Mr. Male Protagonist, Why Do You Growl?

Romance readers will know about this. Erotica fans are familiar with it. Even Young Adult lovers have seen this occasionally in their beloved innocent books.

 

Growling male protagonists

 

A reaction from a male character in fiction novels triggered mostly by jealousy and / or approval.  But why?

Let´s do a quick run down on living beings that growl

 

  • animals

 

That´s it. Growling is a low, guttural vocalization produced by predatory animals as an aggressive warning but can also be found in other contexts such as playful behaviors or mating ( thanks Wiki * wink * )

So, why are we reading about CEOs, lumberjacks, bad boys and the hot quarterbacks in contemp. romance / young adult / erotica novels growling when it´s clearing an animalistic behaviorism?

 

 

(Warning: Interesting short fun fact ahead)

If you hadn´t known already, there are similarities between human body language and animal behavior. It´s actually interesting to know how human body language resembles the non verbal communication of animals. We can be cocky like cats, we signal aggression like dogs by baring our teeth and we gesture like apes. ( end of fun fact )

And this is okay. To describe a man´s movement by comparing him to a panther isn´t a problem. Sounding like a panther is.

Do we growl? Like actually growl? And what has authors thinking growling is an acceptable reaction? And why is it only male characters who growl?

I´m one of those readers who can get completely lost in a book. Once I´m invested then that´s it- I´m all in. I´m also the type that reads and fails to see someone else´s logic no matter how poetic it may be.

 

“He let out a growl…”

 

A line that has come up in almost all of my novels that have territorial Heroes. Aah, that word: Territorial. Another word that´s often associated with male protagonists. They are territorial. Sure. Why the hell not, right? It´s supposedly hot to read about a guy growling his way in to a woman´s knickers.

10 years, people…. I´ve spent 10 years of questioning this in romance novels and have only recently asked myself what I would do if a male would growl near me. Would this even happen in real life?

 

My first thought and facial expression would be, without a doubt, this, should a man ever growl in public:

 

The thought alone of the husbutt growling his approval when seeing me in a dress would definitely earn him this reaction from me:

 

And should he ever growl because he´s jealous then I might have to use physical education:

 

This is not to say that growling should be banned from all modern romance literature. Growling works beautifully for fictional characters in paranormal romances and fantasy novels or (!!!) for contemporary romances that involve male characters who´ve once been feral children that have had been forced by nature to adapt to wildlife and animals- Technically, they´re allowed to growl.

“I heard a low threatening growl from somewhere in the room. It was him.”

 

Me when I read that line in a contemp. romance novel

 

So, my question is:

Mr. Male Protagonist,

Why do you growl? Why not just smile with pride, use a great comeback line,.. or how about moaning? If you´re going to do something during your less animalistic sex then you shouldn´t growl.


QUESTION Of The Day:

Am I alone with my thoughts? Do men these days growl? Have you ever heard of a female character in novels growl? What are your thoughts? Does a growling male protagonist bother you? What do you think about growling in general?

Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below. ❤


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Amusing Romance / Erotica Covers & Titles

ATTENTION

What you are about to read contains sexual content, possible explicit language and other adult things. This post may not be suitable for visitors under 18. In short: Go away if you´re under age. 

 

A book is a book, no matter what´s inside or how the package looks like, right?

Said no book loving person EVER.

It´s no secret that romance / erotica books have the worst covers and sometimes even the most absurd titles. The only good part is you don´t have to go on an intensive book hunt when looking for a romantic or even an erotica novel. Because one can spot them from a mile away.

Covers for some romances and many erotica books have the unbelievable power to scream

 

“HERE! OVER HERE! WE OFFER SEX AND LOTS OF IT”

 

Is that a bad thing? It depends on the reader and what they´re looking for. But there are, without a doubt, horribly amusing book titles for the genre. Covers are one thing, titles another. Combine the two any you can have something explosive.

Would you like to know what I want? A romance novel that doesn´t have a cover image and title that states the obvious. I´d like for once to look at a cover and title without having an inner field trip.  I guess the book Gods think I´m asking for too much.

