Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Dogs on the Cover?

Animals are a huge part of my life, and they always seem to show up in my novels. Wild horses, lost dogs, orange cats, rescue horses, therapy dogs - oh wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. I've been chewing on cover details for a novel that's coming out in September called Walking the Dog. And I realize that although my books often contain the human-animal bond as a theme, and all have dogs as part of the plot, none (so far) have a dog on the cover.

The Girl Who Remembered Horses is filled with dogs, and they play important roles - from pulling loads, to helping hunters track game, to companionship.

Six Degrees of Lost (which releases June 1, 2012) contains lots of dogs, too, and one of them plays a big part in how the two main characters, Olive and David, meet. But I talked in this post called The Making of a Cover about why we didn't choose a dog as part of the artwork.

The Horse Jar is about one girl's quest for a horse of her own, but one of the main characters is a wire-haired dachshund named Spunky. Dog on the cover? No.
Even my very first novel, Finding Chance (in which the main character finds a starving dog) has no dog on the cover.
Which leaves me to my present musings: Should we make it five in a row? Or should a book called Walking the Dog definitely have a dog on the cover?

What makes you pick up a book? Thoughts?


Rhea Rhodan said...

I think you're really going to need a dog on that one. You might want to start looking for some royalty-free or public domain photos that would suit the breed/appearance of the star. I suppose you could do that "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" thing where the guy walks the invisible dog, though, if that suits the story better. Would be hard to put together a photo of it, though.

Dreaming said...

What a good question. I looked at books I have selected, and couldn't find a pattern that would suggest why I may have picked them.
I did notice that I have selected a few books because they have Golden Retrievers on the cover, and I owned several retrievers in my life. I began to wonder if a person doesn't care for a certain breed/color of dog, would the cover turn them off?
What if you had a cover showing the back of a person... or even a silhouette, with a leash going out of the picture - allowing each person to imagine 'their' dog.

Linda Benson said...

Rhea - Guy walking an invisible dog - I like that one! *wheels turning*

Dreaming - Yes, I love covers where the reader can imagine.

And of course, the story is not just about a dog. Or dogs. It's about Jared, and Jared's little brother. And a girl named Sophie. And then there's the cat. :-)

Patricia said...

If I see a dog or a horse on the cover of a book I snatch it up and read the back blurb.

Linda Benson said...

Well, there ya go, Patti. I guess I do, too, come to think about it. I look at almost anything about an animal. Point taken, and thanks for your input! Lots to consider.