklace trilogy is very simple and PRETTY!! Alot of the time an unknown author's cover will catch my eye and I'll pick up the book, I really think a cover can make or break a book. I will not pick up one with a cartoony looking cover! Good luck with the upcoming releases, I'm anxiously awaiting them..
(Martha Lawson 9:34pm September 18, 2010)

It is our nature to be attracted to beauty and therefore, I have to admit that it was the cover that first attracted me to "The Bride's Necklace." Once I opened the first page, I couldn't help but rapidly devour each chapter and at that point, the cover had moved from the front to the back of my mind. Since I love your writing style, I no longer give the covers much relevance when deciding to purchase your books, as I know that the writing itself is extraordinary. Should you be looking to capture a larger or a slightly different target market, only then should the covers take precidence. Your writing will always be alluring and a treasur. -Jody Rogers
(J Rogers 9:44pm September 18, 2010)

I adore The Necklace Trilogy covers. The jewelry is beautiful on the different fabrics. I am not so much a clutch cover person, though it doesn't mean I am totally against it.
(Jessica C. Williams 10:29pm September 18, 2010)

The Necklace series was wonderful! Looking forward to the next series.
(Marjorie Carmony 6:57am September 19, 2010)

The cover of The necklace, is pretty.
(Tiffany Harvey 7:21am September 19, 2010)

I do prefer books with people on the covers. I agree that your Raine brothers series of books have gorgeous covers. Your necklace covers are eye catching especially the red and blue covers.
(Laurie Gommermann 9:17am September 19, 2010)

I Enjoy jewelry and with a story this even better. Love the covers with The Necklace! Also very much taken with "The Bride's Necklace." The cover drew me to the book. The first page made me have to buy the book to continue the read.

Your writing style I enjoy and always keep an eye out for your upcoming books.

Thanks for such wonderful reads and keep them coming.
(Shirley Sego 1:03pm September 19, 2010)

I Like the covers and would love to own the Necklace Very nice.Heres hoping thay sell Well for you.
(Stacey Smith 3:31pm September 19, 2010)

Thanks for the contest
(Carrie Conley 3:37pm September 19, 2010)

I have read some of your other books, I loved them.Thank You for giving me a chance to win one of the Necklace series.
(Linda Hall 5:31pm September 19, 2010)

Your covers are definitely great eye candy! I really loved your Necklace trilogy. I can't believe they've been out long enough to earn themselves a reissue!
(Molly Wilsbacher 9:30pm September 19, 2010)

I really enjoy reading a trilogy, looking forward to the next book. Thanks for the contest.
(Sheila True 10:27pm September 19, 2010)

I love the Necklace Trilogy covers. I can't wait to read this series.
I agree that Nightwriter's cover is not a stand out as it lacks color.
(Brenda Hill 11:15pm September 19, 2010)

I like the continuity elements in the
covers making each book clearly part of
the same series.
(Sue Ahn 1:59am September 20, 2010)

the new covers for the Necklace series are very pretty although the old covers were good, too (I read the old ones).

I like the Raines Brothers covers as well and look forward to reading their stories.
(S Tieh 2:31am September 27, 2010)

Although I like the Raines covers best, I will buy all!
(Barbara Hanson 9:48am September 27, 2010)

Love the covers on the new series. Can't wait to read it.
(Maria Munoz 9:53am September 27, 2010)

I think the Jewel covers are so feminine and sensual. Love them. And the Raine Brothers are really nice. Masculine and promising. :)
Love your books Kat. Keep them coming.
Carol L.
(Carol Luciano 10:27am September 27, 2010)

I bought and read The Bride's Neclace over the weekend - I loved it!
(Marguerite Guinn 11:30am September 27, 2010)

Huh—I guess I’m weird. I make most of my book reading/buying decisions before I ever see covers.
(G S Moch 12:37pm September 27, 2010)

