The derriere dilemma

Can you judge a book by its cover? Well, it’s far from an exact science, but a good cover can entice you to pick up a book by someone you haven’t heard of before, and a bad cover (whether one that misrepresents the book or one that is just poorly designed) can turn you away without giving the text a chance.

Even though e-books don’t have physical covers, a cover image is important when you’re browsing on Amazon or B&N or wherever. So Soul’s Road Press and I design covers for all of the short stories and novellas I’m selling, and we try to be as eye-catching as possible.

I had no idea designing covers was so much fun! and I think we’re doing a reasonable job at it. One of the challenges is that the stories we’ve been putting up so far are of the erotica/erotic romance type (don’t worry, SF/fantasy and romance fans, those stories will come!), and we have to find images that are spicy without being crude—along with being appropriate to the individual story.

So when we were ready to publish “Artistic License,” about an Italian statue come to life (or is it just a smoking hot dream?), we found a great statue image.

Here’s the first cover we put up:

But then we got a little notice from Smashwords:

“Although your cover image is tasteful, some of our retailers are super-sensitive to nudity. Please consider uploading a new image where his derriere is covered up a bit.”

The use of “derriere” made me laugh and laugh. (That and the fact that I’m pretty sure the derriere in question belongs to a female.)

Anyway, we went back to the drawing board, and you know what? I think the second cover is even better!

(We love feedback on our covers, so feel free to check ‘em all out at Soul’s Road Press and let us know what you think!)

And if you’d like to read “Artistic License,” it’s available for 99¢ as these fine venues:

AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwords