Guestpost and Giveaway with Author Lila DiPasqua

Filed in Guest Post , Lila Di Pasqua , The HEA Lover Posted on July 23, 2010 @ 11:00 am 39 comments
Today we are happy to welcome Lila DiPasqua on Book Lovers,Inc! Lila’s debut novel Awakened By A Kiss will be released on August 3rd! You don’t want to miss those 3 sexy tales. Let’s give a warm welcome to Lila who will talk about Titles & Book covers!

Awakened by a Kiss – Book Cover and Title…And how they came to be…

I’m so delighted to be here on Book Lovers Inc!
I write historical romance – with sinfully seductive rakes, strong smart heroines and scorching-hot love scenes – for Penguin/Berkley. My debut novel, AWAKENED BY A KISS, will be released on August 3, 2010. It’s been a year since I sold this book to Berkley, and I’ve watched it transform from a mere manuscript to a finished book.
An author works hard at writing a compelling novel. It’s our job to sweep the reader up into the worlds we create. It takes a lot of work to write a book and edit it to near perfection.
But let’s face it – what’s *on* the book is just as important as what’s found between the covers.
Just think of how many times a book cover or a catchy title has grabbed your attention. Since I’ve received so many lovely compliments on the covers of AWAKENED BY A KISS and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED (my November release), I thought I’d give you some behind-the-scenes info on how a book cover is created and how a title is chosen.
The title authors give their manuscripts is, more often than not, changed. Most people are surprised when I tell them authors don’t usually have cover approval or title approval in their contracts. It’s up to the editor if he/she wishes to ask for the author’s input on these. It’s done strictly as a courtesy.
As for AWAKENED BY A KISS, I was fortunate. Berkley liked my title so much, they decided to keep it. THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED also came from me. I was asked for a list of titles I liked. Of the ones I submitted, my editor picked, THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED. We both think these titles say “fairy tale”, and are a great fit for these books.
So have you ever wondered what it takes to create a book cover? Well, for starters, it takes a team. A big one – the editor, art department, sales department, models, photographers, copy-writers, to name a few.
And for me the whole process began with an email from my editor shortly after I sold.
She asked for a basic description of my heroes and heroines – eye color, hair color and style of clothing (since AWAKENED BY A KISS is a collection of three fairy tales, I have more than one hero and heroine in the book). My editor and I both agreed that AWAKENED BY A KISS needed to have a kiss on the cover. Not just any kiss. A close-up kiss. Yum!

Armed with my characters’ physical descriptions, my editor attended what’s called a cover conference – a meeting with the art department where they sat down and discussed the feel and look the book should have. They decided the cover of AWAKENED BY A KISS would have a romantic, sensual fairy-tale feel. Take a peek at the cover of AWAKENED BY A KISS. Berkley did a brilliant job at capturing what they set out to achieve.

The next steps are done simultaneously. While the art department works on the cover – doing the photo shoot etc. – the cover copy is being created. You see, all the words found on the cover of a book, from the front cover, to the spine, to the back cover, need to be written. No, more than that, they need to snag the reader’s attention as strongly as the artwork. I was asked to supply a short blurb about the book. I sent them the same blurb I used in my query letter to my agent. My thinking was – if it was good enough to grab the attention of my agent when I shopped around my manuscript, it was good enough to make it onto the back cover. Right?
Berkley took what I handed them and turned it into magic. Don’t believe me? Check out the back cover blurb for AWAKENED BY A KISS:

Three classic fairytales—“Sleeping Beauty,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Little Red Riding Hood”—cleverly retold with enough sensual twists to prove wickedly ever after does exist…

Sleeping Beau: Five years ago, notorious rake Adrien d’Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss-and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory. Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress-and this time, he has no intention of letting her go…

Little Red Writing: Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambelle, has been assigned by the King to uncover the secret identity of the author writing scandalous stories about powerful courtiers. He never expected his investigation would lead to his grandmother’s house, or to a ravishing woman who would stir his deepest hunger…

Bewitching in Boots: Elisabeth de Roussel, daughter of the King, is accustomed to getting what she wants-and she wants Tristan de Tiersonnier, Comte de Saint-Marcel, an ex-commander of the King’s private Guard. A recent injury has forced Tristan to leave his distinguished position, but Elisabeth is determined to make him see he’s every bit the man he once was-and more than man enough for her…
That’s the experts at Berkley doing what they do best.
Once the cover copy was finalized, meaning my editor was satisfied with the copy and had signed off on it, it then joined up with the cover art. And the first draft of a cover was born!
The process took months. About four months for the first draft.

But what happens if the author is writing a series or trilogy? Are the book covers handled differently, then? Yes, absolutely! If you compare the book covers of AWAKENED BY A KISS and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED you’ll see that they have the same feel and share the same colors. That’s called package marketing. The Berkley team has put together similar covers to give readers that instant visual info that tells them, without a doubt, these books are part of the same series – my Fiery Tales series!

To read a juicy excerpt from AWAKENED BY A KISS, first in my Fiery Tales series – click here:

So, how much do covers and titles influence you?
 Have you ever purchased a book based on its cover or title?

Here is the new Trailer for Awakened by a Kiss:

You can read my review of Awakened by a Kiss HERE


Lila is generously offering a signed copy
of Awakened by a Kiss to one lucky commenter!!

All you have to do is answer Lila’s questions
or just leave a meaningful comment about the Guestpost

This contest is open Internationally. (Thank you Lila!)

Please leave us a way to contact you
(twitter name or Email addy in blogger profile is enough).

Giveaway ends on Saturday August 7th,
we will announce the winners on Sunday.

Bonne Chance!

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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Join the Discussion
  • Victoria July 23, 2010 at 11:06 am

    The title and cover of a book often get me to take a look but I have never bought the book on that alone. I always read the back and the fly and often other peoples reviews, unless I already love the author, before I buy. Awakened By a Kiss sounds like so much fun. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Heather S July 23, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I agree with Victoria. The cover is what grabs me (I'll admit if the book is spine out on the shelf I am less likely to look at it). So if the cover is appealing, has elements that make me take a second glance I'll then read the back cover copy. That typically is what motivates me to buy the book. Usually the only time I buy a book without thought is if it is in a series I love or by an author I follow. I've never bought a book for just the cover alone.

  • Kailia Sage July 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I agree with both Victoria and Heather, I just love a good looking cover. If I like the cover, then I'll read the synopsis and so on.

  • donnas July 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I have not purchased a book based on its cover or title but I have picked it up to look at. If I dont like the cover blurb or synopsis I wont read it not matter what the title or cover. I love the package marketing though. I like when books in the series look like the same series. And you have gotten lucky with great covers.

  • elaing8 July 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    The cover is the initial draw to the book for me, but the blurb on the back is was really sell the book to me.

  • Felicia the Geeky Blogger July 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I met her at RomCon such a sweet gal! I already have the book (so no entry) but had to say good luck to everyone else 🙂

  • Barbara E. July 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I enjoy a nice cover, but I don't base whether I want to read a book or not by the cover. I usually know which books I want from reading about them first, but if I were to make an impulse purchase, it would be because of the description of the book, not just the cover.
    I like the idea of taking fairy tales and giving them a sexy, adult spin.

  • throuthehaze July 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    The cover is what piques my interest in a book and draws me in to read what it is about.

  • debbie July 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    The title is the initial draw, because I feel like the cover art work, usually isn't the authors. Don't get me wrong, I like a catchy cover, but it isn't a selling point.

  • tetewa July 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Good covers can draw me into purchasing a book!

  • Robin K July 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Book covers most certainly catch my attention. I have bought book simply for the image and avoided others due to the cover. I know it is wrong, but I have done it. The title plays second fiddle to the cover for me, though there are words I will avoid. Like "Divorce". And some that catch attention, like "Mermaid".

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • Johanna July 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    The cover is what grabs my attention first which then leads me to read the back cover! This is especially true when I'm just browsing the shelves and I'm looking for a new author to read. I have bought books just for the cover before but not too often. Thanks for sharing today!

