Looking at covers again.

Charlieatversailles I have to confess that I forgot I was supposed to blog. (Spent the weekend at a Huna workshop — Hawaian spirituality, though not, alas, in Hawaii, plus so many things coming together for our upcoming move to England.) So I've dug a post of mine from the very early days of Word Wenches. Covers are always worth revisiting.

Here's what I asked the last time. Do you pick up books because of covers, or avoid them because of covers? Do covers affect how you read a book?

I'm ashamed to admit I have to say yes to all three. I know covers often have little to do with the book. I know the author often has zero say. But some covers, especially where the man looks brutal — or dead, but not in an interesting vampiric way — make it really hard for me to pick the book off the shelf.Dcold

It's nothing to do with what others might think. It's simply that I don't want to meet that man inside the covers. I don't want to spend time with him. 

It's not just the men. I don't want to travel awhile with that angular-jawed woman who's wearing too much make-up for the past — or the wrong sort.

This original cover of Dark Champion is one of my least favorite covers, perhaps especially so as its one of my favorite books. Fitzroger is a lean, hard-trained warrior, not a beefed-up gym boy, and Imogen is very young. Instead, there's the angular jaw, too much make-up look. They did try to show her magnificent hair, but it's enough to make a rug! Then there's her huge endowments — or perhaps they're inflated because he's doing a one-arm push up on her ribs! Add pepto pink text, and it's all pretty revolting. The reissue was much better. You can see it through the link above.

If I get the wrong cover images in my head and they won't go away. Need I mention that I'm a very visual reader? I'm just very visual. Very literal about my visuals. At the workshop I had to keep asking for adjustments to visualizations because the ones offered didn't work for me.

So I'm actually okay with the covers that chop off the characters' heads, even though I think they're a bit weird, because it's much better than having an unfortunate image imposed.

Lwbnewsm Then there's the "look of the day" which for cover heroes at the moment seems to be stubble. What is it with stubble? I don't find that attractive. I like this cover of the new edition of Lord Wraybourne's Betrothed, which will be out later this year, but I wish David wasn't stubbly.

Do you think historical covers have changed much in the past three years? If so, how? I think there are fewer of the rampant clinches, or the lantern-jawed half naked men, but perhaps I've just blocked them out.

My covers haven't changed much. 2006 saw the publication of The Rogue's Return, with what I think is a lovely cover.Trrfrsmallgood The heroine — what we can see of her — looks young, and though we have the common strange lack of underwear, the costumes are pretty good. This year, of course, saw The Secret Wedding, which you've seen plenty of times.

Okay, am I the only one bothered by the number of 18th and 19th century heroines who appear to wear their gowns over nothing? And not mind being peeled out of their one layer when outside, possibly in view of many? I think underwear can be very sexy!

Below is what I've seen of the cover for a British edition of My Lady Notorious that will come out next year. It's lovely, isn't it? And there's probably a reason she's naked beneath that wrap. With my permission, they've dropped the "my" which they didn't feel worked as well as Lady Notorious. I don't think that's enough of a change to confuse anyone.

Mlnuk It's time it had a good cover. The first one was odd, and the reissue bland. You can see that here.

(I'm still working on the prizes for the kitten posts. Thanks for your patience.)

Best wishes,

Jo

90 thoughts on “Looking at covers again.”

  1. Jo,
    I’ve bought books of types I don’t normally read because I liked the covers. The covers I like are those that show decent-looking people with all their historically accurate clothes on. And with their heads on, too. Your latest covers are pretty good, except, as you say, for the heroine falling out of her gown. I find it irritating, but at least she’s not falling out of the front of her dress.
    I hate the stubble! Not attractive. I don’t know how many books I’ve read where the heroine enjoys the scrape of the hero’s whiskers on her face. Really? What planet is she from? Whisker burn hurts! Let her tell him to shave before he comes near her. Stubble is historically inaccurate, too. A Georgian/Regency gentleman would never walk around in public without shaving.
    “Lady Notorious” is a beautiful cover. I wish more books had covers like that.

    Reply
  2. Jo,
    I’ve bought books of types I don’t normally read because I liked the covers. The covers I like are those that show decent-looking people with all their historically accurate clothes on. And with their heads on, too. Your latest covers are pretty good, except, as you say, for the heroine falling out of her gown. I find it irritating, but at least she’s not falling out of the front of her dress.
    I hate the stubble! Not attractive. I don’t know how many books I’ve read where the heroine enjoys the scrape of the hero’s whiskers on her face. Really? What planet is she from? Whisker burn hurts! Let her tell him to shave before he comes near her. Stubble is historically inaccurate, too. A Georgian/Regency gentleman would never walk around in public without shaving.
    “Lady Notorious” is a beautiful cover. I wish more books had covers like that.

    Reply
  3. Jo,
    I’ve bought books of types I don’t normally read because I liked the covers. The covers I like are those that show decent-looking people with all their historically accurate clothes on. And with their heads on, too. Your latest covers are pretty good, except, as you say, for the heroine falling out of her gown. I find it irritating, but at least she’s not falling out of the front of her dress.
    I hate the stubble! Not attractive. I don’t know how many books I’ve read where the heroine enjoys the scrape of the hero’s whiskers on her face. Really? What planet is she from? Whisker burn hurts! Let her tell him to shave before he comes near her. Stubble is historically inaccurate, too. A Georgian/Regency gentleman would never walk around in public without shaving.
    “Lady Notorious” is a beautiful cover. I wish more books had covers like that.

    Reply
  4. Jo,
    I’ve bought books of types I don’t normally read because I liked the covers. The covers I like are those that show decent-looking people with all their historically accurate clothes on. And with their heads on, too. Your latest covers are pretty good, except, as you say, for the heroine falling out of her gown. I find it irritating, but at least she’s not falling out of the front of her dress.
    I hate the stubble! Not attractive. I don’t know how many books I’ve read where the heroine enjoys the scrape of the hero’s whiskers on her face. Really? What planet is she from? Whisker burn hurts! Let her tell him to shave before he comes near her. Stubble is historically inaccurate, too. A Georgian/Regency gentleman would never walk around in public without shaving.
    “Lady Notorious” is a beautiful cover. I wish more books had covers like that.

