So lately I’ve been reading a lot of books. That’s not anything new for me. I love reading. And if it’s a romance novel, then I like it even more. But I have to tell you a little pet peeve I have. The cover of the book. Some of them are spot on and absolutely great, others not so much.
One of the things I dislike most is when it’s fairly obvious the cover designer didn’t actually read the book. Now I know that’s not really his/her job but some of them really need to pay closer attention to the details the author has specified. Maybe not every little detail, like the upturned nose or the pointed chin of one of the characters but how about hair color? Yeah, hair color drives me nuts when the author makes it a point to mention the blonde locks or the shining black tresses. And then the cover has the complete opposite.
Another peeve, when the cover art reveals something that should be left unknown until later in the book. Or just shows a scene from the end. I just recently read a story about a woman who gets pregnant by the hero and the book is riddled with angst as he lost his wife and baby years back. It was a great story. But the cover showed a cowboy holding a baby, an obvious girl with her pink outfit. But in the book the baby only makes an appearance in the epilogue. And they spend most of the story with the heroine saying she knows the baby is a boy. Okay, you spoiled that one for me.
Or how about the books where the heroine gets pregnant near the end but the cover actually shows a very pregnant woman. Or you see the heroine in her wedding dress but that only happens at the end also. Okay, I don’t need to see the moment they meet, but at least give me something from somewhere in the middle, not the last scene.
Next issue: chest hair. I know this is a big debate. Yes or no and how much. Well, I will admit I am on the side of the fence that likes chest hair. Not just likes it but loves to have my heroines twirling their fingers over it very often. And I respect those who prefer their heroes to look like prepubescent boys with nary a hair in sight. To each his own. But back to the covers again. I just shake my head when I see a cowboy or military man on the cover with his bare, gleaming waxed chest for all to enjoy. Oh, I enjoy it too. I’m woman enough to admit it. But really… do you truly think this rough, tough guy has the time in his busy day to shave, wax or depilate on a daily basis while going out and rounding up cattle or fighting in the jungles of some foreign country? I’m not buying it.
Unfortunately for authors, not all of them have a total say in what the cover looks like. Maybe that’s one pro of being self-published, you have a bit more control over making the cover appropriate for the book. I only hope one day I will have the chance to have a cover of my own. Until then, I’ll keep drooling over the sexy covers of other people’s books.