The following is based on true events:
Picking the cover for your novel is an exciting time. In fact, the whole process of cover design from concept and brainstorming to drafts and then finals is especially exciting. What will it look like? Will it be amazing? Will I love it? All these questions and more surge through an authors’ mind.
In my case, I had another issue to contend with. Was the dude on the cover hot enough? Ok, let’s make one thing clear. I am a happily married man. What on earth do I know about dude hotness? Approximately nothing, but allow me to elaborate. I do know enough to recognize a good looking guy. I know for instance that Brad Pitt and Robert Pattison are good looking. But are they better looking than other good looking guys? Beats me. Wouldn’t have a clue.
So the publisher sends me the cover proof. Do I like it? “Like it?” I say. “Love it!” It looks awesome. But then a niggling thought intrudes. It’s a YA book for both sexes. I want the guy to look like the sort of guy that other guys want to be, well, like. Not too good looking otherwise they won’t be able to relate to him. I also want girls to look at him and think, yep, he’s good looking. Attractive in a dark and broody way.
So basically, this wasn’t an easy decision to make.
I noticed (without taking part of course) that there was a whole thread on Goodreads devoted to guy cover hotness. I read it with interest. What made one guy hotter than others? After careful study, I determined that it was completely random, woman are fickle and there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of consistency going on.
At that point I sat down and considered the cover proof in front of me. It was this second issue (i.e what the girls thought) that I had trouble with. Was he good looking enough? I had no idea. I asked my wife who shrugged and said “yeah, I guess.” I asked other female friends and got pretty much the same response. What settled it was when we asked the publisher’s teenage daughter. Her eyes widened and she made a noise that sounded like yes but it was hard to tell with all the heavy breathing. Right then. He’s hot.
The publisher agreed, the designer agreed, our marketing manager agreed (all female I hasten to add). I was still the only one a bit confused.
In the long run, it doesn’t matter because I got a cover I love and the dude on it looks pretty tough. And that’s what matters. Right? Right?
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