    Reply
  5. Jo,
    I’ve bought books of types I don’t normally read because I liked the covers. The covers I like are those that show decent-looking people with all their historically accurate clothes on. And with their heads on, too. Your latest covers are pretty good, except, as you say, for the heroine falling out of her gown. I find it irritating, but at least she’s not falling out of the front of her dress.
    I hate the stubble! Not attractive. I don’t know how many books I’ve read where the heroine enjoys the scrape of the hero’s whiskers on her face. Really? What planet is she from? Whisker burn hurts! Let her tell him to shave before he comes near her. Stubble is historically inaccurate, too. A Georgian/Regency gentleman would never walk around in public without shaving.
    “Lady Notorious” is a beautiful cover. I wish more books had covers like that.

    Reply
  6. Sherrie, here.
    I really like the cover of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed! (Shades of Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts–or should that be Julia Wroberts?!!)
    I’m like you, Jo–I can be seduced into buying a book because of the cover. I’m a very visual person, and a beautiful cover will snag my attention. I think you have been blessed by the cover gods in recent years.
    I also like the new cover for Lady Notorious. It is clean and crisp. I like how the scrollwork in the background is repeated by the scrollwork appearance of her hair.
    I detest almost all clinch covers. They all look the same–no originality. I know that publishers say those clinch covers are instant identification and they sell books, but I still don’t care for most of them. And I wonder just how accurate it is to say that clinch covers sell. I think they sell despite the covers. After all, if you give readers no choice, and they HAVE to buy books with clinch covers, is it right to say they “sell”?

    Reply
  7. Sherrie, here.
    I really like the cover of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed! (Shades of Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts–or should that be Julia Wroberts?!!)
    I’m like you, Jo–I can be seduced into buying a book because of the cover. I’m a very visual person, and a beautiful cover will snag my attention. I think you have been blessed by the cover gods in recent years.
    I also like the new cover for Lady Notorious. It is clean and crisp. I like how the scrollwork in the background is repeated by the scrollwork appearance of her hair.
    I detest almost all clinch covers. They all look the same–no originality. I know that publishers say those clinch covers are instant identification and they sell books, but I still don’t care for most of them. And I wonder just how accurate it is to say that clinch covers sell. I think they sell despite the covers. After all, if you give readers no choice, and they HAVE to buy books with clinch covers, is it right to say they “sell”?

    Reply
  8. Sherrie, here.
    I really like the cover of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed! (Shades of Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts–or should that be Julia Wroberts?!!)
    I’m like you, Jo–I can be seduced into buying a book because of the cover. I’m a very visual person, and a beautiful cover will snag my attention. I think you have been blessed by the cover gods in recent years.
    I also like the new cover for Lady Notorious. It is clean and crisp. I like how the scrollwork in the background is repeated by the scrollwork appearance of her hair.
    I detest almost all clinch covers. They all look the same–no originality. I know that publishers say those clinch covers are instant identification and they sell books, but I still don’t care for most of them. And I wonder just how accurate it is to say that clinch covers sell. I think they sell despite the covers. After all, if you give readers no choice, and they HAVE to buy books with clinch covers, is it right to say they “sell”?

    Reply
  9. Sherrie, here.
    I really like the cover of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed! (Shades of Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts–or should that be Julia Wroberts?!!)
    I’m like you, Jo–I can be seduced into buying a book because of the cover. I’m a very visual person, and a beautiful cover will snag my attention. I think you have been blessed by the cover gods in recent years.
    I also like the new cover for Lady Notorious. It is clean and crisp. I like how the scrollwork in the background is repeated by the scrollwork appearance of her hair.
    I detest almost all clinch covers. They all look the same–no originality. I know that publishers say those clinch covers are instant identification and they sell books, but I still don’t care for most of them. And I wonder just how accurate it is to say that clinch covers sell. I think they sell despite the covers. After all, if you give readers no choice, and they HAVE to buy books with clinch covers, is it right to say they “sell”?

    Reply
  10. Sherrie, here.
    I really like the cover of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed! (Shades of Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts–or should that be Julia Wroberts?!!)
    I’m like you, Jo–I can be seduced into buying a book because of the cover. I’m a very visual person, and a beautiful cover will snag my attention. I think you have been blessed by the cover gods in recent years.
    I also like the new cover for Lady Notorious. It is clean and crisp. I like how the scrollwork in the background is repeated by the scrollwork appearance of her hair.
    I detest almost all clinch covers. They all look the same–no originality. I know that publishers say those clinch covers are instant identification and they sell books, but I still don’t care for most of them. And I wonder just how accurate it is to say that clinch covers sell. I think they sell despite the covers. After all, if you give readers no choice, and they HAVE to buy books with clinch covers, is it right to say they “sell”?

    Reply
  11. I’m going to generalize and say something I don’t really know is true (that’s never stopped me before.) It seems to me that the book covers that come from the British Isles are more historically correct than the ones published in the US. The ones I’ve seen from the British Isles are very nice and I’m not sure why we get some of the ones in the US that we do. In fact, I think I just might be insulted.
    I got awfully tired of the big busted women with the hair all over the bed. It would seem that the art work was/is directed at men and not women. I’m glad that we don’t see that as much anymore. Wrong time period clothing on cover art is one of my hot buttons, but it doesn’t stop me from buying the book. No more belt buckles and belt loops please! And, I don’t even want to talk make-up and hair style.
    Love the book cover for Lady Notorious.