 

 

I might as well tell you I wouldn´t purchase any of these books based on the title and cover image ( unless they´ve been recommended by my trusted book chics ) Why? Get ready.


 

 

 

#1   `Filling Her Up` & `Knocking Her Up`- Jordan Marie & Jenika Snow

First Reaction:    Howling with laughter

First Thought:    I need a full tank and a baby.

Let´s Talk:   There is a positive side to all this. At least the stud muffins aren´t sporting any outdated tribal tattoos. That´s about all the positive I can come up with.

 

 

 

#2    `Hate Me` – L.P. Lovell

Hate Me

First Reaction:   WTF face

First Thought:    I´ll hate you with pleasure.

Let´s Talk:   Is that a rose in the background? A rose and a cigar smoking snuggle bunny begging to hate him? Is this supposed to change the color of my panties?

 

 

 

#3   `Don´t Look` –  Jessa Kane

 don´t look

First Reaction:    Confused

First Thought:    But how…. Oh nevermind. Just take your panties off. I´ll sniff you out.

Let´s Talk:   Okay, so the cover image is not too shabby. Pretty and coy cover model covering her boobs. The undies aren´t cutting off the blood flow… It´s a decent image. But the title and tagline? Does this mean there´s someone in the room who has to watch while Miss Shy Tits is getting down to business alone? I´m confused.

 

 

 

#4    `Prom King` –  Penny Wylder

 

Prom King

First Reaction:    HOWLING

First Thought:    That´s one fit High Schooler.

Let´s Talk:   You´ve got to be fucking kidding me with that cover and title. A 20- 30 yr old Prom King? Roses?! Rings? For fuck´s sake. I can´t stop laughing.

 

 

 

#5     ` UnScrew Me `  –  Hayley Faiman

unscrew me

First Reaction:    Uuhm…..

First Thought:    I have questions.

Let´s Talk:   Screw you = Fuck you. Screw Me = Fuck me. Let´s screw = Let´s fuck.

UnScrew me = ?  How does one unfuck someone? Unless the person is a bottle. Oh! Now I get it. Being a bottle is probably some hipster term for a lame person. “You bottle, you!” In that case, he can be unscrewed. Uhm, is oily Olly so hot that his mere presence causes things to burn in purple  flames?

 

 

 

#6    `Giving Her My Baby` –  Alexa Riley

Giving Her My baby

First Reaction:    Eye roll

First Thought:    Tell yourself that and you might believe it yourself one day.

Let´s Talk:    Judging by the look on the guy´s face he´s regretting the moment he didn´t “pull out” as the tagline so kindly states. I bet the guy is wishing she would have just swallowed.

 

 

 

#7   `Rubbed Raw` –  Bella Jeanisse

 

rubbed raw

First Reaction:    DYING from laughing so hard

First Thought:    I bet the drumsticks she used feel the same.

Let´s Talk:  Hands down- this is the most amusing title I´ve ever seen. Let´s ignore the half assed cover image for a second here. Rubbed raw? And the title for the second installment will be ” Plucking Splinters From The Beaver” including an unforgettable tagline “She couldn´t find a carrot.”

 

 

 

 

# 8    `Driving Whiskey Wild` –  Melissa Foster

driving whisky wild

First Reaction:     What the….

First Thought:     Don´t do it, Whiskey! Don´t jump!

Let´s Talk:    The cover model looks like he wants to commit suicide – With open pants. I assume it isn´t the author´s intention for her readers to think her character model is in so much misery but.. give me a fucking break. Either take em off or button up. Ain´t no one got time for an open button. It looks like he forgot to redo his pants after a quick wee.

 

 

#9    `Lick` –  Kylie Scott

 

lick

First Reaction ( in 2013 ):     Impressed

First Thought ( in 2013 ):     Someone gonna licky dicky in this one?

Let´s Talk:     Okay, so I actually read this one back when it was first published. Call it a sin done in my blogging beginner years. It´s a classic, though. To be honest- `Lick`wasn´t such a bad read. But the title has brought me so much joy over the years. To this day whenever one of my ex – co bloggers mention Kylie Scott I break out in a laughing fit and rename the book.

