Romance cover models and
photographers reveal all... of
what goes into making a
bang-up book cover
BY RYAN JOE
It can be easy for characters in a romance novel to connect: he rides up on his trusty steed, she smiles slyly from across the dance floor. But for the person tasked with finding a cover model to personify that hero or heroine, things aren’t quite so straightforward.
In crafting a cover image, the art director may work with an
illustrator, who finds prospective models, maintains close
relationships with photographers, and does postproduction
work—photoshopping features and physiques, or
digitally adding backdrops.
“We’ll send three or four models to the publisher and let them pick who they want,” says
Craig White, a Los Angeles illustrator whose
work includes Highland Avenger
(Kensington/Zebra, 2012), Avenger’s
Heat (Signet, 2014), and Hunted
Warrior (S&S/Pocket, 2015).
Certain looks take more time to cast
than others, says Shirley Green, a New
York photographer who has been