Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Guest Post by Tara Chevrestt - Author of Plotting to Win

In Plotting to Win, the authors face many challenges—not all writing related. Now, I based most of the challenges/criticism on what I know/have heard. Hey, authors gossip. ;)
But I actually did research one thing: Cover art.
I discovered there is a minor dispute—it’s so subtle I hesitate to call it a dispute. It’s not the like the romance writers vs porn writers issue.
But...some sites advise that you not put your characters on the cover, that you choose something abstract and allow readers to picture the hero/heroine/characters the way they want to. Like this:

Nora Roberts, bestselling author, doesn’t have people on her covers. Go do an Amazon search.
Another example: Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.
Now the e-book industry feels they must have perfectly matched characters on their covers. Most e-books have people on the covers. My cover artist friend disagrees with the sites that advise we go abstract.

Sometimes this works, sometimes it backfires.
I wrote a story once that featured a white heroine and a Hispanic man. The cover artist put an Asian man on it. Readers told me they pictured an Asian man as they read it, because of the cover, despite the fact the hero’s name is Javier.
So...that brings up my question for you today: abstract or people? Do you prefer to use your own imagination and picture what you want or do you like a cover dictating it to you?
In Plotting to Win, Felicity discovers it’s not so easy going the people route. Just how closely must the characters match the cover art? And what if you can’t find them?
The same goes for descriptions of people. Do you want to know the hero has a hawk nose and a cleft chin or do you prefer to picture him as you want a hero to look?
Happy to read your opinions in the comments below.

Dancers have a show. Bachelors have a show. Singers have a show.
Now authors do too. It’s called The Next Bestseller.
In NYC, seven authors compete for a hundred grand, a publishing contract with Bright House, and the title of the next bestseller. One is Felicity James. One is Victor Guzman.
Despite their attraction for each other, only one can win.
Drama, plagiarism, and trash talk ensue as all seven contestants compete against each other in challenges ranging from writing queries to working with editors. One-by-one, they’re eliminated.
Meanwhile, Victor and Felicity start a showmance that could cost them.
Though only one can walk away with the title, they can both get a chance at love…if they open themselves up to it.
 Buy Links
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Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, dog mom, writer, and editor. You’ll never see her without her Kindle or a book within reach. As a child, she would often take a flashlight under the covers to finish the recent Nancy Drew novel when she was supposed to be sleeping.
Tara is addicted to Law & Order: SVU, has a crush on Cary Grant, laughs at her own jokes, and is constantly modifying recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. Her theme is Strong is Sexy. She writes about strong women facing obstacles—in the military, with their handicaps, or just learning to accept themselves. Her heroines can stand alone and take care of themselves, but they often find love in the process.
Mark Plotting to Win to read on Goodreads


  1. Hi Tara, I've never really thought about this before. But I must say I would've been mighty upset with an Asian picture depicting a Hispanic hero. Sounds to me like the artist didn't do their homework. BTW I'm going to check my Nora Roberts covers when I get home. I loved the cover of Plotting to Win thats one of the reasons why I bought it. Cheers

  2. I agree they did a good job. It's really hard to find Hispanic men in stock images...that aren't dancing or holding guns. That irritates me.