  • Lila DiPasqua July 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    *waves* Hi everyone! Thanks so much for your comments. It's been fascinating reading them and learning about your takes on covers and titles. Sounds like everyone is pretty much of like minds — a good cover will catch your eye and pull you in.

    I love it that some of you feel that the title will have an influence on you, too! (Good or bad) And I think we all pretty much agree— the back cover blurb is also really important. So, that has to be solidly written!

    I've got to say that an interesting or different cover (I mean something really out of the ordinary) will get me to pick up the book, too—whether it's pretty or not. 🙂

    Thank you Victoria and Barbara E! So glad you like the concept of AWAKENED BY A KISS. 🙂

    DonnaS–Thanks so much! Glad you like my covers. I'm really pleased with them, too!

    @Felicia (the Geeky Blogger) — Awww, thanks so much! It was lovely meeting you. I hope you enjoy the book!

    @ everyone — Thanks for stopping by to chat with me!

  • dor July 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    The cover does grab me and I have bought according to the cover. But, I have learned to read what the book is about first. lol

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    I follow….dor

  • JoAnna July 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Definitely the title or cover could draw me in.

  • Camille July 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Lila!! It's Camille (@Envyious from twitter), also on fb & shelfari…no I'm not stalking you (on purpose >_<)!

    If I said I really wanted both of your books right this minute, would that count as meaningful because it is. I really REALLY want them. I grew up on my grandfather's fairytales & now I love erotic stories you've combined them both- you've kind of created my ultimate book so I really, really need-ahem- would love to get my hands on them lmao

    As for the the question the cover does influence me a lot but I tend to research a book fist (reviews on websites & blogs) before I buy it & if there aren't any available the excerpts. If I was convinced it's going to be worth the buy despite an atrocious cover I would still buy it.

    I rarely go into bookstores these days to browse & then buy, most of my purchases are online.

    Your cover is exceptionally gorgeous though, if I saw it on the shelves and picked it up, read the blurbs and did a quick peek inside it- it would be the sporadic in store purchase of the month lol I work in Borders, that should put into perspective the fact that I buy more books online 😛

    Covers are the first thing I notice though so if it catches me eye (in a store or browsing online) I would look into it to see if it's as good as the cover, Some covers can be stunning, but if I'm not interested in the plot or the reviews are bad, then unless I MUST have that cover then I won't buy it.

    Questions on covers can really send me into essay mode lmao hope that was enough

    Cheers from Australia!

  • linaramz July 23, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    An awesome cover always makes me pick up a book but I always read the back to see if the story might catch me too. 😉

    linaramz at yahoo dot com

  • Nicole July 23, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Titles and covers are not deal breakers for me, but they can definately influence my buying decisions. when I browse through the bookstore, or online, the cover is always the first thing that attracts me. If I love the cover, I WILL read the synopsis. If it sounds good, I usually will get it. 🙂

  • stacey July 24, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Yes I have because the back of the book hardy had more then a few words on it.

  • Lu July 24, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Titles influence me a lot! Titles not so much. But yea I have picked up lots of books because of their covers!

    chidoryx AT hotmail DOT com

  • Grandma Yellow Hair July 25, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Yes I hate to admit it but a lot of the books I read have been chosen from the title.
    Looking forward to reading yours

  • Lila DiPasqua July 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Awesome! Clearly by your comments, there is lots more proof that what's on the outside of a book matters enough to make you stop.

    @ Camille *waves* Hi Camille! I'm so happy you like what I've done with the fairy tales. Thank you for the lovely comment about the cover! I don't know if I mentioned this to you, but there is a Camille in AWAKENED BY A KISS. I adore her! 🙂

    @ Maggie – Thank you! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  • Anonymous July 26, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Lila thanks for a peek behind the publishing world curtain. It's been a delight to share this exciting time with you as your book was sold and it's journey to public release. When we were little girls books were our playgrounds and you have been blessed to continue this adventure. Thanks again for sharing, very much enjoyed learning more about the development of the covers. Looking forward to getting my hands on Awakened by a Kiss as soon as it's out. Congrats. Elizabeth Twitter @squiggly_web

  • jen7waters July 26, 2010 at 9:51 am

    -So, how much do covers and titles influence you?

