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Beyond Romance Covers
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

. Are you saying that you are reading them but that because you're uncomfortable reading them in public the amount you can read is somehow limited?[/quote]



Well, no, I don't feel as though the romance genre has failed me in some way because I don't feel comfortable reading them in public. Here is what I'm reading now and I would feel comfortable showing the covers to anyone(feel free to look up the covers)...I just today purchased...Someday Soon by Debbie Macomber, have almost finished A Wanted Man by Linda Lael Miller and will be starting (reread) It Had To Be You by SEP..the new cover with the cute pup. I also think Julia Ross has beautiful covers and many other authors that I won't list now, and as far as I know, the much-loved Nora Roberts has always had tasteful covers. So, I personally, deep down, think the genre would garner much more repspect if they didn't have muscular he-man and women falling out of their gowns gracing their covers. Only my humble opinion...and I really doublt it will be changed anytime soon. That's it from me....
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PatW



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 638
Location: Central Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should think that not having to show a cover is one of the huge advantages of an ebook reader and before that there were/are easy to find "cover protectors".
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the thing. It almost always amazes me that when I actual ask what people read, the covers tend to seem to match their taste and comfort zone, i.e. the publishers seem to know what they are doing. I mean what I'm hearing is that the authors people like to read routinely appear to have covers that don't bother them at whatever level that is and they normally wouldn't be buying authors that have covers that would bother them.

Yeah, I do realize that doesn't always account for new and upcoming authors but ten-to-one it does cover publishers and lines that readers tend towards choosing from. Generally speaking, of course.

I simply find it a curious, intriguing and not at all scientific observation but one I've made several times around the web.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4210
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatW wrote:
I should think that not having to show a cover is one of the huge advantages of an ebook reader and before that there were/are easy to find "cover protectors".

I know that cover protectors do protect covers. But to me, whenever I see someone using one, it just looks as though they're trying to hide a cover (guilty conscience or remembrances of elementary school days when books were wrapped in brown paper). Really, that's no problem; I just don't like using them. I do most of my reading at home anyway; so reading in public is a very tiny percentage of my reading time, if at all. Actually, I can't recall the last time I took a book out with me. It seems whenever I find myself in a waiting room now, I catch up with the magazines I no longer buy.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bbmedos wrote:
... and they normally wouldn't be buying authors that have covers that would bother them.

Since 99.9 percent of my books come from the library, I don't know what they look like until they come in from my reserve list. But there have been some yucky covers from authors that totally surprised me as I was checking them out. Unless the cover is way over the top, I generally don't pay that much attention to them. But, I still wouldn't take a book with a sleazy cover out in public to read.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bbmedos wrote:
Here's the thing. It almost always amazes me that when I actual ask what people read, the covers tend to seem to match their taste and comfort zone, i.e. the publishers seem to know what they are doing. I mean what I'm hearing is that the authors people like to read routinely appear to have covers that don't bother them at whatever level that is and they normally wouldn't be buying authors that have covers that would bother them.

Yeah, I do realize that doesn't always account for new and upcoming authors but ten-to-one it does cover publishers and lines that readers tend towards choosing from. Generally speaking, of course.

I simply find it a curious, intriguing and not at all scientific observation but one I've made several times around the web.





Well, there's always an exception to the rule...or at least, to the point I think you are making. I'm not sure I understand your point....are you saying the covers that are on the books people read match their taste or preference in books? Hmmm...I think that's a bit far-fetched because these covers are on all different levels of romance, if you are talking about romance novel. Interesting observation, and at any rate...publishers must do research and they have come up with a positive reaction to the cover art, however, I'm not in that crowd.

As for the point made about bookcovers, I'm inclined to agree with Tee. I saw a woman with one in a dentist office waiting room the other day and I couldn't help but wonder what was underneath. Hey...it crossed my mind and I'll bet the purpose of the cloth book cover wasn't to protect the book, but I might be wrong. Maybe it was a rare edition...hee.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bbmedos wrote:
xina wrote:
Schola wrote:
We do often read outside the genre; but I think that when we want something with a male lead and female lead who fall in love and overcome the odds to achieve a happy ending, we'd trust a book with a clinch cover rather than root around in General Fiction among the "intellectual" novels about adultery, mid-life crises and tortured characters who never seem to heal.


My point was that I wanted the covers to look more mainstream, not for the contents of the book to change. I am a big fan of formula the romance genre offers. I like the HEA and knowing that the book will be about how the couple reaches the HEA. I was only commenting on the covers.


The problem is that the apparently larger proven audience already identifies the books as they are, i.e. with those "objectionable" covers. If I were a publisher, why would I want to shoot myself in the foot?


I understand what xina means, and I agree with her.

At the same time, I wonder with bbmedos whether a non-traditional cover will mean that a book is shelved with General Fiction rather than with the rest of Romance. That will get it more readers outside the genre, but possibly fewer of its target readers. That's what I mean by "double-edged sword": we can't live with them, but can't live without them. :P

bbmedos wrote:
Tee wrote:
xina wrote:
And to that point, I guess I will always be somewhat of a closet-romance-reader, because I will never sit in a public place reading some of those books with , what I personally think are silly covers. And that is what it is. I can be at home and love the book...really, I learned long ago that you can't judge a book by it's cover, but I refuse to sit anywhere where strangers can see me reading it. Can't help it, but I realize that is my problem and not everyone else. I accept that.

Move over and make room on that couch for me, too, xina. There's no way I'll read some of those books in public that have horrendous covers. I don't even like them at home. So I have that problem also and I doubt I'll ever change my mind about it either.