Come And Lick A Dick

Wanna Licky Dicky

Licks Away

Stage Lick

I can´t even remember if there was any oral going on in this book ( it´s been 7 years ) or if the head given was any good. But that title… and that brooding musician. Priceless.

 

 

 

#10    Decker´s Wood – Kirsty Dallas

decker´s wood

First Reaction:    Doing double take

First Thought:   I´m scared

Let´s Talk:    THIS is what happens when tribal tattoo guy puts a shirt on. He becomes Decker and has wood. I seriously can´t stop laughing. Can someone tell me if Decker is in the lumber business or if he just suffers from a permanent hard on?

 


 

On a lovely side note:

I have nothing against tribal tattoos. As much as I don´t want to admit it myself, I´ve been a victim of the tribal and tramp stamp tattoos. For those who have tribal / tramp stamp tattoos… I was simply pointing out that these body decorations are out of date ( as will rockabily / sailor / minimalistic tattoos will be in 3, 4, 5 years from now ) regardless how much you still like them ( or not ).
I am also a fan of roses of all colors and sizes.


 

Tell me- Which cover image / book title do you find the most amusing?

 

Many thanks to all who´ve read and appreciated this post. Sending you all my love. ❤

 

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Book Review- Midnight Caller by N.J. Cole

Book Description

Rebecca Summers enjoys pleasing herself with the curtains open. When a mysterious stranger calls to tell her that he is watching, fantasy becomes reality as she begins to perform for him. Following his instructions over the phone while he watches from afar, she finds herself craving more.

Oliver Durant has always been drawn to humans to exert the dominance and control his kind needs to feel alive. While secretly observing her and calling nightly, he can’t seem to get enough of Rebecca, whom he refers to as butterfly. His urges with her are stronger than the need to dominate, as he is driven to possess her in every way.

Both of their worlds are turned upside down when they finally meet and she agrees to enter into a Dominant/submissive relationship with her Midnight Caller

My Thoughts

Let´s keep this short and painless.

A slight waste of my time.

It´s really disappointing because I expected something completely different when I started reading `Midnight Caller` by author N.J. Cole. I expected a BDSM romance. A well written story that would knock me out of my panties. Well, I sure did get knocked out of my underwear- just not in a good way.

Some scenes were okay- even sexy as hell. But one tiny, little piece of info was NOT included in the book description and that killed the story for me. midnight caller

The moment I found out the Hero was an alien, I actually voiced a „ WTF?“ louder then I intended too. I don´t know about all the other readers who read Midnight Caller, but I wasn´t too extatic reading about an alien dominating. That was, in my opinion, far from sexy. If I wanted to read a sci-fi BDSM romance, I would have looked for one. But I didn´t, so why did I end up reading this book? Because someone forgot to mention the sci-fi part.

I see aliens as creatures who kidnap people at an unholy hour and experiment on them. OR….I just imagine Ridley Scott´s movie, Alien. Remember that scary piece of lump from outer space who used people as hosts or killed them, because…..that´s what aliens do? THAT`S how I see an alien. They don´t screw like Gods. So, no matter how hot the sexy scenes were…..I had such a hard time getting into the mindset I was supposed to go in. I cannot, for all that´s pink and fluffy, wrap my head around that one.

The characters, Rebecca and Oliver did´t do anything for me. Sure, I realized that what they had was supposed to be fantabulous and all, but I felt no connection to either of them, nor did I feel a connection between those characters. I blame it on the alien issue.

I can see why alot of readers loved this book. It WAS hot. It WAS unique. And it WAS out of this world. It was just too out-of-this-world for me. At the end….I didn´t like the whole thing.

If Oliver was a human this story would have been a tad better, but not much .

There is a second book available but I think I´ll pass.

Note to myself: For the future- double check if the book has aliens in it before buying.

Would I re-read this book? Uuhm, nope.

Would I recommend this book? I´m not sure. I´m leaning towards „no“.

 

The Cover- 2 stars ( The cover is too dark ((both old and new)). It´s not really eye- catchy either.)

The Story- 2 stars ( I can´t deal with aliens. That´s just too far away from anything I like.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( Where to start? Where to end? Totally 2 dimentional. Unlikable.)

My emotional state after finishing this read- Fed up.

I´m giving `Midnight Caller` by N.J. Cole 2 out of 5 stars.

stars17

You can purchase this book on Amazon.com by clicking here.

Ridiculous Book Sex

Alas, a subject I have been dying to write about. A topic that needs further discussion.

Sex in books.

Romance readers want to have a good time while reading. They want the heartache, the sappy moments, etc. If a romance has the whole package, including good sex scenes, then it´s a total win for us readers.

Reality has taught us that sex can be loads of fun ( If done right, of course. ) and reading about it in a book that has a drop-dead-gorgeous male protagonist in it makes the head theater much more fun.

When I´m reading an erotic romance I´m literally waiting for a good sex scene with great sex. You know- the mind-blowing kind. The kind of sex in books that take a reader to a complete new level of horniness. I´m not talking about reading a porn….I´m referring to a romance / erotica novel that has sex in it. ( okay….maybe erotica novels come pretty close to porn, or not. What do I know?!)

In my opinion – reading about sex cannot be compared to pornography because… Well, characters in books have background stories and go through emotional highs and lows. Porn doesn´t. Although, my husband disagrees with me on that one. Just the other day he tried to convince me that porn movies have an actual plot. * Hangs head * Romance novels keep it real to a certain extent.

ANYWAYS…. Back to book sex:
I bow before any author who writes about sex. Period. I cannot imagine how hard it is to write about 2 people screwing and gushing their feelings for each other. Some authors have so much talent in that department. I often ask myself if those scenes came from personal experience or if it´s just a thought up scene. Imagined. Either way…..I love extremely well written, fully described, sensual, intimate sex scenes in novels. Nothing makes me more happy to know someone put a lot of thought into a scene like that. It´s actually pretty cool if you think about it.

But then there are authors who just write about sex. You know…..the questionable kind. The kind that puts huge question marks on my panties instead of making them change their color.

Now- this is a subject we all can discuss to no end because everyone has a different opinion on what good sex is. Which is fine by me. We all have different tastes, right? I´m not judging anyone if they like to read about any type of bed sports. To each is their own. But in some cases ( no matter what kind of sex I´m talking about) the sex is too much to take in. It´s also almost tacky. Tasteless. 

Authors often over-do it with their sex scenes. I´m not talking about all authors. I´m only referring to 75% of self published writers who include sex in their romances.

I consider myself still young, with being 35. I´m practically living in the best years of my life. But not even I find it sexy to read about characters who screw at every given opportunity. I can´t, by all that´s holy, visualize a sex marathon that goes on and on and on without feeling some sort of mental exhaustion after a while.

You have to keep in mind that I´m 35, not 20. I have a hard time keeping up with fictional characters these days because all they want to do is have sex. Even if I wanted to, I couldn´t have as much sex as book characters have. It´s as if these fictional characters are trying to compete with rabbits.

I know that the stories I read ( especially in the romance/erotica world) aren´t meant to be realistic. Still…..cut me some slack here- At some point, a Heroine has to start walking like John Wayne after she´s been well screwed / shagged / fucked by the sex-God from down the road. I´d definitely need a weeks worth of bed rest if were a female protagonist from any sex loaded novel.

I live in Europe…which means people over here are confronted with sex on a daily basis in a healthy way. Sex is apart of life. No need to shut up about it.   Either people like it kinky, or they don´t. No one is utterly fazed or shocked over here. So, before anyone gives me the ” Prude” stamp- keep in mind that I´m as open-minded as anyone can be. You cannot shock me with sexual acts or dirty talk, or what-not. I just do not appreciate bad / too much sex in a book. That just distracts from the actual plot. Or a terrible dialogue, for that matter.

