I was thinking about ‘product placement’ today, specifically for my first Romance novel ‘Schonling’. Romance is a very tricky genre to place product in. There are so many subgenres M/F, M/M, F/F, Contemporary, Historical, fantasy etc. And then after that the reader needs to know how steamy the romance gets. Does the book have fade to black sex, straightforward sex, is it high erotica or BDSM ?
There are so many things to consider when creating a book cover. Contemporary Erotic Romance covers usually follow the same well tried and tested ‘sex sells’ marketing ploy, offering generally faceless scantily clad women or naked men ( tattoo’s and/or bound with ropes seems to be quite popular these days!) My book contains sex, but not the imaginary Lingerie clad, ‘hand cuffed to the bed posts’ type of sex that 99% of M/F romance novels covert. The sex in my book is not gratutious for the sake of titilation, there is a plot and when it happens it fits with the story, it is intimate, honest, beautiful, ‘normal’ sex( whatever normal is!) There is no scantily clad woman in lingerie or any portion of naked man on the cover of my book because my book is not about sex, sex is a ‘part’ of the plot, not the be all and end all!
Seeing nudity on Romance and Erotica book covers have never made me think ‘Oh that looks like a story I want to read’. Although naked hot guys are always pleasing to the eye I refuse to be manipulated by a hot guy on a book cover. My book cover doesn’t fit the genre of ‘Contemporary M/F Erotic Romance’ it is pigeonholed in and I don’t mind, because the story is everything! The story is bigger than the genre labels. I hope the readers who will be drawn to try my book recognise that and make an educated decision based on the blurb and reviews, not the cover.