Saturday, May 07, 2005

Book Cover Beefcake

A major trend I am noticing in romance novel covers is the naked torso or back. You used to see naked or half-naked people a lot in the bodice ripper covers (and you still see a lot...think I will have to blog about this as well). But lately, the covers aren't usually of couples. Or if they are, they aren't in the stylized bodice ripper poses we are used to. They are pictures of couples actually having sex! Right on the cover. They are usually tasteful though.

But the major trend I see is pictures or photos of a single man's torso. They frequently cut them off at the neck (the better to fantasize? or so the art department doesn't have to read the book to match the hair color properly? I wonder). I guess naked men with visible abs sell books pretty well.

I don't dislike theses covers but I don't really like them either. Women complain all the time about men objectifying women, but here we are doing it right back. Beefcake (a word I happen to hate) on the cover and women rave about it. That's why I didn't watch the show Mr. Romance. I've heard too much about women at RT and RWA mauling the cover models. I certainly didn't want to watch it on TV.

Here's a bunch of recent and upcoming books with beefcake covers. What do you guys think? Do you pick up a book because of this type of cover? Does it turn you off? On?

Naked men Posted by Hello


ma said...

These kind of covers do very little for me. If I buy it's despite the cover, not because of it.

sybil said...

I really really hate it when the cover doesn't match the character. She is a redhead and the cover chick is blond. She has glasses the cover chick doesn't. He has a scar on his face that we hear about over and over again but isn't on the cover.

It screams to me that 'sorry we couldn't be assed to time or energy to skim the book to make sure we match, that will be 7.99 plus tax please'

So headless covers work for me on that level. Then again I am peachy with cheap plain color covers with art or whatever.

Anonymous said...

These don't do much for me either. The B&N clerk would likely sneer when I went to buy these, which is reason enough for me to do it, of course. I don't hate them but they do make me chuckle. The Kara Lennox Intrigue one really makes me laugh. So, I take it the scene from the hero's POV goes something like this: here we are out fighting for our lives, running through unsafe territory and - OOPS -someone took my shirt buttons.


Kristie (J) said...

I don't like them either. In fact it would keep me from buying a book. Stargazer by Coby Hodge got a pretty good review and I was tempted to get it but when I saw the cover I decided to pass.

meljean said...

I have to admit, I prefer a clinch to most of these torsos. Or a couple -- they don't have to be in an embrace. If they are going to show one, I figure, why not show both? I'm buying a story about a couple, after all.

Hell, I just wish every book had stepbacks. That would make it all easier.