maybe it’s me, but…

… do you think


“Alexios finally turned to face her, his golden hair brushing the tops of his shoulders and sweeping forward to hide the scarred left side of his face.”


“She’d never seen so many scars on a man, though. Not just his face, although the left side was badly damaged. But the many gouges, slashes, and crookedly healed wounds on his shoulders, chest, stomach, and back told her the story of some of what he’d been through.”


Just cos it’s a headless torso (see Jenre’s post on this topic) does NOT give the publisher/ artist/ whomever leeway to still make the image different to the description of the character in the story.

Having said that, and as much as many of us like a wounded hero, perhaps readers don’t actually want to see him on the front cover of their romance book?

What do you think? Are we really that superficial?

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
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13 Responses to maybe it’s me, but…

  1. Tam says:

    Well, I'm not sure I want to see Quasimoto on the cover, but I think you can put on a few scars without making him look mutant. It doesn't have to be an exact replica but I don't expect perfection, there aren't very many people with “perfect” bodies.

  2. *drools* that's a whole lotta wood he's two fisting there….uh, sorry, were you saying something?

  3. Kris says:

    Tam: I just get so friggin' fed up with book covers though that don't look a damn thing like the covers. He doesn't even have the shoulder length blond hair!

    Emmy: ROFL! You iz such a naughty kitteh.

  4. Ingrid says:

    Getting the hair right is the least they could do coverwise.

    And why write about a person with so much scars in the first place??

  5. Kris says:

    Yup. You can forgive a lot of things, but sometimes it's just all about the hair when it comes to covers.

    The scars?? A (literally) wounded warrior thing… and all the angst associated with it, of course. 😉

  6. Ingrid says:

    From your description it sounded like A LOT of scars. Not just the few to make a person interesting.
    Esp those on the face…

  7. Kris says:

    Don't get me wrong – there definitely were… I'm beginning to feel like this may be a 'you had to be there/read it' story. LOL.

  8. Kassa says:

    Why even DO a headless torso? For as much as everyone lauds romance as being mainstream, the covers still have a healthy Fabio image to maintain!

    And actually, if you're looking at covers, check out the half naked chick ones? The chick with a guy's shirt in various positions. Just as prevalent!

    In the end.. covers suck :/ is he spearing fish or something else?

  9. Tracy says:

    I completely agree!

    How funny I JUST said this from yesterdays post about a book cover. The man in the book is a suit wearing meticulous dresser who has never out of placed combed hair. The cover of the book has a pirate shirt wearing man with a MULLET! Just wrong!

  10. Kris says:

    Kassa: I call it the dramatic trident pose similar to the Conan the Barbarian sword grip pose.

    My theory about the headless torso is that it is used to stop cover artists from fucking up (ie publishers got sick of all the complaints and didn't actually think that some of this may have been allayed by letting the artists read the friggin book! *Dumb Arses*).

    Did you ever see my post about the arm covering the boobs pose often featured on covers?? (See Probably as popular as the tried and trite chick in a guys shirt thing.

    Hey, I know… let's pull those tropes out and give 'em a real good spin. That'll work. It's only romance after all.

  11. Kris says:

    Tracy: What. The. Hell. That is just wrong… not to mention weird cos the pirate shirt is sooo popular these days.

    *going off to check out the cover*

  12. orannia says:

    Question – do the cover designers actually get a brief? Because considering the number of covers I'm actually not sure that they do..

  13. Kris says:

    I wonder that sometimes myself, Orannia. Interestingly, one of the people recently interviewed at Wave's – Trace Edward Zaber – was also a cover artist and this is what he said in one of the comments:

    “For covers…first, I ask each author to fill out a short form that will provide me with info of what their characters look like and what else might apply (mood, setting, etc.). Yet when it comes to doing the covers, the process varies, depending on the author and my inspiration at any given moment in time. A few authors (M. L. Rhodes, as an example) do some of the preliminary work for me in the fact that they point me in the direction of the actual photographs they want used, if possible, for their covers, telling me “these are how my characters look,” which is a tremendous help. Sometimes the worst part about doing a cover is trying to find quality stock photographs to match the author's wishes…they might need “a blond who is wearing these specific clothes, a brunette wearing this type of outfit, and they must be in this exact setting, holding this item, and there has to be flying monkeys in the background and….whatever.” You get the idea. It's sometimes tough to find the appropriate source material to use for covers, so in many cases I have to wing it (after the flying monkey comment, no pun intended 🙂 M. L. (along with many of our authors) also does some of her writing based on the actual cover…in other words, since we contract a lot of our manuscripts based only on short summaries, the cover could sometimes be completed long before the final manuscript is even submitted or written. In some cases, for example, if I got something “not quite right” on the cover based on the author's original vision, the author has (heaven LOVE them!) gone back into the manuscript and revised the character's description, saving me the trouble of having to start the cover from scratch.”

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