    Reply
  12. I’m going to generalize and say something I don’t really know is true (that’s never stopped me before.) It seems to me that the book covers that come from the British Isles are more historically correct than the ones published in the US. The ones I’ve seen from the British Isles are very nice and I’m not sure why we get some of the ones in the US that we do. In fact, I think I just might be insulted.
    I got awfully tired of the big busted women with the hair all over the bed. It would seem that the art work was/is directed at men and not women. I’m glad that we don’t see that as much anymore. Wrong time period clothing on cover art is one of my hot buttons, but it doesn’t stop me from buying the book. No more belt buckles and belt loops please! And, I don’t even want to talk make-up and hair style.
    Love the book cover for Lady Notorious.

    Reply
  13. I’m going to generalize and say something I don’t really know is true (that’s never stopped me before.) It seems to me that the book covers that come from the British Isles are more historically correct than the ones published in the US. The ones I’ve seen from the British Isles are very nice and I’m not sure why we get some of the ones in the US that we do. In fact, I think I just might be insulted.
    I got awfully tired of the big busted women with the hair all over the bed. It would seem that the art work was/is directed at men and not women. I’m glad that we don’t see that as much anymore. Wrong time period clothing on cover art is one of my hot buttons, but it doesn’t stop me from buying the book. No more belt buckles and belt loops please! And, I don’t even want to talk make-up and hair style.
    Love the book cover for Lady Notorious.

    Reply
  14. I’m going to generalize and say something I don’t really know is true (that’s never stopped me before.) It seems to me that the book covers that come from the British Isles are more historically correct than the ones published in the US. The ones I’ve seen from the British Isles are very nice and I’m not sure why we get some of the ones in the US that we do. In fact, I think I just might be insulted.
    I got awfully tired of the big busted women with the hair all over the bed. It would seem that the art work was/is directed at men and not women. I’m glad that we don’t see that as much anymore. Wrong time period clothing on cover art is one of my hot buttons, but it doesn’t stop me from buying the book. No more belt buckles and belt loops please! And, I don’t even want to talk make-up and hair style.
    Love the book cover for Lady Notorious.

    Reply
  15. I’m going to generalize and say something I don’t really know is true (that’s never stopped me before.) It seems to me that the book covers that come from the British Isles are more historically correct than the ones published in the US. The ones I’ve seen from the British Isles are very nice and I’m not sure why we get some of the ones in the US that we do. In fact, I think I just might be insulted.
    I got awfully tired of the big busted women with the hair all over the bed. It would seem that the art work was/is directed at men and not women. I’m glad that we don’t see that as much anymore. Wrong time period clothing on cover art is one of my hot buttons, but it doesn’t stop me from buying the book. No more belt buckles and belt loops please! And, I don’t even want to talk make-up and hair style.
    Love the book cover for Lady Notorious.

    Reply
  16. Oooh, nice job on the British editon of (My) Lady Notorious! Sure, in the book Chastity had practially a buzz cut, but this image is very lovely.
    I admit to being affected by the cover art. A gorgeous cover will encourage me to pick up the book and look more closely, though if I hate the writing, I still won’t buy it. And an ugly cover may mean I’ll never notice the book unless the author is someone I look for.
    Like most authors, I’ve found it’s best to cultivate a certain philosophical quality about my own covers.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  17. Oooh, nice job on the British editon of (My) Lady Notorious! Sure, in the book Chastity had practially a buzz cut, but this image is very lovely.
    I admit to being affected by the cover art. A gorgeous cover will encourage me to pick up the book and look more closely, though if I hate the writing, I still won’t buy it. And an ugly cover may mean I’ll never notice the book unless the author is someone I look for.
    Like most authors, I’ve found it’s best to cultivate a certain philosophical quality about my own covers.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  18. Oooh, nice job on the British editon of (My) Lady Notorious! Sure, in the book Chastity had practially a buzz cut, but this image is very lovely.
    I admit to being affected by the cover art. A gorgeous cover will encourage me to pick up the book and look more closely, though if I hate the writing, I still won’t buy it. And an ugly cover may mean I’ll never notice the book unless the author is someone I look for.
    Like most authors, I’ve found it’s best to cultivate a certain philosophical quality about my own covers.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  19. Oooh, nice job on the British editon of (My) Lady Notorious! Sure, in the book Chastity had practially a buzz cut, but this image is very lovely.
    I admit to being affected by the cover art. A gorgeous cover will encourage me to pick up the book and look more closely, though if I hate the writing, I still won’t buy it. And an ugly cover may mean I’ll never notice the book unless the author is someone I look for.
    Like most authors, I’ve found it’s best to cultivate a certain philosophical quality about my own covers.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  20. Oooh, nice job on the British editon of (My) Lady Notorious! Sure, in the book Chastity had practially a buzz cut, but this image is very lovely.
    I admit to being affected by the cover art. A gorgeous cover will encourage me to pick up the book and look more closely, though if I hate the writing, I still won’t buy it. And an ugly cover may mean I’ll never notice the book unless the author is someone I look for.
    Like most authors, I’ve found it’s best to cultivate a certain philosophical quality about my own covers.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  21. I pick books up to look at the covers but I always read the blurb on the back before I buy the book if I don’t like the blurb I don’t but the book even if I love the cover.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  22. I pick books up to look at the covers but I always read the blurb on the back before I buy the book if I don’t like the blurb I don’t but the book even if I love the cover.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  23. I pick books up to look at the covers but I always read the blurb on the back before I buy the book if I don’t like the blurb I don’t but the book even if I love the cover.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  24. I pick books up to look at the covers but I always read the blurb on the back before I buy the book if I don’t like the blurb I don’t but the book even if I love the cover.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  25. I pick books up to look at the covers but I always read the blurb on the back before I buy the book if I don’t like the blurb I don’t but the book even if I love the cover.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  26. The only time I think I’ve ever bought a book because the cover was drop dead gorgeous was when I bought My Philippe, by Barbara Miller, which has a sort of blond Rupert Penry-Jones red-jacketed British Army Officer on the cover (some years before Mr Jones was that well known outside Britain, which shows a certain foresight, I think). It was just irresistible, and the covers for The Guardian and Dearest Max weren’t bad either. Alas, I do not know the artist’s name.
    I bought all three and still have them. They turned out to be great reads too.
    In general, however, a bad cover will put me off more than a good cover will draw me in, and they’re kinda irrelevant anyway, as I go by author and/or word of mouth.

