I’m a bit more conservative than most authors. Gorgeous guys on book covers are not my personal style. Still, this gorgeous cover for Gwen Hernandez’s Blind Fury, the first in her Men of Steele series, really has me thinking. Do I really need to be that shy about my heroes best physical assets?
I was once asked to contribute a photo of a hot hunky guy that was half-dressed for a blog article. We needed to reveal why this “character” was a hero. This is what I posted:
“What may you ask is my husband’s feet doing in the midst of all these jaw-droppingly gorgeous guys. Well, the call to action was a half-dressed man, wasn’t it? My DH is my hero for so many reasons, but last year when my feet ached so badly I literally couldn’t walk another step in my heels, he took off his shoes in the metro (subway for you non-D.C. folks) and gave them to me! For me, that kind of self-sacrifice is the most romantic thing in the world. I’ll love him forever for his kind gesture … and so much more.”
As I get nearer to publication, it’s becoming obvious that I may need to make a decision about whether a half-naked guy or gal will appear on one of my book covers someday, or if I will go the enigmatic, nothing but words on the cover against a murky background route. Still, I’d like people on the cover, I think, and it seems as if those fall into four general categories (yes there may be others, but please humor me):
First, Hunky half-dressed guy like on Gwen Hernandez’s Blind Fury up top. Here are some more examples:
Highland Seer by Willa Blair, Robin Covington’s Secret Santa Baby , and Unclaimed by Candice Gilmer all feature half (or perhaps more) naked men. Just like in Blind Fury, I’d have to be really blind not to see the eye-popping value of this kind of cover.
Then there are the fully or mostly dressed men on the covers. This is more my style but I wonder if I’d be shooting myself in the foot with a cover that , let’s say, didn’t go all the way?
Books like Candice Gilmer’s fabulous Under His Nose, or Lena Diaz’s wonderful Tennessee Takedown , or Sharon Wray’s page turning debut novel, Every Deep Desire, convey a lot of punch for covers where the amount of male flesh is pretty minimal.
Next we have the “relationship covers. These can get hot and steamy.
And though Sally MacKenzie’s book boasts no photo at all, just the words Naked and Duke (along with fabulous writing, of course), turned Sally MacKensie into a best selling author!
Finally there are the covers that are all about the girls — the female protagonists. I really love these examples, too:
So let me know what you think. What kinds of covers do you like best? If you’re a writer would you prefer hot and steam, naked, or intriguing? As a reader, do you ever feel intimidated by some of these covers when reading in public or buying at the grocery store? Let me know, I’d really like to know what you think.