Good morning, everyone! I’m your blogger for the day and I’m going to talk about cover models.
I think everyone agrees that the right book cover can make or break a book. Publishers try everything they can to ensure good sales because if a book flops, they lose money. Eye-catching titles and enticing blurbs are certainly two ways to attract attention. But cover models are one of the biggest drawing cards. Having a handsome hunk on the cover lures a reader right to it. Who wouldn’t want to take home a book with cover model John DeSalvo, Cherif Fortin, Nathan Kamp, Mike Dale, Tracy James, or Peter DeCicco on it? They’re sexy, red-blooded, very appealing men. One good thing is that there’s no extra charge for the eye-candy! They won’t give you cavities either. Are you drooling yet? By the way the photo is of Cherif Fortin.
Nearly all of us daydream. I think a reader shopping for a new book likes to imagine herself in the model’s arms, to be the love of his life, and to transport her from a boring life into one full of adventure and excitement. I think a woman would pretty much have to be dead not to like looking at well-formed abs and handsome features. Those faces draw us to the book like a June bug to a streetlight. Our fingers do a little dance right there in the store. We run our hands over the smooth image. We may close our eyes and picture ourselves on the cover with the model. Then we turn the book over and read the back blurb. If we’re satisfied with the full package we’ll trod to the check out with it and sat up half the night living in that fantasy world. I don’t know about you, but personally I prefer the covers with just the male model. I’m a teensy bit jealous if he has another half-dressed woman in a clinch pose. I think to myself, “How dare he, the two-timer!” I want him all to myself. I’m funny that way. The photo in this paragraph is John DeSalvo.
So, the publisher devotes a lot of thought, and psychology, into giving the book the right look. And what do they do when it’s a brand new, untried author they’re trying to promote? It costs big bucks to hire live models. In that case, the art department will probably go to their files of previous cover art and pull out one they’ve used on other books. I’d wager a great many are recycled covers. That puts more money in the publisher’s pocket. If they don’t use a recycled cover they might use a painting instead.
The cover of my first book, Knight on the Texas Plains, was from a painting that hung on the wall outside my editor’s office. I believe the second, The Cowboy Who Came Calling, was a recycled cover. I loved both because the men both looked strong and closely resembled my heroes.
When Dorchester bought Redemption I got live models for the first time and that was flattering. It told me that the house was willing to risk a little more money on me. That gave me a wonderful feeling. I felt like I had finally arrived.
Now, the upcoming anthology Give Me a Texan by Kensington really went the extra mile when they hired the sexy Nathan Kamp to pose as a cowboy. Nathan’s been on a lot of covers. Besides ours, I know he posed for two of Karen Kay’s as an American Indian—-Red Hawk’s Woman and The Spirit of the Wolf. He was also on Bobbie Smith’s The Lawless Texan so he really gets around, a very versatile man. And oh baby, is he nice to look at!
John DeSalvo sizzled on Geralyn Dawson’s Simmer All Night. Frank Sepe heated up the cover of Lorraine Heath’s A Rogue in Texas. And Tracy James galloped onto Pam Crooks’ Wanted. I think getting the right man on the cover (ha, or under them!) helps sell copies. I also believe it gives the reader a little extra bonus–-a win, win situation.
Do you have a favorite cover model?
And does the cover model influence your buying habits?
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