    Reply
  27. The only time I think I’ve ever bought a book because the cover was drop dead gorgeous was when I bought My Philippe, by Barbara Miller, which has a sort of blond Rupert Penry-Jones red-jacketed British Army Officer on the cover (some years before Mr Jones was that well known outside Britain, which shows a certain foresight, I think). It was just irresistible, and the covers for The Guardian and Dearest Max weren’t bad either. Alas, I do not know the artist’s name.
    I bought all three and still have them. They turned out to be great reads too.
    In general, however, a bad cover will put me off more than a good cover will draw me in, and they’re kinda irrelevant anyway, as I go by author and/or word of mouth.

    Reply
  28. The only time I think I’ve ever bought a book because the cover was drop dead gorgeous was when I bought My Philippe, by Barbara Miller, which has a sort of blond Rupert Penry-Jones red-jacketed British Army Officer on the cover (some years before Mr Jones was that well known outside Britain, which shows a certain foresight, I think). It was just irresistible, and the covers for The Guardian and Dearest Max weren’t bad either. Alas, I do not know the artist’s name.
    I bought all three and still have them. They turned out to be great reads too.
    In general, however, a bad cover will put me off more than a good cover will draw me in, and they’re kinda irrelevant anyway, as I go by author and/or word of mouth.

    Reply
  29. The only time I think I’ve ever bought a book because the cover was drop dead gorgeous was when I bought My Philippe, by Barbara Miller, which has a sort of blond Rupert Penry-Jones red-jacketed British Army Officer on the cover (some years before Mr Jones was that well known outside Britain, which shows a certain foresight, I think). It was just irresistible, and the covers for The Guardian and Dearest Max weren’t bad either. Alas, I do not know the artist’s name.
    I bought all three and still have them. They turned out to be great reads too.
    In general, however, a bad cover will put me off more than a good cover will draw me in, and they’re kinda irrelevant anyway, as I go by author and/or word of mouth.

    Reply
  30. The only time I think I’ve ever bought a book because the cover was drop dead gorgeous was when I bought My Philippe, by Barbara Miller, which has a sort of blond Rupert Penry-Jones red-jacketed British Army Officer on the cover (some years before Mr Jones was that well known outside Britain, which shows a certain foresight, I think). It was just irresistible, and the covers for The Guardian and Dearest Max weren’t bad either. Alas, I do not know the artist’s name.
    I bought all three and still have them. They turned out to be great reads too.
    In general, however, a bad cover will put me off more than a good cover will draw me in, and they’re kinda irrelevant anyway, as I go by author and/or word of mouth.

    Reply
  31. I hate clinch covers, though the step-back art is OK. Given the choice, I’d never buy a book with a clinch cover.
    First I look for an author whose work I have enjoyed. I have been alerted to new (to me) authors through this blog and I also look for them. Then I look at covers and read blurbs to see if the story line is interesting.
    I agree about the British covers being more accurate and beautiful. Perhaps the publishers don’t think American readers care about that sort of thing; after all we do buy the books with their current styles.

    Reply
  32. I hate clinch covers, though the step-back art is OK. Given the choice, I’d never buy a book with a clinch cover.
    First I look for an author whose work I have enjoyed. I have been alerted to new (to me) authors through this blog and I also look for them. Then I look at covers and read blurbs to see if the story line is interesting.
    I agree about the British covers being more accurate and beautiful. Perhaps the publishers don’t think American readers care about that sort of thing; after all we do buy the books with their current styles.

    Reply
  33. I hate clinch covers, though the step-back art is OK. Given the choice, I’d never buy a book with a clinch cover.
    First I look for an author whose work I have enjoyed. I have been alerted to new (to me) authors through this blog and I also look for them. Then I look at covers and read blurbs to see if the story line is interesting.
    I agree about the British covers being more accurate and beautiful. Perhaps the publishers don’t think American readers care about that sort of thing; after all we do buy the books with their current styles.

    Reply
  34. I hate clinch covers, though the step-back art is OK. Given the choice, I’d never buy a book with a clinch cover.
    First I look for an author whose work I have enjoyed. I have been alerted to new (to me) authors through this blog and I also look for them. Then I look at covers and read blurbs to see if the story line is interesting.
    I agree about the British covers being more accurate and beautiful. Perhaps the publishers don’t think American readers care about that sort of thing; after all we do buy the books with their current styles.

    Reply
  35. I hate clinch covers, though the step-back art is OK. Given the choice, I’d never buy a book with a clinch cover.
    First I look for an author whose work I have enjoyed. I have been alerted to new (to me) authors through this blog and I also look for them. Then I look at covers and read blurbs to see if the story line is interesting.
    I agree about the British covers being more accurate and beautiful. Perhaps the publishers don’t think American readers care about that sort of thing; after all we do buy the books with their current styles.

    Reply
  36. I definitely agree with Sherrie about buying books in spite of rather than because of the covers, but how is the Marketing department to know the difference? They simply pat themselves on the back and say “we told you so — women love clinch covers and historically inaccurate clothing/hairstyles.”
    A beautiful cover can make me stop as I scan the shelves in the bookstore. I then read the first chapter to see if I like the author’s voice. If I don’t, the book goes back no matter how much I like the cover.
    Going by the covers in the CafePress cover contest, inspirationals have had some of the most beautiful covers recently. Not sure why straight romance can’t do as well.

