Sunday, January 20, 2013

The headless Torso cover model

I thought about putting a slew of cover images on here, but I thought I'd just make one of my own! I have had this conversation on a number of occasions with my friends on this phenomenon of headless torsos. Back in the old romance days, we knew the cover models. (Fabio, I guess, being the rock star of them all). For quite a few years, we've been bombarded with headless figures.

With the exception of Paul Marron who has modeled for a number of covers.
He gives good face.

I have friends who do not want a head on their man. They want his looks to be left up to their imagination. I agree that sometimes the wrong model can ruin a cover if it doesn't fit with the main character. On the other hand, I've seen some EXCELLENT models that draw you in, and make you want to read that book. Make you wish he could pop right off that cover and come to life while reading.

Traditionally published authors have no say so with their covers. There may be a rare few who can give their input, but it's left up to the cover artist. This may also apply with Indies who hire a cover artist, although they can at least negotiate models if they work with someone good.

The real deal is that most covers are obtained from stock websites. Buying exclusive rights to a photograph is $$$  If you have ever visited a stock website, you'll quickly find that there are not a lot of options to choose from. Finding the right pose, the right imagery you are trying to project, AND fitting that with the perfect model? Almost impossible.

Now the guy above is one of the most popular Indie cover models; I've seen his head everywhere. Yes, I own some of his images and if I use them it will be in such a way that no one else has. I have to say I'm not having any huge objections to that image above...

Except maybe the white spandex. Brings back memories of David Bowie in Labyrinth.

For me, there's nothing more engaging than a riveting gaze or bone structure. Even if part of the face is obscured and all you see are the eyes, jaw and a helmet, I'm good with that! I personally enjoy a good cover with a face, because the headless torsos do absolutely nothing for me. Even if there's just a glimmer of a profile, It's better than nothing.

In the future, I do plan to publish some books that may call for a man to be on the cover. I will do my very best to do justice to these covers (eek, I almost wrote Justus). I realize the headless torsos sell, but I don't design my cover for the sole purpose of sales. Part of the design that goes in is capturing the essence of the story and characters.

Lords of the Underworld is a series where you get a glimpse of the face. It may not match my image, but that's what happens There is a danger in the face-on pose because you see everything and some people get a very clear image of who they want to imagine. But honestly, I'd take it any day over the headless torsos only because I'm so tired of seeing them.

I'm also tired of seeing the same male models used for cover art because of lack of options. Please, please photographers out there! Go to a Gold's Gym, find us some men and give us worthy stock art! You can do it!!!

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