Friday, May 28, 2010

EEK! They’re headless…

For goodness sakes, they sure are! Oh my—this one doesn’t have a face. What is going on?

I’m talking about book covers, many of which have this affliction. There’s no head, or the face of the hero or heroine are missing. We have a torso, a side shot or the face is totally obscured by something else on the cover. Ooh! I’ve seen a few rear shots, and boy, they can be yummy when the hero has a nice set of buns. I’ve got one of those and he has garnered quite a few comments over the months. *grins*

The way I see it is if an artist can’t match the description of the character, said character is better off without their head! That’s my opinion. I’d prefer not to have a guy with short, brown hair on my cover when inside I describe him as blond with a ponytail hitting beneath his shoulder blades. I don’t want a redheaded woman on the cover when my heroine has dark brown hair. Actually, aside from Purple P Rose, I’d much rather not have a woman on the cover at all, but alas, I don’t always get what I want. I have been lucky in that I’ve had some great cover artists and they’ve worked with me to achieve something that both the publisher and I are happy with.

In my particular case, many of my Kind characters have long, striped hair (it’s an animal thing!) and it’s not easy to find a model fitting that description. I’m not a big fan of computer generated covers either, so that leaves me in a slight predicament. Hence, I have lots of torso covers which work for me and I prefer them. Not only on my books, but on those I buy. I would much rather imagine what the hero looks like from the author’s description.

Anyway, here’s where I’m going with this. Do you like to see the whole person on the cover? Are you happy with just a hunky torso or shapely female midsection? What about those backside shots?

Tell me what you think and in the meantime—enjoy some examples of what I think would make great headless, faceless covers. And you can catch Ramiel’s butt from HOPE IN LOVE in the book cover bar to the right!!

Well okay you can see his face a little, but DAMN! he's fine all over
 Sorry, I don't have any faceless female shots!

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele


Rebecca Royce said...

There's been a lot of discussion recently on this topic, J. So let me first say GREAT topic for the blog today. Um, my feeling is that the cartoon covers, and this is supported by industry research that I was reading yesterday, are pretty much out. They're not selling books. The readers want to see a real, hot person on the cover. So, I think its better to have them headless than not there. In terms of red versus brown, yes, it wold upset me as the author to see it wrong but for the readers? I don't know if it would matter. I know an author who got really upset because her heroine was african-american and they gave her a white cover model. That really ticked her off. I don't blame the author at all about that.

But...when it comes to book sales, I don't know if the readers care if the models match them or not. Thats an interesting question.

Stacey Kennedy said...

A face, no face - who cares!!! As long as there is a hunky naked man on the cover I'm happy!!! LOL!

Elisa Dane said...

I'm with the hot bod and no face covers! Loving those abs! Woot!

Kristabel Reed said...

I don't think I've ever thought about it. I see what you mean about red vs. blond vs. brown hair but as a reader I have to say any wrongness doesn't jump out at me.

Now as an author, probably but I only have one story out in an anthology so had absolutely no say in the cover.

As for headless, I prefer full body-don't know why, just my preference. But again, that's from a reader perspective.

J Hali Steele said...

Rebecca, I think I read that article or one similar not too long ago. It does seem readers prefer 'real' people. Is it because we connect more with the characters? WOW! A whole character nationality change would make me ask for a re-do.

Stacey, I'm with you! When I spend a few days with the hero of a book, I want him to be HOT!

LOL, Lisa, there's just something about an awesome, cut stomach on a man, huh?

Kristabel, glad you left a reader's opinion. With your anthology--I hope it was a cover you liked! I've often wondered how authors feel about not having any say at all in a cover.'re a 'total' body girl *grins*

Annie Nicholas said...

I hate those computer generated pictures. They give me the creeps. I'm fine with torso's. I've two covers like that and I find they are eye catching.

Kristabel Reed said...

*G* Yup! A total body girl. I don't mind the sexy, muscled torso, yumm but I like a cover with, ah...more.

I do have to agree that the computer generated covers are creepy.

J Hali Steele said...

Ooh, Annie, I like your covers!

Kristabel, lol, what's the MORE? I'm picturing a trim waist, big muscled thighs and...ummm...oh, yeah, nice lips and eyes. Maybe that's all the picturing I should do here...I'm starting to drool. *grins*

Sandra Sookoo said...

It doesn't really matter to me but if they glaringly get the description wrong, I'd have to ask for it redone. And of course, I'm once again in the minority about the cartoon covers. I love mine and can't wait for those books to go on sale. Think what you will. :-)

Rebecca Royce said...

Just to clarify from earlier, I was not saying anything about taste. I think some of the cartoon covers are really cool. It's just the market research has shown they don't sell as well, or at least that was the article we all apparently read said earlier this week.

Great post J!

Sandra Sookoo said...

No worries.

J Hali Steele said...

Sandi, that's what the ariticle I read was about, it's not my opinion--my feeling is have the cover reflect the book...Hey! I love my covers too, but SCREWED showed up in a worst cover post...I still laugh at that! Wish it had helped sales, lmao.