Thursday, March 29, 2007

I've been looking closer at romance novel covers recently, and trying to figure out, as Missie described it, what 'freaks on crack' are designing the things.

Generally speaking, romance novel covers have come a long way from the bodice rippers of the 70's, where the heroine was practically naked and the hero ready to pop out of his too-tight trousers. Many covers are general; they have a house or a love letter or something relevant to the story on the cover. Some have those groovy "hidden" covers--you know, the repectable outside, bodice-ripping inside jobs. And some don't even have a picture; just an 'artistic representation' --like flowers or something--that allows the reader complete freedom of imagination.

But there are still plenty of drawn covers out there to look at. And some of them are simply awful. And it begs the question: Is the art department out of its mind?

Granted, standards of beauty and taste vary with every reader. What I think of as a smoking hot hero might barely generate a sizzle with someone else (though I can't imagine why; I've got great taste!) and vice versa. But there are those books out there where you're looking at the girl or guy on the cover and thinking NO ONE in their right minds would take that book from shelf to cash register--it could be the greatest love story ever told, but if the cover doesn't do that justice, it won't sell.

Worse yet are those occasional oopsies --like when the heroine is written one way and drawn another, for example. I actually took a marker to one of my favorite romances and colored the hero's hair black because I could not stand looking at a blonde guy on the cover when the hero was dark haired!! (I know, it's totally stupid. But it drove me crazy!)

Will a cover make or break your buying decision? Do you prefer generic or specific covers? And--admit it, have any of you ever "altered" your cover or am I the only loser out here that has done that?


Rhonda Stapleton said...

LOLOLOLOL I've never altered a cover, though I've been tempted to...

Robyn said...

If there weren't so many horrid covers, I wouldn't have a blog.

I haven't altered any, but I have ripped a few off if they were especially horrifying.

spyscribbler said...

I swear, they've been trending towards those 70s and 80s covers again. Please tell me, what is UP with that? I never liked them in the first place, and does anyone like them NOW?

Very funny, Elizabeth! LOL, I can totally picture you doing that!

StarvingWriteNow said...

Okay, it's official. I'm a loser.