On Writing: Choosing Your Cover Photo

One of my favorite parts of the publishing process is choosing a cover photo. Like clothes to a person, a cover represents the book and affects how readers will perceive the story. With my gardening books, Celebrating a Small English Garden, A Medley of Gardens: Denver Style, and Magical Gardens: Denver Region, the task was much easier because flowers are always undeniably beautiful.

Elizabeth as I had always imagined her.

Elizabeth as I had always imagined her.

As for Too Late for Regrets, the cover photo would forever influence how the reader imagined our main characters. I could describe their every inch in the text, but the cover photo would be the image emblazoned in the reader’s mind.

From the four photos sent to me, I chose this one for Elizabeth. The other three faces were beautiful, but they seemed to be too sophisticated. This photo looked like the Elizabeth I’d imagined and written about. Lovely, natural, and with an intangible sense of innocence; a joy in living that seems to shine through her ethereal expression.

Timothy’s photo on the back cover was–I thought–perfect. He is handsome, with strong features, and the characteristic slightly brooding aspect. Yet there is a certain wistfulness in his expression

The brooding image of Timothy that I always envisioned.

The brooding image of Timothy that I always envisioned.

which I thought embodied all of his characteristics.

What do readers think of my choices? If you had read the novel prior to seeing the photos, would the faces you imagined for Timothy and Elizabeth be similar or different? Which celebrities could play Timothy and Elizabeth in a movie based on the novel? I want to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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