An author can make their characters as kinky as they want them to be…I still don´t think anyone or anything should have sex 20 times a day, as some authors LOVE to make their characters do. That just…..hurts to think about.

 

And, please, * slamming hands on table, leaning forward, giving the stern look*, what is it with the Dialogue during sex scenes? Has anyone noticed how the majority of romance / erotica heros do the ultimate „ You´re so wet for me“ line?

Or, wait! I got a better one!

“Come for me, baby“  *shaking head* Am I the only one who noticed those two sentences in almost EVERY romance / erotica novel lately?

It´s not the sentences alone that are terrible. It´s the fact that those sentences come up in every damn sex scene. Let´s say characters X and Y are having sex for the first time. And all of a sudden X says: „ Oh, you´re so wet for me.“ Okay. It´s a line that isn´t original, but it´s still okay. If an author believes those words must be included, fine.

When X and Y have sex the second and third time ( in the same night, day, week ), X says the same words to Y. Uuhm… * scratching head * Does Y need a bucket because she´s so wet? Should X fetch the Tupperware just in case?

Obviously, X can´t get over the fact that Y gets wet! Y get´s utterly wet as soon as X touches her! Y is leaking.

And when X commands Y to orgasm ( or better…to come – to cum ) Y magically orgasms. Every single time! Some ladies might find that ” to orgasm ” on command is a hard task to do. But who am I kidding * wave off * I´m thinking way to realistic. What do I know, right?

Let´s rehash-

X is fascinated by the fact that Y gets so wet for him all the time that he needs to announce it.

Y can orgasm on command effortlessly because X is DA SHIT!

Let´s do a real life version of a novel sex scene ( of course, a woman has a few options on how to respond to the magic words)-

Guy: „ oh, Baby….you´re so wet for me.“

Woman: ( option nr. 1 ) „ U-huh.“

Woman: ( option nr .2 ) „ Really? How bad is it down there?“

Woman: ( option nr. 3 ) „ Yeah, I´m so wet for you.“

Or the woman might not give any answer and enjoy what´s bound to happen.

Guy: „ You want to come? Then come, NOW!“

Woman: „ Hold on…I´m almost there…“

Guy: „ No. I want you to come, NOW“

Woman: „ I can´t now. Just keep doing what you´re doing…almost there…“

Guy: ” NOW! Damn it ! N.O.W! Why can´t you orgasm on command?!“

Woman: „ Because I´m NOT  Y from those non-unique sex scenes!!!!“

Do you see my point? A dialogue like that can make whatever feelings I developed disappear into thin air. Poof! Just like that. Gone.

It´s also just as cringe-worthy when the words „moist“ and „cream pie“ are over used. There must be a way to replace those words with something more… fitting? Moist are my kitchen towels after I dry the dishes. And cream pie…. it´s a pie or cake, for heaven’s sake.

And now- while we´re at it… Let us comb through the phrases used in sex scenes. Let´s call it the sex lingo.

Ready?

  • …she tasted like honey…..“ ( I guarantee you, no one tastes like honey down south. Male and female do NOT taste like honey. It´s just a fact. If it were true then you´d be seeing a lot more people going down and having a 3 course meal with „honey“)
  • .. until I finally found her secret center…“ ( A vagina isn´t Narnja. It´s not the rabbit hole that leads to Wonderland. It´s not Barbie´s secret garden, either)
  • …his maleness, passing the petal soft folds of her womanhood…“ ( No vagina lips can be compared to petals. Touch a rose petal then touch vagina lips. It ain´t possible. But touch a turkey´s overlapping skin on his neck and then try touching a vagina. And vagina lips don´t fold. They´re bunched in your underwear. )
  • … I was drowning in her juices…“ ( How many characters are leaking? )
  • …I was blinded as I soared over the edge…“ ( I never went blind before/during/after an orgasm. Maybe I´m doing something wrong? And I never soared anywhere except for the one time when I woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to turn on the bedroom light but missed the wall and switch and went „soaring“ towards the floor. That shit hurt.)