    A lot, I'm attracted to a good looking (by my standards) cover, and a matching title like a moth to the light, this mostly happens with authors I've never tried before, because like someone else said already, with my "must read everything by this author" authors list, I really don't care what the cover looks like, or the title suggests the story will be about.

    -Have you ever purchased a book based on its cover or title?

    Yes, I do that frequently, and this can happen with both cover and title together "calling for me", or separately: sometimes a cover lures me to it, and the title not so much, but I tend to buy it anyway, and vice versa.

    jen7waters (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Lila DiPasqua July 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    @ Elizabeth – What a lovely thing to say! Thank you! I hope you enjoy the book. 🙂

    @ jen7waters – You bring up a good point! Taste is a subjective thing. And what appeals to one person, may not appeal to someone else. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • Kris July 28, 2010 at 7:20 am

    If I'm to be completely honest I would say that the covers are VERY important to me. If I don't like a cover chances are I won't pick it up unless someone tells me that it's a must read.

    I just wanted to add also that 'Awakened By A Kiss' looks fantastic. I adore retold fairy tales!


  • Mervi July 29, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Both covers and titles are very important to me, but I don't buy books only based on them. If the cover is gorgeous and the title is interesting, I read the back cover blurb, and unless that is boring or otherwise a complete turnoff, I am likely to buy the book. It's actually kind of sad that if a good book has a bad cover and uninteresting title, it will probably go unread.

    musmekipi at gmail dot com

  • Stella (Ex Libris) July 29, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Both covers and titles are crucial. Though an interesting or cute title could get ym attention even if I have never heard of the author/book before, a stupid or simply bad title won't necessarily put me off of reading it if the blurb or/and the cover looked good.

    However covers are much more important. A bad cover can really put me off from picking up a book at the bookstore or going out with it in public. And of course I have bought quite a few books simply because the great cover caught my eye 🙂

    Thank you!

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Lori July 29, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I don't buy a book just because of its cover, although I confess, it might be what attracts me to a book. I do have a tendency to buy a book based on an authors name, if I have liked thier previous works. If I never read the author before, then I will read the blurb…if cover, blurb and genre appeal to me, then I will most likely purchase it.


  • Lila DiPasqua July 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    @ Kris, Thank you so much for your lovely comment about Awakened by a Kiss!

    And thank you everyone. I love reading about your thoughts on this subject! 🙂

  • rachel445 July 31, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Covers and titles actually influence wether I buy a book alot. I'll still read a description, and then if I like what I read, I'll get it. But the first thing to make me stop and pick up a book is most likely the cover. That's usually what catches my eye and makes me pick it up.

  • Scorpio M. August 1, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Covers, more than titles influence me but I have never bought a book based on cover alone. The story still has to capture my attention.

  • mbreakfield August 1, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Covers grab my attention, but I don't base my purchase solely on the cover or the title. However, there have been times a title has so annoyed me, that I didn't get the book, ex. Pregnesia.

  • Bethie August 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    The cover of the book is what usually grabs my attention. But I have read great books that were recommended by friends that had aweful covers.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  • Pink Panther August 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Congrats Lila! I'm sure your debut will be a must-read for all historical romance junkies! 🙂 The cover is pretty fantastic! Can't wait to get my hands on Awakened by a Kiss. Thanks so much for making this international! You can reach me at

  • Carrie at In the Hammock Blog August 5, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I think a cover matters more than a title. I have bought a book based on a cover MANY times, lol! I can't help it, I'm an artist heart. Btw I loooove your covers 🙂

    thank you for the contest!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  • Tore August 5, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    The cover catches my eye must of the time but I also read the back too. I really want to read this book. Please enter me in contest.

  • Cathie August 5, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Covers often catch my eye. I don't read the blurbs on books because it gives too much away, but the cover image/title and/or author can sell it for me.

  • Meredith August 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I have chosen books based on the covers or titles, but usually I choose them on recommendation or review. I think it's important for a cover to make sense with the content of a book. I recently read a book with a sweet beach scene on the cover, but the beach was never mentioned in the book!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

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