I remember when I got my very first cover for my very first book. I hadn't seen the art before the flat arrived, but I had chatted with my editor over what I'd like to see. My book is funny, my main character spunky and a little clumsy -- think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. My Sophie Lawson has flaming red hair and a little extra around the middle thanks to a love of marshmallow chocolate pinwheels and her couch. She looks horrible in black leather (she says so on page 4) and makes her home in San Francisco. I mentioned that it might be nice to see Sophie on the cover, with maybe the SF cityscape in the background. Maybe something in black and hot pink -- urban fantasy meets chick lit?
I was excited to see the artist's spin on Sophie. Flaming red hair? Check. San Francisco in the background? Check. Fluffy middle, pink and black, a spunky fun feel? Um, not exactly.
Don't get me wrong -- I think the cover is incredible and I think the artist is nothing short of -- well, an artist. It just doesn't exactly jive up with my image of Sophie. Or my description of Sophie. Or the fact that her sword is only supposed to be 12" long. I got (and still get) a ton of flak for the cover. One star reviews. "How dare you!" reviews. "The old bait and switch" accusations. And then, in the sea of all that... a new fan base. A MALE fan base. Who sent me emails saying "I picked up your book because the cover was hot. Then I started reading and it was chickish. But funny. And cool. When is your next book coming out?" and my personal favorite: "The chick on the cover is SO TIGHT! Do you have her number? Or, is that you?"
Of course it is, Sir. Of course it is.