Why compare food and drinks to body fluids? Why not stick to the truth instead of misleading the innocent and giving them weird ideas? Am I thinking too realistic here?

Sometimes people don´t smell like Christmas spices when they pull down their underwear. I can already hear you say „ Eeeeew“ after reading that but it´s true. Any person who´s sexually active KNOWS the dark secrets of sex. And no author has interest in coloring out the harsh reality of event.

Most writers would rather have you believe it´s fabulous to give your partner a blowjob after being on the road for 12 hours with 3 bathroom breaks in between ( without the possibility to wash up..like, at all). There are no rose scents involved there, trust me. Yet, authors will have you believing that the sexual drive between their characters is greater than anything else. They let their characters focus on their lust and ignore the wet fox smell.

As you can probably tell by now, I´ve read some crazy stuff over the last few years and I have a strong feeling that nothing is going to change.

Can we just try to call „his sword“ a penis? Use cock, for all I care….but sword? And how about vagina instead of „where she was moist and desperate“? It´s a vagina. It´s a penis. Either you have one or the other. And maybe it´s a good time to mention that sex is fantastic but sex doesn´t always sell. 

I´m just afraid if young women ( who haven´t had sex yet) read those scenes….they´ll think it´s supposed to be like that in real life. * head against table*

Authors should try to come up with better lines. These people aren´t called artists for no reason. Authors have so many ideas and words to work with…. it should be a piece of cake to come up with something better than „You´re so wet for me.“. It´s really not funny anymore to read the same lines in 80% of all books I read.

This is not meant to discourage writers to include sex in their stories. This is meant to help spark their passion for finding better, more authentic words for their scenes.

Book Covers- What Happened?

Book Covers

Book covers / cover images are the first thing we see when we look for books. Whether it´s while we´re scrolling through an online shop or simply combing the bookshelves in a bookstore- It´s always the cover that grabs our attention before anything else does. 

Let´s get one thing out of the way before I begin:

Book covers / images are a matter of taste. Everyone has a different idea on what is great or what´s eye catching.

Personally, I like book covers that hardly give away anything from the story. I believe a cover image should grab someones attention, not give the story away. A book cover has to make me stop dead in my tracks. I mean- it’s the first thing a reader sees, right? And if a reader doesn’t like the cover, how fat are chances the reader will buy the book unless they´ve been forced by a friend/family member to read the book? ( The power of recommendations. “It has a hideous cover but awesome story!” )

All this means- I judge a book by it´s cover. I know I shouldn´t. No one should, yet we all do it.

I love to see covers with lots of color / color clashes, unique symbols or anything that stands out ( eye catching, remember? ) Contrasts are also brilliant.

 I’m Amazon’s Costumer Of The Year. Alot of my hard earned money goes for books. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this devastating condition. But if you asked me about book covers then I’d have to say that maybe half of the books I own have decent covers and half from that half have AWESOME images.In other words- I find alot of book covers / images boring and sometimes questionable. 

While reading books from the Romance, New Adult, Young Adult, Erotica and even Horror genre, I’ve come to learn that each genre has their preferred book covers or colors.

Young Adult usually has some teenagers holding hands in a meadow ( colors are usually light ), New Adult covers are a bit more mature ( colors are more bold ), mostly showing some skin or a headless figure… you get the picture, right? We don´t really need to mention Horror covers because many of those covers are just down right brilliant. Creepy but cool.

Also, one has to see the difference between traditional published and self-published book covers. It most cases, self-published book covers / images aren´t done well. But then again- alot of traditional published books have horrible, tacky covers. I can’t really speak for trad-published authors because most of them don’t have a say in the matter. The publisher calls the shots and authors have no power over what cover will be used for their story. That all depends on the publisher and how tight the contract is. Some published authors are lucky and get to chose a cover image themselves. Very few have covers that are able to knock me out of my socks.

There are 2 types of book covers that do not grab my attention at all.  

  1. shaded, oiled torsos with tribal tattoos
  2. covers that look like every other cover

I can’t begin to tell you how many books I have that have black covers with some tiny animal, a key, a keyhole, pearls, diamonds or has some shadowed body parts on it. It’s a nightmare that will not end. 