A book's cover IS very important. It is the "face" of the story. Don't worry about your recent covers, though. I like both the Necklace covers and the Raines Brothers covers.
(Cheryl Castings 1:03pm September 27, 2010)

I like clutch covers as well as scenic ones. My favorites are usually the stepback covers.
(Jane Cheung 2:01pm September 27, 2010)

Ohmygod! What a great group you all are! I usually like to write personal replies but with 39 comments--I would be here the rest of the day. I would like to say that the Cover blog got interesting comments. Sounds like your opinions pretty much match mine. I like stepback and I like pretty and I like men or women but not so much a clutch.
(Kat Martin 2:51pm September 27, 2010)

I am really looking forward to the new books. Diane asked if the Raines Brothers trilogy were westerns and the brothers are western men, but the stories are contemp. The first is set on a ranch in Wyoming. The second, Gabe's story is in Dallas, and Dev's story takes place in Scottsdale, AZ.
(Kat Martin 2:58pm September 27, 2010)

I agree the cover has a lot to do with whether I pick up a book and the title our the main reasons that I will pick the book up to check out what it is about.
(Cj Swier 3:06pm September 27, 2010)

The cover does it for me. One glance & if it catches my eye then I will pick the book up and check out the story line.

Must say I prefer the any of your covers EXCEPT the clutch.

These beautiful necklaces takes you away with the exciting story that is connected to the beauties.

Keep writing and I will keep reading. You are awsome and talented. Appreciate your sharing these delightful ing reads with all of us.
(Shirley Sego 3:26pm September 27, 2010)

Love your books, have read all except an older one Lady Jay and then Dueling Hearts.
(Pam Alderson 4:34pm September 27, 2010)

Very nice covers.
(Cathie Veres 4:46pm September 27, 2010)

Wooo - those covers for next year's trilogy has me ready to read them! But you're right, a cover can make or break a book for me - unless I'm picking it up because of author name. Some authors, it just doesn't matter - I'm reading the book!! :)
(Kelli Jo Calvert 5:03pm September 27, 2010)

The cover is great, and the book looks fantastic! Thanks for the chance to win!
(Veronica Jarvis 5:26pm September 27, 2010)

hi, Guys--more great cover comments. Very interesting to me as an author. Pam, FYI Dueling Hearts is the same book as Lady Jay. Publisher changed the orginal name before it was ever published. probably be out as an ebook eventually, maybe print on demand. that is kind of an up and coming thing.
(Kat Martin 5:30pm September 27, 2010)

Covers do make a difference. I love the covers of your Necklace trilogy and look forward to reading them.
(Robin McKay 5:44pm September 27, 2010)

you book cover are great wish to read them have good week
(Desiree Reilly 6:20pm September 27, 2010)

The covers are beautiful. I can get a real feel for what to expect.
(Mary Preston 6:26pm September 27, 2010)

I think covers do make a difference--and I think the "clutch" covers and and those that are too sexy cheapen the book and make it less appealing to me. The Necklace covers are very tasteful and classy.
(Sue Farrell 6:39pm September 27, 2010)

Sometimes covers make a difference, others it doesn't. I tend to prefer covers with characters portrayed on the cover. Simply because it gives me a mental picture to imagine when I read the story. I could do without the bodice ripper covers though. Most of my "reading time" is spent on my lunch hour at work. Its awkward if the cover of the book is too "fluffy."
(Joelle Beebe 7:49pm September 27, 2010)

The necklace trilogy covers instantly make me think of a seductive,sensual story and the brothers make me think sexy and adventurous.
(Leni Kaye 9:12pm September 27, 2010)

Covers tell a different story to whoever picks up the book.

I want the cover to reflect, in-part, something of what the book is about. If it features the hero and/or heroine, I'm hoping they at least look like them! An animated cover is a big turn-off, I'm not reading that; nope, no way, don't care what reviews it has gotten. Also, any cutesy/pet-like animals on covers. That tells me pets inside ~~ stay far away!

