Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What is wrong with this picture?

Hi Everyone! Danica Favorite here, and I wanted to talk about cover mistakes today.


One of the big complaints on my last book, HER COWBOY INHERITANCE, was that the cover was wrong. I got a really nasty review from someone who refused to read the book because if the cover was that wrong, then I clearly knew nothing about horses, so the book would be wrong. UGH!

I'll admit, I was kind of upset by that review. Especially because I'd just gotten my next cover, THE COWBOY'S FAITH, and I immediately knew what was wrong with that cover. As someone who spends several days a week watching her kids ride, and has horses, I know what I'm writing about. I chatted with my editor, who was understanding, and really, what we both came down to is that while our art department is fantastic, they live in Canada. My editor, who lives in New York, doesn't always understand that we do things differently here in the west. I sometimes laugh at her questions on my manuscript, because what's obvious to me is totally foreign to her, and we're in the same country!

Which brings me back to my covers with the glaring errors. I want to say that yes, it's crazy that the art department didn't get this piece right- at least from the perspective of someone who sees it every day. But they don't! So this was such a good lesson for me in communicating very specifically what I mean by certain things. I can't assume that we're on the same page.

And that's something I want readers to know. I remember a while back, a reader was really nasty about a friend's cover because "real cowboys don't wear hats indoors." As I read that comment, I was sitting indoors with a bunch of cowboys who still wore their hats. Even that assumption about cowboys is completely based on which region you live in. So when you see a cover of a book that has features that you don't think are right, I hope you'll take some time to consider a few things:
1. The author doesn't always have control over the minute details of their cover.
2. The author and cover artist don't always understand what the other means by something.
3. Your perspective as a viewer of the cover is based on your experiences, which might be different from the author's. Which means the cover might be correct.

All that to say, when we see a cover or read a detail in a book that doesn't resonate with us, we definitely need to take a step back and consider the above. As Christians, I think we need to lead the way with grace, and to be loving in how we address those "mistakes." That's one of the areas in my own life that God has been showing me I need to do better at, so I hope that is helpful to you as well.

So... do you know what's wrong with these two covers?


About Danica Favorite:

A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado.  Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.


You can connect with Danica at the following places:



Coming Danica's most recent release:

His secret past. His second chance.

Three Sisters Ranch could be his way home…

When inexperienced rancher Nicole Bell starts training her troubled mare, Fernando Montoya has just the expertise she needs. But helping Nicole brings Fernando dangerously close to revealing the secret he’d rather keep hidden: he learned the skill in prison. While the horse draws them together, can Fernando find a way to tell her the truth…and keep it from pulling them apart? 


13 comments:

  1. I'm guessing it has something to do with that rather complicated-looking bridle? Also the horse's back end is sort of missing, but that may just be a prospective thing. It's a pretty cover, though. Love the mountain.

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    1. Yes! Exactly! I'll admit, those mountains are my favorite!

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  2. Hey Danica. Great post. I for one would never know the "mistakes". I think they are both really great covers. The Cowboy's Faith is very romantic and tender. Someone messaged me once about a mistake in a book and I just wrote back "To err is human, to forgive is divine." Grace is important, but I fear it is an art that is lost to most.

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    1. Aw, thanks. I totally agree about it being romantic and tender. I love that response to a mistake. And yes, I would love to see us as Christians leading the way in bringing grace back to our world!

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  3. Wonderful post, Danica. I look at both covers and think they are breathtaking. I'd guess it had something to do with the bridle, as Beth mentioned. Can't wait to hear what it is.

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    1. Thanks! I actually really love my covers as well. And yes, it is the bridle and basically all the tack. :)

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  4. I am sooo in the same situation as you. In fact, I had the exact same (I'm guessing the same reader!) comment about one of my books. I have begged and pleaded to PLEASE not put English saddles on my western covers. I know what's wrong with each of the covers (apart from the ghastly white hat I would rather my heroes NOT wear) but I'll leave it for others to guess. It's funny how the mistakes jump out at us if we're aware of them. My editor always has to tell me to take a breath and that it's a "pretty cover." Which it is!

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    1. Yes, exactly! But next time I send in horse pictures, they will be ALL of my girls on the horses, maybe I'll even have them pose the way I want the characters to! And I'm very sorry about the white hat. I did insist on my heroes wearing white straw hats (and I even provided pictures). But now that you mention it, these appear to be felt. Ah, gotta love how we are into the details. :) I told my editor that I'd like to invite the art people over to my place to get to know our cowboy people. But, of course, Colorado cowboys are different from cowboys elsewhere, so someone would still probably say it was wrong!

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  5. Love your cover. The thing that confuses me is they have done HUNDREDS of western cover. I know they have heard from the authors...so why do they keep making the same mistakes. I know authors with military backgrounds and the art department does the same to them. Lol...but what most readers want is the story inside. I did have a bad review because there was a Christmas tree on the cover but not in the book. It was a Christmas story but with word count we cut the tree decorating scene. Lol. She was very disappointed that there was no tree in the book.

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    1. LOL Jolene! Great point. I imagine that they are mostly interested in a pretty cover, not a perfectly accurate one. And yes, I just got a reader letter on an issue in my book that made me realize that we deleted a scene on a crucial issue. Oops. We try our best, and that's all we can do. :)

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  6. Great points, Danica. My husband was born and raised in Texas, always wears a hat but not indoors. My husbands hats are either black or gray, but those are mostly his winter hats. But the covers are lovely.

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    1. Ha! See! Texas is different! And yes, I agree the covers are lovely. Like I said, until people were upset with me for them being wrong, I was thrilled with my covers! And I still do like them. :)

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  7. I love your covers. Very delightful.

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