By J.A. (Julie) Kazimer
According to The Wall Street Journal (my go to for all bookie news. No, really. I only look at the pictures), “On the average, a book store browser spends eight seconds looking at the front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back cover.”
What does that mean for an author? Well, chances are if you are an urban fantasy or paranormal romance writer, your book cover will feature a chick dressed in black leather, even if your story takes place in the middle of the desert.
Don’t get me wrong. Like any girl I love tight black leather and heels. I often spend my nights dressed in the form fitting stuff and carrying extremely heavy weapons halfway tucked in my pants.
What girl doesn’t?
And we're not even discussing how one washes black leather catsuits. A secret only a dry cleaner knows.
But I digress (something I seem to do a lot around you people), my point is do these dark, sexy covers do more harm than good for authors and readers alike.
As a reader have you ever hid the cover of the book you were currently enjoying?
Ever felt ashamed of a book because of the hot chick in leather on the cover or the muscle bound hunk smeared in oil (baby not olive, I assume)?
Or have you ever picked up a book strictly because of the hot chick on the cover? Did the tale live up to the artwork?
Authors complain a lot about their covers, from little things like my main character has red hair and the woman on the cover is a blonde, to a publisher actually changing the race of the character on a cover in order to sell books to a wider demographic, a disgusting practice, but one done more often than we know.
So my question to you, my writer/readers is, do hot chicks in leather sell books? And what are some of your cover art experiences, both good and bad?