If you’ve looked at book covers lately, you may have noticed that often the men’s faces aren’t visible. They’re shown looking down, turning their backs, having only a partial face showing or having lost their heads completely.
Why is that?
Six pack abs and man chests sell books, but that’s not why the guys don’t have faces. I wouldn’t presume to speak for the other authors whose book covers you see here, only myself. But…
It boils down to this: it’s hard (and getting harder all the time) to find cover models with the appropriate expression. To hire a model and a photographer and shoot your own cover is hugely expensive. So, to keep covers affordable, my cover designers uses stock photography. To be a romance cover model, a guy needs a smoldering, come-hither expression. Most of the handsome, buff models on stock photography sites are too happy, too smiley. Or they have that obvious “model” look. Or they’re goofy.
And when you find the perfect guy with the perfect expression–he’s already on a gazillion other book covers.
So, while I would prefer to show the guy’s face, for practical reasons, I often go with a partial face or I cut off the guy’s head, and hope his ripped abs and the background will do the trick.
While we’re on the subject of abs and man chests…there are practical considerations, there, too. Yes, sex sells. But when you’re writing futuristic fiction about aliens and cyborgs, a white T-shirt or a tuxedo doesn’t fit the time or place. Attire eliminates many models from consideration.
For the record, I do have many books with full-face covers, because I do prefer to see a face. This past fall, I updated my Cy-Ops Cyborg Romance series book covers, switching from a couple (full-face female and partial face man) to a full-face man. It was a challenge to find the models I hadn’t already used!
See any book covers you like? Check out the books on Amazon:
Alien Mischief | Warlord Sky | Drago| Auric | Edge of Eon
Hunted by the Cyborg | Darak | Breeder
(UnderFyre will go on preorder later this month)
What do you think about headless man chest covers? Do you love ’em or hate ’em? You can tell me. It won’t hurt my feelings (much).