    Reply
  37. I definitely agree with Sherrie about buying books in spite of rather than because of the covers, but how is the Marketing department to know the difference? They simply pat themselves on the back and say “we told you so — women love clinch covers and historically inaccurate clothing/hairstyles.”
    A beautiful cover can make me stop as I scan the shelves in the bookstore. I then read the first chapter to see if I like the author’s voice. If I don’t, the book goes back no matter how much I like the cover.
    Going by the covers in the CafePress cover contest, inspirationals have had some of the most beautiful covers recently. Not sure why straight romance can’t do as well.

    Reply
  38. I definitely agree with Sherrie about buying books in spite of rather than because of the covers, but how is the Marketing department to know the difference? They simply pat themselves on the back and say “we told you so — women love clinch covers and historically inaccurate clothing/hairstyles.”
    A beautiful cover can make me stop as I scan the shelves in the bookstore. I then read the first chapter to see if I like the author’s voice. If I don’t, the book goes back no matter how much I like the cover.
    Going by the covers in the CafePress cover contest, inspirationals have had some of the most beautiful covers recently. Not sure why straight romance can’t do as well.

    Reply
  39. I definitely agree with Sherrie about buying books in spite of rather than because of the covers, but how is the Marketing department to know the difference? They simply pat themselves on the back and say “we told you so — women love clinch covers and historically inaccurate clothing/hairstyles.”
    A beautiful cover can make me stop as I scan the shelves in the bookstore. I then read the first chapter to see if I like the author’s voice. If I don’t, the book goes back no matter how much I like the cover.
    Going by the covers in the CafePress cover contest, inspirationals have had some of the most beautiful covers recently. Not sure why straight romance can’t do as well.

    Reply
  40. I definitely agree with Sherrie about buying books in spite of rather than because of the covers, but how is the Marketing department to know the difference? They simply pat themselves on the back and say “we told you so — women love clinch covers and historically inaccurate clothing/hairstyles.”
    A beautiful cover can make me stop as I scan the shelves in the bookstore. I then read the first chapter to see if I like the author’s voice. If I don’t, the book goes back no matter how much I like the cover.
    Going by the covers in the CafePress cover contest, inspirationals have had some of the most beautiful covers recently. Not sure why straight romance can’t do as well.

    Reply
  41. Janice, I can’t find an online image for My Philippe. Do you know of one?
    Susan, I agree about the inspirationals. Because they’re not striving for sexy, they can be much better ROMANCE covers, IMO.
    Then, the erotic books can sometimes be better than romance novels at doing sexy.
    But I gather the naked back, as with Loretta’s lovely cover on the right, sells very well, so it hits some chord with women.
    I do find it very interesting, because you’d think a naked man’s back would work even better, but I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to know what deep, dark emotional response is triggered by a woman’s back.
    Is it because it’s not as overtly sexual as breasts, or even legs? It’s not directly sexual, and yet it’s a very sensitive area. Very erotic for many people.
    So it’s sexy but unthreatening?
    Jo

    Reply
  42. Janice, I can’t find an online image for My Philippe. Do you know of one?
    Susan, I agree about the inspirationals. Because they’re not striving for sexy, they can be much better ROMANCE covers, IMO.
    Then, the erotic books can sometimes be better than romance novels at doing sexy.
    But I gather the naked back, as with Loretta’s lovely cover on the right, sells very well, so it hits some chord with women.
    I do find it very interesting, because you’d think a naked man’s back would work even better, but I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to know what deep, dark emotional response is triggered by a woman’s back.
    Is it because it’s not as overtly sexual as breasts, or even legs? It’s not directly sexual, and yet it’s a very sensitive area. Very erotic for many people.
    So it’s sexy but unthreatening?
    Jo

    Reply
  43. Janice, I can’t find an online image for My Philippe. Do you know of one?
    Susan, I agree about the inspirationals. Because they’re not striving for sexy, they can be much better ROMANCE covers, IMO.
    Then, the erotic books can sometimes be better than romance novels at doing sexy.
    But I gather the naked back, as with Loretta’s lovely cover on the right, sells very well, so it hits some chord with women.
    I do find it very interesting, because you’d think a naked man’s back would work even better, but I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to know what deep, dark emotional response is triggered by a woman’s back.
    Is it because it’s not as overtly sexual as breasts, or even legs? It’s not directly sexual, and yet it’s a very sensitive area. Very erotic for many people.
    So it’s sexy but unthreatening?
    Jo

    Reply
  44. Janice, I can’t find an online image for My Philippe. Do you know of one?
    Susan, I agree about the inspirationals. Because they’re not striving for sexy, they can be much better ROMANCE covers, IMO.
    Then, the erotic books can sometimes be better than romance novels at doing sexy.
    But I gather the naked back, as with Loretta’s lovely cover on the right, sells very well, so it hits some chord with women.
    I do find it very interesting, because you’d think a naked man’s back would work even better, but I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to know what deep, dark emotional response is triggered by a woman’s back.
    Is it because it’s not as overtly sexual as breasts, or even legs? It’s not directly sexual, and yet it’s a very sensitive area. Very erotic for many people.
    So it’s sexy but unthreatening?
    Jo

    Reply
  45. Janice, I can’t find an online image for My Philippe. Do you know of one?
    Susan, I agree about the inspirationals. Because they’re not striving for sexy, they can be much better ROMANCE covers, IMO.
    Then, the erotic books can sometimes be better than romance novels at doing sexy.
    But I gather the naked back, as with Loretta’s lovely cover on the right, sells very well, so it hits some chord with women.
    I do find it very interesting, because you’d think a naked man’s back would work even better, but I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to know what deep, dark emotional response is triggered by a woman’s back.
    Is it because it’s not as overtly sexual as breasts, or even legs? It’s not directly sexual, and yet it’s a very sensitive area. Very erotic for many people.
    So it’s sexy but unthreatening?
    Jo

    Reply
  46. Jo, I’m sending Sherrie a scan of that cover, so she can forward it to you. Easier than hunting for it online 🙂
    Some say he actually looks a bit more like a young George Peppard. Whatever. He’s gorgeous.

