Friday, May 15, 2015

A Sea of Torsos

WARNING: This post contains BOOK COVERS

It's an open secret that skin sells.

This is true in all kinds of marketing including romance novels. As much as the writer in me wants to be decorous and refined, I know in my heart of hearts that naked torsos mean more sales.

Take for example the New York Times best sellers I'm perusing while writing this blog:
#11 The Mistake by Elle Kennedy    #15 Double Dare by R.L. Mathewson

Or the Amazon best sellers in romance:
#1 Kindle Romance Contemporary    #1 Kindle Romance Romantic Comedy

And don't even get me started on gay romance...
#1 Gay Romance    #3 Gay Romance

So while I'm trying to convince myself that my stories are deep and compelling, filled with emotion and meaning, exploring what it means to be human and to love, I'm confronted by the fact that readers are still buying books because a naked chest grabs their attention.

Of course, there are really good reasons for this scientifically. A shirtless man is easier to smell. Humans are primates, after all. We rely on scent to help us choose our mates. And a male without all those clothes covering up their scent is easier to evaluate via our noses.

Also, a shirtless man exhibits sexual attractiveness. Due to the rise of the female gaze, we're seeing more and more of what women like--broad shoulders and slim hips. A book cover with a sexy guy on the cover says, "Come read me. I'll be your boyfriend for at least 200 pages." Can you really resist a guy that's so willing and eager?

So with that in mind, my publisher created the cover for my upcoming novel, The Klockwerk Kraken. It's a little bit scifi (one of my heroes has tentacles), and a lot romance.

I'm adding to the sea of naked torsos, but at least the view is nice.


AIDEE LADNIER is a writer who loves quirky characters. You can visit her website at or meet her at some of her favorite social media sites:
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Ali Hubbard said...

I love how you phrase it...about exploring what it means to love as a human (ish)..

I also love your cover!!!! I am very clearly pro torso. Lol. I recently bought Mermen and Mermadmen based solely on the covers. So beautiful!

Can't wait to read it! !!!

Carla Swafford said...

I agree. Very nice. :-) Love shirtless men and when their pant button/snap is undone . . . oh, my.

Aidee Ladnier said...

@Ali - I swear my guy is 100% human. He just has a few extra appendages. I'm going to check out Mermen and Mermadmen right now!

@Carla - I totally agree. There's something about that tease of an unfastened button or snap that gets me every time. :)

Nancee Cain said...

Loved this! BTW the cover of Phucked was designed by Shannon Lumetta who created my logo/graphics!

Aidee Ladnier said...

@Nancee Shannon does great work!!

Caragh Byford said...

I'm with Carla on this one. H.O.T. Can't wait to read about tentacles.

Aidee Ladnier said...

I hope you enjoy it, Caragh!!