Hot Pink Equals Red Hot: Rozsa Gaston on Why Book Covers are so Important

I am a cover freak. I can pick out a poorly made cover faster than I can admit I'm a cover freak. Your cover is what sells your book despite what everyone thinks. I was looking at a cover yesterday that was outstanding and...I bought the book at Amazon (after reading the synopsis of course) but it was that cover that led me to find out what the book was about. So, yes, covers sell.

We have a wonderful guest post today from Rozsa Gaston, author of
Paris Adieu, Dogsitters, Budapest Romance, Lyric, Running from Love and the soon to be released Paris Adieu sequel, Black is Not a Color Unless Worn By a Blonde. Rozsa studied European intellectual history at Yale, and then received her master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia. In between Rozsa worked as a singer/pianist all over the world. She currently lives in Connecticut with her family. You can visit Rozsa’s website at for more information on her and her book.

I welcome Rozsa as she tells us why she thinks covers are so important. Be sure to check out her latest book, Paris Adieu!


Hot Pink Equals Red Hot: Rozsa Gaston on Why Book Covers are So Important

Book covers either draw you in or they don't. Above all, they should have mystique. Less is more. It's the readers' imagination that's going to fill in the blanks, but give them a point of departure, something to visually chew on.

Case in point: my latest book Paris Adieu. An image of the book's main character, Ava Fodor, dominates the cover. This image immediately provoked a strong response from both women and men. The women's responses were largely negative. The men's responses were all positive. Bingo. I knew we'd struck pay dirt judging by the reaction from both sexes.

The women largely said "she looks a bit fat," "I don't really like her." That pleased me, because my main character is a bit chubby, but above all, she's appealing. The reason women don't really like her is because men do.

I'm sure there are plenty of women who'd like to find out what magic Ava possesses, because how dare she be a bit chubby and hugely appealing all at the same time? Isn't that what most of us would like to be too?

The men largely said, "Who's the girl?" In fact, they all said, "Who's the girl?," which told me our cover was a red hot hit.

Or rather, a hot pink one. The Paris Adieu cover combines hot pink with shades of grey. It perfectly captures the journey Ava makes from black and white, Puritan-inflected New England, where she grew up, to Paris' shades of grey, accented with Ava's hot pink readiness to embrace life. Adventure, anyone?

Another cover refinement lies embedded in the letters forming the book title, Paris Adieu. The "A" in "Paris" is shaped into the Eiffel Tower. The "I" in "Adieu" forms the Empire State Building. Ingenious, no? The title's first word tells the reader where the story takes place – Paris. The title's second word "adieu" tells the reader that that mysterious woman on the cover is going to leave Paris for New York, most probably. However, there's only one way to find out what happens to her before she bids adieu to Paris turn the page and start reading.

Hats off to Rob Mohan for his wonderful cover design for Paris Adieu by Rozsa Gaston. Available on, and

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