Come to think of it, most of my books feature some sort of person on them in one way or another!
(Cynthia Netherton 9:22pm September 27, 2010)

I like it when the cover looks to be part of the story and your seem to do just that.
I am a new fan of yours and I must say you are now one of my fav's. Keep the GREAT books coming. (we love them)
(Vickie Hightower 10:31pm September 27, 2010)

Covers can catch your eye, so they really are important - Next to the name of a favorite author like Kat.
(Diane Sallans 11:41pm September 27, 2010)

The cover is great --- too bad they don't all come with a copy of the necklace attached.
(Renee Grandinetti 11:45pm September 27, 2010)

I personally prefer the necklace covers. I think they give the books, as well as you, a bit of class. The books with the silhouettes on the covers, tend to give your books a bit of "grit." I don't mean that in a bad way. The only thing I can think of, is when the books are put on the shelves, a lot of people can't see the beauty or grit of a cover, unless they pull the book forward, to see for themselves. They have to have the knowledge of the author. I tend to look on the covers to see what was written up about the book, as well as the storyline, and if it sounds promising, I'll get the book, if I'm not familiar with the author, as long as the cover isn't really done in bad taste. By that I mean raunchy, and I've seen quite a few. I'd be a bit embarassed if someone came over and I had a book like that sitting out on my table!! Your books past the test, and I'd love to win and read your latest.
(Peggy Roberson 12:42pm September 28, 2010)

I have to agree that covers can make or break a book. I;ve seen some terrible ones. There are times though when I just look at a book and do not like the cover but..something inside says pick it up. I have found a number of gems this way, I love all of your books and have to say Midnight Rider was one of my all time favs. I look foreward to your Raines Brothers series.
(Cindy Olp 1:46am September 28, 2010)

I like the necklace covers. Very elegant.
(Pam Howell 8:45am September 28, 2010)

I like the necklace covers much more than a staged kissing scene!
(Karin Tillotson 10:29am September 28, 2010)

I have so enjoyed hearing everyone's cover comments. turned out to be a great topic for discussion. I had a major argument with my publisher over the clutch covers--which I see as old-fashioned. I lost then, but won with the Necklace trilogy covers. So glad you all seemed to back me up on my thinking that they were much classier and still attracted readers. I like the Raines brothers because they make a statement without be raunchy. thanks everyone for all your views.
(Kat Martin 1:19pm September 28, 2010)

(Cynde Mitchell 2:31pm September 28, 2010)

I have a lot of your books already and love your work!Thank you so much for years of reading pleasure.
(Cynde Mitchell 2:32pm September 28, 2010)

this one looks like another hit
(Debbi Shaw 3:04pm September 28, 2010)

Looks like a great book and I would love
the chance to win and read it.
(Lisa Abraham 3:50pm September 28, 2010)

It's like you said. Even a bad cover can't stop a good book from being a success.
(Deb Pelletier 5:49pm September 28, 2010)

The cover compels me to open the book, read the first page, skip to the middle and decide if I'll continue on this path. Your covers have the setting in the background and the guy bigger than life. I like.
(Alyson Widen 7:09pm September 28, 2010)

I do admit I read the back cover before I make a decision about whether to buy a book. A good front cover will grab my attention and cause me to pick it up.
(Pamela Stewart 8:36pm September 28, 2010)

I have never been a fan of clutch
covers. It is what kept me from buying
romances all those years. One day I
found Julie Garwood's books with
covers that had jeweled broaches on a
fabric background. Similar to your
necklace covers above. I just checked
my shelf and realized none of your
covers are clutch covers. Part of what
attracted me to them I'm sure. I have
MIDNIGHT RIDER and the first two of
the necklace books. I really need
more time to work on my TBR
I like the covers for your new series. I
like not being able to see the eyes. I
like that they aren't bare chested and
in danger of loosing their pants. I
really don't get the appeal of those
Keep writing your wonderful books.
(Patricia Barraclough 10:48pm September 28, 2010)

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