Cover Contemplations

If you can’t tell, I have really been into urban fantasy and paranormal romance for a while now.  I love the fun plots, the crazy action, and the super sexy men.  I have recommended quite a few books to my friends that read the Twilight series and wanted more sexy vamps and possibly even ::GASP:: sex! (Twilight is the gateway drug of PNR, I swear).  The problem is, I talk up the book, rave about the hotness and then when they go to buy, they shy away from the covers.  I don’t think about book covers much anymore because of my glorious Kindle, but others really struggle with toting around a book with writhing bodies or random half nekkid chicks on the cover.  I can’t argue with this, especially if you are someone who likes to keep your book with you at all times.  The last thing you need is some skeezer walking up and starting a conversation with you because he sees you reading some smutty (but fantastic!) romance novel at a doctor’s office or worse…work.  Especially if said skeezer walks up right as that vamp/shifter/were threesome you’ve been waiting on for 200 pages really takes off!!  I have no issue with covers that accurately depict what a book is about even if it does look like most others, like Kim Harrison’s Black Magic Sanction.

The heroine, Rachel, admittedly likes slutty clothes (it’s a running joke in the series), and there actually is a gargoyle in the book, so this cover makes sense.  But some covers have the random bare-midriffed chick on the cover, when she isn’t actually in the book.  For example, I just finished A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix.  Here is the cover: 


The heroine, Heather, is an FBI agent with long, red, curly hair.  Throughout the book, her attire is described as slacks and a sweater or button-down shirt.  No leather, no halter tops, no going undercover as a stripper, no secret half-succubus DNA, just a plain Jane government agent.  So who the hell is this on the cover??  Are we putting the random bartender that was mentioned on one page on covers now??  Has there been some sort of study that links bare-midriffed women to UF/PNR book sales?  And why are there never any faces?? Just midriffs and tattooed backs.  A tramp stamp does not a good book make!  Like I said, none of this actually bothers me, but I am really sick of raving about books like the Immortals After Dark series and my friends being like “there is no way I am toting this around:”

What can you say to that? I wouldn’t carry it around either! Well…yeah I would, but only because I know how great they are!  It’s really hard to suck people into the genre if they treat the book cover like it’s smeared with syphilis!  But not all are like this; I LOVED the cover of Acheron: 


Even dudes could carry this around shame-free!  So I am wondering, why are most UF/PNR covers so cheesy?  Is this a shout-out to romance purists who just can’t let go of the Fabio era?  DO these covers actually increase sales?  Are most not concerned with this? Are my friends overly snobby and/or too concerned with their street-cred?  I mean, no one is asking for all covers to look like Pride and Prejudice (sans zombies), but if they must feature scantily clad women, could these women actually be in the book?  Just wondering.

(I know I am not the only one who notices this, here is a link to UF book cover parade:


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Millie
    Apr 29, 2010 @ 12:34:36

    That’s why I loooooooove my kindle. Keeps peeps from seeing how sick I really am with all that smutty reading, lol. BTW, I just found your blog and I have to say I absolutely love it. Great reviews….now your bookmarked!


Leave a Reply to Millie Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: