Some of these covers are good, some really turn me off.
What makes a good book cover? Everyone has an opinion.
What do I think is a good cover? Clean design, large font that is easily read, something interesting that captures my attention. The color red is eye-catching, and I try to use it whenever I can.
I don’t like writhing torsos or headless, shirtless male models. I’m not fond of faces, either, the reason being that “attractive” is subjective. What you may think is spank bank material, I may overlook as a complete yawn.
Putting a face on your cover carries with it a risk that the reader may not like the model’s looks. If that’s the case, they’ll move on to the next book/cover.
Study mainstream covers. They usually don’t offer half-naked models rolling around against a collage of sky and ground or city skyline. I think these weaken our genre tremendously. Meant to indicate there is a plethora of sex scenes inside, the m/m industry is offering narrow choices to readers at a time we should be breaking boundaries, stretching out, moving into mainstream.
I’ve been as guilty as others in putting half-naked covers on my self-published books, but I’ve put my foot down, too. The original model for Blue River was naked. I made them put a shirt on him. Phoenix Rising has a flaming bird on the cover because I worked with the artist to put it there.
The original Precog covers were of Tarot cards with nary a man in sight. Following the advice of friends, I changed them out for flesh, expecting an increase in sales.
Didn’t happen, so I’m back to my original idea of using covers that appeal to me and not following current trends. Transgression has no nudity at all, and I love the cover because it offers a glimpse of what’s inside.
Covers can make or break some books, so choose wisely, and if that means following your own path, do it! What do you have to lose?
What do you think makes a good cover?