I’m working on a book cover for my M/F/M paranormal romance about Ursula the werebear. As you can probably tell, I’m also still working on a title. The series is called “The Chatelaine” but I want a book title that can be riffed on for subsequent books, much as Janet Evanovich did for her early Stephanie Plum novels (One for the Money, Two for the Dough, etc.).

Triad-PNG

Example of a symbol associated with polyamory.

Mostly, though I want a very distinctive cover, but nothing so vague that people won’t relate it to its subject. However, I’d really like to avoid clichés, and the biggest cliché in romance books is the use of half-naked bodies on the cover. It’s become a tradition because it works, admittedly. People buy based on the cover because they give the reader a clear idea of what is inside, whether it’s a male/female bodice ripper or a hot gay contemporary romance.

My story about Ursula is a M/F/M, and most poly covers I’ve seen continue the tradition of half-naked people, just in threes instead of twos. And, honestly, it’s boring. It’s also not really the style of the book, which is less “scorching hot schmexy times” and more “complex character development and love story” (not that some stories aren’t both, of course, but I’m just talking about the general range).

I’ve looked at alternatives. While I’m not a fan of Twilight, the original cover for the first book was breathtaking. I’m also not a fan of Diana Gabaldon, but the covers for her books have also been outliers that work. Same with Nicholas Sparks’ early (pre-movie deal) covers.

Those covers give me some ideas, but I’m still worried about leaving too much info out. I’m going to clearly advertise it as a M/F/M story but there will always be people who buy a book for the cover and then wonder about what the hell they just paid money for. :/

I’ve thought about being clever with a bear paw print and two wolf paw prints, but…dunno. Or maybe use one of the (many) symbols adopted by the poly movement to represent them. Too obscure maybe?

Again, as a series, it’s got to be a ‘cover template’ that will work for other books in the series. Consistency is key with a series, so I’ve got to find some way to be stellar and interesting without being vague.

No problem. *face!palm*

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