Grab your drink of choice and pull up that chaise lounge...
To Disrobe or to not Disrobe, that is the question this summer among romance novelists and I'm not talking about us taking off our clothes.
I'm talking about having a gorgeous man on the cover of your book who is wearing nothing from the waist up except a "Come Get Me" look on his face.
If you look at the top selling Romance books that are listing on Amazon in any romance category right now, you'll see bare chests. Men, that is. Not women. Men alone. Maybe even jeans or pants that fit like the hero just lost ten pounds and they are dangerously falling off. Maybe a thumb in the waistband to ask our eyes to go there. Suggestive covers seem to be everywhere this summer and books that have them are selling. Bigtime! The only category I've found that doesn't have what's known as Beefcake on the cover this summer is Mystery/Suspense/Thriller - Crime - United States
Soon The Grapes of Wrath will be beat out by Having the Billionaire's Love Child, I'm sure.
When I convinced my authors for Passion & Danger we should have a couple on the cover, only suggesting they'd done the dirty deed, I was still holding on to a semblance of dignity over here, hoping same-minded readers were in the majority.
WRONG! Having a handsome, tuxedo'ed man with a beautiful woman has worked well for us but we are about to embark on the 2015 Beefcake Book Cover Experiment and take our cover model's tux, shirt, tie, dress him in jeans and make him single. Will I regret following the hundreds of books out there right now with the bare chest? I don't know. Will I regret going for a man that hasn't been waxed clean of all his God-Given hair? Not sure.
But I'll report back about this experiment and let you know.
Just before we change the cover, our book ranks in the low 4,000's for Kindle books. That means we sell just over 100 books a week, right now. Yes, we will promote the new cover and yes, I might take out an ad but we'll see in three weeks time if the change in cover works better for sales.
In our defense, the first four books in the set are very sexy. My book The Dream Jumper's Promise, is fifth and it is sexy but not sizzling. I make you wait for a good sex scene and even then, some details must be filled in by your imagination. There is only one book that is tame with no description of the sex act but it is very sensual and highly flirtatious. Therefore promoting our set as SEXY HOT READS is not a lie. We just also happen to write killer suspense plots. Pun intended.
I'm eager to hear what you think of my experiment in the comments!
And now, here is the new and improved cover to get us more sales!!!!!!
Drum Roll Please...