It´s a trend, I get it. Still… It´s annoying. And when I see certain covers I immediately say to myself ” Uugh. Not again.”.

20161128_010727

( Those are only a few taken from my private bookshelf from only God knows how many )

Many would argue with me on the fact that black book covers aren´t an issue. They´re practical because they look good on a bookshelf, etc.  It truly isn´t an issue. It´s just nothing spectacular.

Then there are those covers with half naked, totally muscular, tribal tattooed, well oiled and well tanned, headless guys. In short- eye candy in it’s tackiest form. I stopped counting those covers because they’re endless. I know I know…sex sells and all that stuff…..but can’t someone stop this nonsense? Tribal tattoos went out of style a while back. Plus, I like guys who have a head. Hands can be sexy, too. Also-  I’m also not a huge fan of character covers, which is when the cover has a face on it. That ruins alot for me and I will ignore the book, risking the chance to read a fantabulous story. Why? Because a character image ruins my own personal image I like to create myself of a character. 

Another thing that brings my blood to boil is when there’s too much going on on a book cover. 

I once saw a cover that was in full color and had an oiled naked, tattooed bod, except- the lucky headless guy had arms and hands ( yay!) and those hands were holding a suit which hung from a coathanger ( I have never in my life seen a suit hanging from a hanger on a book cover before…NEVER) in the background stood the Eiffel Tower. The title- Caged. Can you imagine how confused I was? After taking all the images in I knew what the story was about. But the real question was- Was I interested in the story although I knew there was some godly guy in it, who was probably going to wear a suit at some point, paying the Eiffel Tower a visit? No, I wasn´t. Not even the coathanger was able to convice me.

My point- There´s no need to overload a book cover with dozens of images. That´s only confusing. 

Copying. It´s not a secret that many self-published authors like to copy. Which is fine. I´m the last person to point a finger at anyone in particular. Whatever works best for an author, right? Right. No wait- that´s wrong. Copying is wrong and often doesn´t work out well for an author who wants to make money. What worked for author A doesn´t necessarily have to work for author B. Many writers seem to forget that. 

What happened to self-published authors wanting to be original, standing out and making their book cover better than others? Any, if not all, want to make a living ( eventually ) off of writing, right?

I understand that cover designers are costy. And, yes. I´m aware of how prices are sky high. But they´re worth it. If an author finds a good, professional designer, and both communicate then nothing can go wrong. No one in the history of writing said it would be easy, or cheap. Unless writers don´t value quality and focus their attention more on their story. Then I´d say ” Whatever floats their boat.”.

Still, many don´t or are financially unable to take that path and invest in a cover designer. And if an author doesn´t have a clue what they´re doing when creating their own cover I´m 100% positive it will affect sales. Because, let´s face it- If I notice bad quality / a copied image then other readers will too.  There could be a chance people will ignore a not so great cover and read the story OR they´ll skip the book because of the cover. Who knows. I´m not an expert. But I´ve been watching this business for the last 10 years and can say that covers mean alot. 

I´m not out to ruin self-published authors. I´m not even out to diss traditional publishing houses for their often lack of taste in cover images. Just remember this before the next book hits the market:

1. Sex doesn´t always sell. ( Keep them well oiled studs in the late 90´s where they belong.)

2. Less is ALWAYS more. ( Be tasteful. Be creative. Be original. )

It may not be up to me to decide what cover image is acceptable for a book cover or not. After all- Cover images are a matter of taste.  But since I spend the majority of my money on books I can skip a cover that´s not original or won´t grab my attention.

My wish for the future? For writers to be more creative when deciding on a cover image. Or, invest in a designer. Although, I have seen a small inprovement in the past year ( see Colleen Hoover´s cover image for `Too Late`, for example. What a color explosion! ) so my hopes haven´t died completely.

( NOTE: A cover image alone won´t influence sales. Titles and excerpts play an important role as well. The cover is just what we see first.)