    Reply
  47. Jo, I’m sending Sherrie a scan of that cover, so she can forward it to you. Easier than hunting for it online 🙂
    Some say he actually looks a bit more like a young George Peppard. Whatever. He’s gorgeous.

    Reply
  48. Jo, I’m sending Sherrie a scan of that cover, so she can forward it to you. Easier than hunting for it online 🙂
    Some say he actually looks a bit more like a young George Peppard. Whatever. He’s gorgeous.

    Reply
  49. Jo, I’m sending Sherrie a scan of that cover, so she can forward it to you. Easier than hunting for it online 🙂
    Some say he actually looks a bit more like a young George Peppard. Whatever. He’s gorgeous.

    Reply
  50. Jo, I’m sending Sherrie a scan of that cover, so she can forward it to you. Easier than hunting for it online 🙂
    Some say he actually looks a bit more like a young George Peppard. Whatever. He’s gorgeous.

    Reply
  51. Thanks for the cover pic, Janice. He is good looking, and I love covers with men in reasonably accurate uniforms. I don’t know why there aren’t more — where appropriate, that is.
    Jo

    Reply
  52. Thanks for the cover pic, Janice. He is good looking, and I love covers with men in reasonably accurate uniforms. I don’t know why there aren’t more — where appropriate, that is.
    Jo

    Reply
  53. Thanks for the cover pic, Janice. He is good looking, and I love covers with men in reasonably accurate uniforms. I don’t know why there aren’t more — where appropriate, that is.
    Jo

    Reply
  54. Thanks for the cover pic, Janice. He is good looking, and I love covers with men in reasonably accurate uniforms. I don’t know why there aren’t more — where appropriate, that is.
    Jo

    Reply
  55. Thanks for the cover pic, Janice. He is good looking, and I love covers with men in reasonably accurate uniforms. I don’t know why there aren’t more — where appropriate, that is.
    Jo

    Reply
  56. From Sherrie:
    Shall we get into a “purist” debate, then? *g* The cover of My Phillipe was lovely, and the hero is gorgeous (IMO he looks a bit like Lee Majors), but oh, what he’s doing to those reins! No self-respecting military horseman would handle the reins of his mount in such a ham-fisted way. He isn’t even holding the reins properly!
    But I’m just being persnickety. It’s a joke the way they depict horseback riders on book covers. No matter how talented the cover artist, they don’t know about proper horsemanship or horse equipment. This results in some howlingly ludicrous covers if you are a horse purist. But hey, 95% of the reading public won’t know or care. I find it hilarious that history purists are always nitpicking covers for errors in clothing styles, but nobody notices when a gladiator is riding in a cowboy saddle or that the artist has made up a weird contraption that’s supposed pass for a bridle! LOL! And let’s face it–the marketing department doesn’t care about historical accuracy. They care about covers that sell.

    Reply
  57. From Sherrie:
    Shall we get into a “purist” debate, then? *g* The cover of My Phillipe was lovely, and the hero is gorgeous (IMO he looks a bit like Lee Majors), but oh, what he’s doing to those reins! No self-respecting military horseman would handle the reins of his mount in such a ham-fisted way. He isn’t even holding the reins properly!
    But I’m just being persnickety. It’s a joke the way they depict horseback riders on book covers. No matter how talented the cover artist, they don’t know about proper horsemanship or horse equipment. This results in some howlingly ludicrous covers if you are a horse purist. But hey, 95% of the reading public won’t know or care. I find it hilarious that history purists are always nitpicking covers for errors in clothing styles, but nobody notices when a gladiator is riding in a cowboy saddle or that the artist has made up a weird contraption that’s supposed pass for a bridle! LOL! And let’s face it–the marketing department doesn’t care about historical accuracy. They care about covers that sell.

    Reply
  58. From Sherrie:
    Shall we get into a “purist” debate, then? *g* The cover of My Phillipe was lovely, and the hero is gorgeous (IMO he looks a bit like Lee Majors), but oh, what he’s doing to those reins! No self-respecting military horseman would handle the reins of his mount in such a ham-fisted way. He isn’t even holding the reins properly!
    But I’m just being persnickety. It’s a joke the way they depict horseback riders on book covers. No matter how talented the cover artist, they don’t know about proper horsemanship or horse equipment. This results in some howlingly ludicrous covers if you are a horse purist. But hey, 95% of the reading public won’t know or care. I find it hilarious that history purists are always nitpicking covers for errors in clothing styles, but nobody notices when a gladiator is riding in a cowboy saddle or that the artist has made up a weird contraption that’s supposed pass for a bridle! LOL! And let’s face it–the marketing department doesn’t care about historical accuracy. They care about covers that sell.

    Reply
  59. From Sherrie:
    Shall we get into a “purist” debate, then? *g* The cover of My Phillipe was lovely, and the hero is gorgeous (IMO he looks a bit like Lee Majors), but oh, what he’s doing to those reins! No self-respecting military horseman would handle the reins of his mount in such a ham-fisted way. He isn’t even holding the reins properly!
    But I’m just being persnickety. It’s a joke the way they depict horseback riders on book covers. No matter how talented the cover artist, they don’t know about proper horsemanship or horse equipment. This results in some howlingly ludicrous covers if you are a horse purist. But hey, 95% of the reading public won’t know or care. I find it hilarious that history purists are always nitpicking covers for errors in clothing styles, but nobody notices when a gladiator is riding in a cowboy saddle or that the artist has made up a weird contraption that’s supposed pass for a bridle! LOL! And let’s face it–the marketing department doesn’t care about historical accuracy. They care about covers that sell.

