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Romance Covers

My favorite books to read are romances. I’m a hopeless romantic so I love a good romance. Every book I have written, with at least a completed first draft, have strong romantic elements in them. I do have one horror waiting to be finished. No romance there unless the cat gets lucky.

One thing I was reminded of recently: while I love a good romance, I’m not so keen on the traditional covers. I was at the library with my family. Up until now I have been borrowing e-books. No shame in browsing through covers with scantily clad men and women in the privacy of my own home. Browsing paperbacks in the library, with Fabio look-a-likes on the front, however, made my cheeks turn pink.

There were rows and rows of fancy hard cover books. Then in a separate section multiple turning stiles of paperback romances. An invisible line ran through the library, separating the professional academic books, from the… well… girly porn. I’m not going to lie; I felt a little dirty walking over to them. I’m not the type to walk into the adult video section of a video store, so a cover that screams “SEX SCENES INSIDE” make me feel like a schoolgirl.

If I have control over the cover of my books, I will opt to do something along the lines of Jennifer Crusie’s books. One of my favorites is Bet Me, and here is the cover I have at home:

Beyond the obvious squirm level the sexy covers create in me; I like a cover that flexes my imagination. This one doesn’t tell me what any of the characters look like. The only flaw it has is that the main character doesn’t wear any shoes with a cherry on top in the book. Books that have models on them never seem to match my idea of what the main characters look like. Even drawings can throw me. I remember reading one book with three skinny females on the cover. Yet one of those females was not skinny. It bugs me. My attention to detail struggles to let these small, insignificant stuff go.

In the end I may have to let all this go. A cover is a cover. If steamy men and woman lost in a passionate embrace will better sell my novel then a giant chocolate chip cookie, who am I to complain? Also depending on how I journey from aspiring to published author, I may not have all that much control over what is on the cover.

Back to the library: I ended up borrowing two books. Both with relatively tame covers. And I still felt a little dirty.

What are your thoughts on covers? Love the hunky men and skinny damsels in distress?

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3 thoughts on “Romance Covers

  1. I hate most romance covers with models on them because they tell nothing of the book and make all these romance books seem the same. I’m not a big romance reader in the first place, but the covers certainly do nothing to help. Jennifer Cruise’s cover is interesting because it manages to separate itself from the typical romance cover. It stand out and says ‘Look at me! I am different! Therefore, read me!’

  2. I can relate totally! I mostly hate covers that have recognisable faces on the cover. It completely takes away your own imagination. If you have to imagine a sexy man (or woman), he does not have to look anything like the person portrayed on such covers. When the book states ‘handsome’, I can fill in what my idea is of ‘handsome’, not what the cover tells me it should be.

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