Sunday, March 04, 2012


Mills and Boon are redesigning the covers for the RIVA series this summer and they want your input.  They have produced three new designs for three books published in the series and they want to know which cover you'd be most likely to pick up. They are new, refreshing, different.

I'm not telling you which I prefer; it's really important to get the views of the readers this series is aimed at. I would, though, be very interested to hear what you love, what you hate, and what about any cover makes you pick it up in the bookstore or supermarket.

What book did you buy recently just because the cover leapt out at you?

To see the covers and add your voice, click on SURVEY


Becky Black said...

I took the survey. Thanks for linking to it. I like the current Riva covers as they are, compared to those alternatives. They're distinctive. Some of the others are just very generic chick-lit style. Are they meant to appeal to people who don't want it to be obvious they are reading a Mills & Boon?

Natalija said...

Since I don't read chick-lit, I wouldn't pick up a book with chick-litish cover. I prefer real people on the covers. I took the survey & I chose the best, in my opinion. Current RIVA covers often are too dark for my taste. I really like covers where you can see a city in the background. For example, your "Flirting with Italian", Jessica Hart's "We'll Always Have Paris" or Heidi Rice's "Cupcakes and Killer Heels".

Nell Dixon said...

I really, really hate the current Riva covers - in fact I've not bought half as many books as I would normally have bought because I hated them so much. Glad they're changing them.

Vince said...

Hi Liz:

I think these covers are a step backwards. Most look like chic-lit which I read is going out of fashion. Some look like cozy mysteries. They don’t look like category romances. If you do this in marketing, you attract people who are not good prospects for your product and drive away the real prospects for your product.

There is even a clich√© in advertising: “If you are selling a warehouse, then show a warehouse in your ads but if you are selling men clothes, then show men’s clothes: don't show the warehouse.”

I’ve been in many marketing meetings and I know what the art people are saying. I’ll just say it for them: “The real romance fans, who are sure to buy our books, already know these are romances. They know the authors. What we need to attract is the non-romance fan. This way we will develop new readers (because you know our books are very good) and increase our market share.”

Usually the above argument does not work in practice. It especially does not work if there are romance looking romance books for sale in the same area. Even the real romance fan will look at the romance looking books first and may well spend her limited romance book funds before she even looks at the non-romance looking covers.

The artwork should ‘at once’ say: This is a romance. Next it should have a picture that reveals the theme in a most favorable light. Next, if the setting is important, it should be shown as well.

I think the HR North American covers are the best by far. Your NA “Flirting With Italian” shouts: “This is a romance! This couple is flirting. The story takes place in Italy!”

And I say as a reader: “I want to go back to Italy. I loved it. I have to read this book.”

Maybe I only wanted to buy one romance that day. So I buy "Flirting with Italian" without even looking at the other romances for sale.

BTW: I have all three of your FWI covers: North American, UK and Australian on my website. The Australian cover features a very attractive couple but it shouts “This is a Medical Romance” at first sight. (In Europe Medical romances are called “White Romances”.)

See the three FWI covers.

I must say that “Flirting in Italian” is one of your best books!


Vince said...

Hi Liz:

It seems my first link to your covers did not work. I’ll try again and give the url just in case. I think fans would like to see the three covers.

Liz’s Three Covers.


Julie B. said...

I don't mind the current RIVA covers, but some have been better than others. I took the survey, and unlike the other respondents, I actually like the chick lit style covers. I can understand some people saying they're generic, but that style of covers sells well and has a much broader appeal - look at how popular the repackaged Sarah Morgan books were when released with a chick lit cover and how many people won Amazon were surprised to find out that they were Mills and Boons!

Janet said...

I love the US covers eg Flirting with the Italian. The Riva cover doesn't make me want to buy the book but I'd find it hard to resist the US cover. The Riva cover reminds me too much of UK glossy magazines. I just don't feel drawn to them.

Even when the authors are my favourites I hesitate before buying the Riva version in local shops. But the minute I see the US Romance line version on Amazon I'm keen to buy.