    Reply
  60. From Sherrie:
    Shall we get into a “purist” debate, then? *g* The cover of My Phillipe was lovely, and the hero is gorgeous (IMO he looks a bit like Lee Majors), but oh, what he’s doing to those reins! No self-respecting military horseman would handle the reins of his mount in such a ham-fisted way. He isn’t even holding the reins properly!
    But I’m just being persnickety. It’s a joke the way they depict horseback riders on book covers. No matter how talented the cover artist, they don’t know about proper horsemanship or horse equipment. This results in some howlingly ludicrous covers if you are a horse purist. But hey, 95% of the reading public won’t know or care. I find it hilarious that history purists are always nitpicking covers for errors in clothing styles, but nobody notices when a gladiator is riding in a cowboy saddle or that the artist has made up a weird contraption that’s supposed pass for a bridle! LOL! And let’s face it–the marketing department doesn’t care about historical accuracy. They care about covers that sell.

    Reply
  61. This is my first time to post with you ladies. I used to get really upset at the clinch covers. Mostly because the character attributes did not match! The cover would show a large breasted lady with red hair, when in actuality, she was small and brunette. I was put off of some really great books because of the covers. I learned my lesson, now I buy my favorite authors (and usually who they recommend-I am picking up Eva Ibbotson today) regardless of the cover. Oh, I like the new lovely covers, like The Secret Wedding, and I do think a bare back is pretty sexy. However, I am not going to miss any more wonderful stories just because of an ugly cover. The only concession I make is that when I travel, I will not take a “bodice ripper” on the airplane! People look at you like you don’t have a brain in your head.

    Reply
  62. This is my first time to post with you ladies. I used to get really upset at the clinch covers. Mostly because the character attributes did not match! The cover would show a large breasted lady with red hair, when in actuality, she was small and brunette. I was put off of some really great books because of the covers. I learned my lesson, now I buy my favorite authors (and usually who they recommend-I am picking up Eva Ibbotson today) regardless of the cover. Oh, I like the new lovely covers, like The Secret Wedding, and I do think a bare back is pretty sexy. However, I am not going to miss any more wonderful stories just because of an ugly cover. The only concession I make is that when I travel, I will not take a “bodice ripper” on the airplane! People look at you like you don’t have a brain in your head.

    Reply
  63. This is my first time to post with you ladies. I used to get really upset at the clinch covers. Mostly because the character attributes did not match! The cover would show a large breasted lady with red hair, when in actuality, she was small and brunette. I was put off of some really great books because of the covers. I learned my lesson, now I buy my favorite authors (and usually who they recommend-I am picking up Eva Ibbotson today) regardless of the cover. Oh, I like the new lovely covers, like The Secret Wedding, and I do think a bare back is pretty sexy. However, I am not going to miss any more wonderful stories just because of an ugly cover. The only concession I make is that when I travel, I will not take a “bodice ripper” on the airplane! People look at you like you don’t have a brain in your head.

    Reply
  64. This is my first time to post with you ladies. I used to get really upset at the clinch covers. Mostly because the character attributes did not match! The cover would show a large breasted lady with red hair, when in actuality, she was small and brunette. I was put off of some really great books because of the covers. I learned my lesson, now I buy my favorite authors (and usually who they recommend-I am picking up Eva Ibbotson today) regardless of the cover. Oh, I like the new lovely covers, like The Secret Wedding, and I do think a bare back is pretty sexy. However, I am not going to miss any more wonderful stories just because of an ugly cover. The only concession I make is that when I travel, I will not take a “bodice ripper” on the airplane! People look at you like you don’t have a brain in your head.

    Reply
  65. This is my first time to post with you ladies. I used to get really upset at the clinch covers. Mostly because the character attributes did not match! The cover would show a large breasted lady with red hair, when in actuality, she was small and brunette. I was put off of some really great books because of the covers. I learned my lesson, now I buy my favorite authors (and usually who they recommend-I am picking up Eva Ibbotson today) regardless of the cover. Oh, I like the new lovely covers, like The Secret Wedding, and I do think a bare back is pretty sexy. However, I am not going to miss any more wonderful stories just because of an ugly cover. The only concession I make is that when I travel, I will not take a “bodice ripper” on the airplane! People look at you like you don’t have a brain in your head.

    Reply
  66. Welcome to Word Wenches, Janie. 🙂
    You’re right that we miss a lot of good books if we let covers dominate us.
    There probably should be a board or blog for alerts about fabulous books with terrible covers.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  67. Welcome to Word Wenches, Janie. 🙂
    You’re right that we miss a lot of good books if we let covers dominate us.
    There probably should be a board or blog for alerts about fabulous books with terrible covers.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  68. Welcome to Word Wenches, Janie. 🙂
    You’re right that we miss a lot of good books if we let covers dominate us.
    There probably should be a board or blog for alerts about fabulous books with terrible covers.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  69. Welcome to Word Wenches, Janie. 🙂
    You’re right that we miss a lot of good books if we let covers dominate us.
    There probably should be a board or blog for alerts about fabulous books with terrible covers.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  70. Welcome to Word Wenches, Janie. 🙂
    You’re right that we miss a lot of good books if we let covers dominate us.
    There probably should be a board or blog for alerts about fabulous books with terrible covers.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  71. Now I’m curious about the cover to “My Philippe” and want to see it. Is there anyway to post it here?
    And just wanted to make one last comment: One of the reasons the clinch covers often don’t work for me has nothing to do with the shirt-open-to-the-waist in an era when men’s shirts didn’t open that far or Regency women with eye make-up more appropriate to a ’70’s girl group. What bothers me is the fact that the hero all too often looks dyspeptic. I know it’s hard to capture passion in a facial expression, but I do wish the artist didn’t make the hero look as if he were more interested in an antacid than the heroine.

