A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Guest Contributor

A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered This Week With Some Gorgeous Steampunk Covers


You know, when Lisa, the wonderful owner of The Novel Approach Reviews said, “Hey, cover reviews are cool. Go right ahead,” I got really lucky. Not only does she let me rattle on in my dubious wisdom, but she allows me freedom to write about things outside just the covers that I fall in love with; which, in turn, lets me write about covers that are outside the M/M genre we all know and love.
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A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Guest Contributor, Sue Brown

A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered – This Weeks Topic – Inspiration

Well, it’s another one of those nights where I’m sitting here flailing for something to review. Honestly, I have the attention span of a very small, one celled organism. Some days it’s all I can do to not have my cranium crammed chock full of pretty book covers I want to talk about, and some days I look at those same covers and feel ambivalent. I’ll blame today’s ambivalence on having to write a report on architecture during the Industrial Era. Which is really interesting (I know I’m odd), but I think my clever repartee account is now overdrawn.

Anyhow, enough grumping over my lack of witty turnings of a phrase, let’s talk about something.
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A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Guest Contributor

A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered – Some Pretties Just For You

Today’s question of the day is…what type of book covers turn you on? Any reason why? Is it the color? The texture? The picture on the front? Or do you just know what you like and damn the reasons why?

There are so many different types of covers for every kind of book that it’s quite literally enough to make your head spin. Well, ok, maybe only if you were possessed and spitting split pea soup, but still, you get me . However, when you delve more deeply into a specific genre, that magical wave of color and font that dazzles your eye in the book store or on the best seller’s list, seriously dwindles. Only because there are preconcieved notions of what colors go with what types of books. Horror is dark colors, comedy light, romance jewel tones, etc.

To me, romance seems to be one of the best genres to write and do art in because it varies so much within itself. It spans the virtual literary gamut offering everything from comedy to tragedy to paranormal to fluff. Ever notice however, that you still tend to see the same shapes and basic setup of a cover over and over again? Which, of course, is normal and acceptable and really, no one has re-invented the wheel yet, so why the frilly heck should the setup of a book cover change?
If it ain’t broke is all I’m sayin’.

The covers I’m going to show you today are some that I personally think do an exceptional job of using a tried and true book cover formula without making you roll your eyes and say, I’ve seen that cover a million times. Bored now.

Written by Alyssa Rose Ivy, with cover art by Once Upon a Time Covers, Found is a stunning cover. Yes, it’s the male torso, you’ve seen the male torso tons of times, all shapes and all sizes, but look! It’s not the overly beefy, suntanned to within an inch of their life, oiled, bo-hunk we see all the time. This guy has angles. He has edges. He looks like you could slice your hand on his cheekbones! (a little shoutout for Sherlock fans there). And because he has edges, it makes the entire photo look edgey! Who says you have to see the whole face on a cover? Not me! And clearly not our wonderful artist.

The colors that have been used are well thought out, crisp and clean. And yet, because they’re toned towards the chillier side of the color spectrum, they still maintain that aura of cool strength. Plus the colors of the whole cover compliment each other. The blue glow on the wings is reflected by the blue glow around the white title. The same color is reflected again in the authors name. Then the pale white of the font is reflected back to us in the skin tone of the man. Combine it once again with the blues and now the blacks in the background pic, and it almost seems as if the whole of the image is cocooned in a kind of dystopian type of vibe. Really, really like this one.

This one is a really cool (I have to come up with better descriptors, I swear) play on the old, guy on top, landscape on the bottom.

Boy Scout: Boys of Perfection written by Geoffrey Knight cover art done by Adrian Nicholas is fresh. That’s what I think of when I look at this. It’s bright, it’s clean, it’s fun. And you all know I have a serious fetish for deep, rich colors. Plus, I love that instead of the blended guy on top scenic view on bottom, we have that great rope separation detail, which perfectly embodies the Boy Scout, camping out, living off the land image. The font is very easy to read and it’s shape, the more boxy, stationary kind of look to it, makes you think of the handbook all scouts get when they first join.

There is one tiny detail I have to say I ADORE over all the rest of the covers, and that’s the publishing mark. That’s right you heard me. The publishing mark. It’s classy. It fits the colors on the cover and it is not obtrusive at all. And yet, you see it clearly. ADORE!!! I still love the cover, though!

The Arrangement, written by Cat Grant, cover art by LC Chase, makes me wonder what is it about this picture that makes me wish I were part of that trio? Maybe it’s the intimacy of the hands touching over the heart, maybe it’s the man on the left looking more docile while the woman seems more predatory? All I know is that this cover is steamy without even having read the book. I love a good threesome…story. *impish grin*

The other facet I love about this cover is how it looks almost as if it’s been hand drawn. What’s great about that is that it’s a photo manipulation! That’s fairly tough to do without it looking hokey and third graderish. I tend to try and run from that look myself because I have yet to find success with it. I did it exactly once, and I’ll be damned if I can remember how the HELL I did it. *laughs* I can’t seem to remember to take notes when I accomplish something like that until a day or two AFTER I’ve done it. I swear if I had a Post-it for everything I wish I’d remember I’d look like Bruce in Bruce Almighty.

The other beautiful thing about this book cover is that even though the title seems smaller than the norm that you would see on an E-Book, it’s so clear and easy to read. It looks like something you’d see on a best sellers list. It’s got class even though there are those out there that would say there is no way a book about a threesome could ever be construed as classy. Looking at this cover, I’d have to disagree. The warm, muted tones, again the intimacy of the picture, yep, it’s got class.

So, that’s it. That’s my question for this week. What is beautiful to you? What turns you on? What turns your crank, floats your boat, or tickles your pickle? Is it color, good looking models, idyllic places, or is it something altogether different? When you think about these things for yourself, take a good hard think as to what appeals to others. If you’re an author or an artist, you must take into consideration what the masses are looking for, what’s the trend, and then you must think one step beyond that. What can you do to transcend above and beyond so that others want what you’ve worked so hard to give.

It’s not an easy to get beyond our own egos and head space to put ourselves in another’s place, but trust me when I say this: the more you can empathize and understand the viewpoint of others, the more success you’re going to have!

And that is it for this week.

Have a great day and may all the good books be with you!

All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.

Wanna see some of my stuff? Check me out on Facebook @ : https://www.facebook.com/ajcorza