No, I didn’t design the cover for The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover.
No, I didn’t pose for it, either.
No, I’ve never met the people photographed for the cover. Nor the photographer. Nor the art director. I did send the photographer and art director heartfelt fan letters, though, for the gorgeous work they produced.
Once my non-writing friends learned I had a novel coming out, I got more questions about the cover than anything else. I found myself explaining, over and over again, that not only did the author have very little to do with the cover, but sometimes the cover had very little to do with the book.
Covers might illustrate characters from the story, or events from the story, but then again they might not, because the primary purpose of a cover, aside from protecting the pages within, is to sell the book. Covers are marketing tools, just like the logo on Macintosh computers or uniquely-shaped perfume bottles.
My publisher is Harlequin, and they do collect information from their authors about the setting of their book and the physical appearance of the characters. However, there’s no guarantee any of those details will make it to the cover.
Cover decisions are ultimately made by people whose job it is to sell books, and I for one am happy to let them do so! They’re professionals, who are devoting their professional energy towards selling books for the benefit of my publisher and for the benefit of me. What’s not to like about that?
Isn’t it beautiful? Didn’t they do a great job?