    Reply
  72. Now I’m curious about the cover to “My Philippe” and want to see it. Is there anyway to post it here?
    And just wanted to make one last comment: One of the reasons the clinch covers often don’t work for me has nothing to do with the shirt-open-to-the-waist in an era when men’s shirts didn’t open that far or Regency women with eye make-up more appropriate to a ’70’s girl group. What bothers me is the fact that the hero all too often looks dyspeptic. I know it’s hard to capture passion in a facial expression, but I do wish the artist didn’t make the hero look as if he were more interested in an antacid than the heroine.

    Reply
  73. Now I’m curious about the cover to “My Philippe” and want to see it. Is there anyway to post it here?
    And just wanted to make one last comment: One of the reasons the clinch covers often don’t work for me has nothing to do with the shirt-open-to-the-waist in an era when men’s shirts didn’t open that far or Regency women with eye make-up more appropriate to a ’70’s girl group. What bothers me is the fact that the hero all too often looks dyspeptic. I know it’s hard to capture passion in a facial expression, but I do wish the artist didn’t make the hero look as if he were more interested in an antacid than the heroine.

    Reply
  74. Now I’m curious about the cover to “My Philippe” and want to see it. Is there anyway to post it here?
    And just wanted to make one last comment: One of the reasons the clinch covers often don’t work for me has nothing to do with the shirt-open-to-the-waist in an era when men’s shirts didn’t open that far or Regency women with eye make-up more appropriate to a ’70’s girl group. What bothers me is the fact that the hero all too often looks dyspeptic. I know it’s hard to capture passion in a facial expression, but I do wish the artist didn’t make the hero look as if he were more interested in an antacid than the heroine.

    Reply
  75. Now I’m curious about the cover to “My Philippe” and want to see it. Is there anyway to post it here?
    And just wanted to make one last comment: One of the reasons the clinch covers often don’t work for me has nothing to do with the shirt-open-to-the-waist in an era when men’s shirts didn’t open that far or Regency women with eye make-up more appropriate to a ’70’s girl group. What bothers me is the fact that the hero all too often looks dyspeptic. I know it’s hard to capture passion in a facial expression, but I do wish the artist didn’t make the hero look as if he were more interested in an antacid than the heroine.

    Reply
  76. Susan, Sherrie can probably forward the cover to you.
    Sherrie, I know he’s not holding the reins correctly. I suspect some details of his outfit are not realistic either (those snowy white trousers, for instance, when he’s clearly in the middle of some kind of incident).
    But who cares? It’s an eyecatcher, which is what a cover is supposed to do — bring the buyer’s attention to a (hopefully) good read.
    For some great reconstructions of male regency garb, check out This Charming Man Beau Brummell, with James Purefoy. The clothes look wonderful. Evidently however, nobody researched underlinen because they show the Beau going commando 🙂
    I can’t recommend it as riveting drama, becuase they really made it all rather dull, but there are some scenes where the costuming and art direction are all one needs to enjoy it.

    Reply
  77. Susan, Sherrie can probably forward the cover to you.
    Sherrie, I know he’s not holding the reins correctly. I suspect some details of his outfit are not realistic either (those snowy white trousers, for instance, when he’s clearly in the middle of some kind of incident).
    But who cares? It’s an eyecatcher, which is what a cover is supposed to do — bring the buyer’s attention to a (hopefully) good read.
    For some great reconstructions of male regency garb, check out This Charming Man Beau Brummell, with James Purefoy. The clothes look wonderful. Evidently however, nobody researched underlinen because they show the Beau going commando 🙂
    I can’t recommend it as riveting drama, becuase they really made it all rather dull, but there are some scenes where the costuming and art direction are all one needs to enjoy it.

    Reply
  78. Susan, Sherrie can probably forward the cover to you.
    Sherrie, I know he’s not holding the reins correctly. I suspect some details of his outfit are not realistic either (those snowy white trousers, for instance, when he’s clearly in the middle of some kind of incident).
    But who cares? It’s an eyecatcher, which is what a cover is supposed to do — bring the buyer’s attention to a (hopefully) good read.
    For some great reconstructions of male regency garb, check out This Charming Man Beau Brummell, with James Purefoy. The clothes look wonderful. Evidently however, nobody researched underlinen because they show the Beau going commando 🙂
    I can’t recommend it as riveting drama, becuase they really made it all rather dull, but there are some scenes where the costuming and art direction are all one needs to enjoy it.

    Reply
  79. Susan, Sherrie can probably forward the cover to you.
    Sherrie, I know he’s not holding the reins correctly. I suspect some details of his outfit are not realistic either (those snowy white trousers, for instance, when he’s clearly in the middle of some kind of incident).
    But who cares? It’s an eyecatcher, which is what a cover is supposed to do — bring the buyer’s attention to a (hopefully) good read.
    For some great reconstructions of male regency garb, check out This Charming Man Beau Brummell, with James Purefoy. The clothes look wonderful. Evidently however, nobody researched underlinen because they show the Beau going commando 🙂
    I can’t recommend it as riveting drama, becuase they really made it all rather dull, but there are some scenes where the costuming and art direction are all one needs to enjoy it.

    Reply
  80. Susan, Sherrie can probably forward the cover to you.
    Sherrie, I know he’s not holding the reins correctly. I suspect some details of his outfit are not realistic either (those snowy white trousers, for instance, when he’s clearly in the middle of some kind of incident).
    But who cares? It’s an eyecatcher, which is what a cover is supposed to do — bring the buyer’s attention to a (hopefully) good read.
    For some great reconstructions of male regency garb, check out This Charming Man Beau Brummell, with James Purefoy. The clothes look wonderful. Evidently however, nobody researched underlinen because they show the Beau going commando 🙂
    I can’t recommend it as riveting drama, becuase they really made it all rather dull, but there are some scenes where the costuming and art direction are all one needs to enjoy it.

    Reply

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