No one is asking either one of you to, however, here is what I don't understand and this is honest curiosity about this topic. Are you saying that you are reading them but that because you're uncomfortable reading them in public the amount you can read is somehow limited?


I don't think that anything short of blindness could limit my reading what I want to read (and even then, there's braille!). Anyway, I do most of my fiction reading in the privacy of my own home; so covers design generally doesn't matter.

However . . . during the times when I do read a novel on the bus or in a waiting room, well, it's not going to have some hot, smoldering shirtless man on the cover and a title like Dark Desires after Dusk. Laughing

Again, it's probably silly to care about what complete strangers think, but that's the way I am. Embarassed
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As to book covers, I use them and I read paperbacks, when I do read them nowadays in this my admittedly ebook phase, but, I'm not using the covers to "cover the books up" as my first priority. It's mainly about about the comfort of the padded covers and how they feel in my hands. I've gotten used to them and I like them. The few times I've had to actually read a book without a cover because the paperback was an odd size and didn't fit in the cover, I grumbled and complained like you wouldn't believe. I didn't believe how much I fussed.

If one doesn't use them, then one probably doesn't understand but those that do know what I'm talking about. The covers really feel good when one reads a lot like we do. And it's definitely the padding. Personal experiments involving non-padded covers have revealed this to me big time. As well as hand cramps. Shudder. I'd rather leave the books plain than no padded cover.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bbmedos wrote:
As to book covers, I use them and I read paperbacks, when I do read them nowadays in this my admittedly ebook phase, but, I'm not using the covers to "cover the books up" as my first priority. It's mainly about about the comfort of the padded covers and how they feel in my hands. I've gotten used to them and I like them. The few times I've had to actually read a book without a cover because the paperback was an odd size and didn't fit in the cover, I grumbled and complained like you wouldn't believe. I didn't believe how much I fussed.

If one doesn't use them, then one probably doesn't understand but those that do know what I'm talking about. The covers really feel good when one reads a lot like we do. And it's definitely the padding. Personal experiments involving non-padded covers have revealed this to me big time. As well as hand cramps. Shudder. I'd rather leave the books plain than no padded cover.




I probably would never bother with a book cover, but just out of curiosity, don't they slip off? And what do you do with a hardcover book? I hadn't thought of the padding aspect. I suppose that is a comfort one could get used to!

edited to add....I read a lot too. I've always got 3 books going, but luckily, I've never had hand craps. Foot cramps...yes Laughing but that is a whole other subject!
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4210
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
...but luckily, I've never had hand craps. Foot cramps...yes Laughing but that is a whole other subject!

What about eye (or in the vicinity of) cramps the following day after a particularly heavy session of reading? Sorry, got off topic again!


Last edited by Tee on Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
I probably would never bother with a book cover, but just out of curiosity, don't they slip off? And what do you do with a hardcover book? I hadn't thought of the padding aspect. I suppose that is a comfort one could get used to!

edited to add....I read a lot too. I've always got 3 books going, but luckily, I've never had hand craps. Foot cramps...yes Laughing but that is a whole other subject!


The style of cover I've been buying for years from my local UBS is Hidden Secrets. I've had the URL for their site on file for years, but this is the first time I've noticed them saying they'll sell retail and not solely wholesale. Yes!

They have five sizes of covers available. Mass market, premium mass market, trade, 6x9 hardback & Bible hardback (whatever that is). So, there's a pretty good choice. And lot's and lot's of patterns to choose from.

Put it this way, the kids and I have always been able to find something from even the limited stock in the UBS to be able to each get one that we could always distinguish as ours on sight within the house. Multiples even. And they are not all that expensive either considering how long they last. That's not to say that they don't eventually wear out but, hey, we are dedicated readers. Wink

The only quibble with them we've had over the years has been the velcro closure but since I rarely use it anyway, I'm not sure how much of a factor it is anyway. The flip side is the ribbon bookmark never seems to wear out and is wonderful and long.

See what you think after visiting the site.

Edited to answer the slipping off question: It can happen but usually only if the book is an extremely narrow volume - like with a category romance - or conversely extremely thick - like, well, just too large for the cover. With most normal range paperbacks or books, it's not a problem unless there's something wrong with the binding itself.
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Last edited by bbmedos on Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See what you think after visiting the site.

Edited to answer the slipping off question: It can happen but usually only if the book is an extremely narrow volume - like with a category romance - or conversely extremely thick - like, well, just too large for the cover. With most normal range paperbacks or books, it's not a problem unless there's something wrong with the binding itself.[/quote]



Oh, I like the one with the puppies on it! Smile In my sewing days, I probably could have figured out how to make one, but these look very nice. Myself, I don't think I'd bother with it, but it's an idea I might try to see how it feels. Thanks bbmedos!
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
xina wrote:
...but luckily, I've never had hand craps. Foot cramps...yes Laughing but that is a whole other subject!

What about eye (or in the vicinity of) cramps the following day after a particularly heavy session of reading? Sorry, got off topic again!




Ouch...sounds painful Tee. Eye cramps.. Smile I can't say I've ever had those, but I've had eye strain. I'm a person that can't sit still for a terribly long time and read. I think I have finished a book in one sitting a few times. I tend to be antsy after 45minutes or so....unless I'm reading while nursing a glass of wine, then I can go on forever!
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1127
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At university, I used to care about the covers of books I took along, unless it was something class assigned. Because that was the sort of environment where lots of students would carry around books to impress. Booker and Pulitzer Prize winners were popular, as were the winners of German literature prizes. The particularly cunning ones strategically placed the books on the desk during class - even if the book had nothing whatsoever to do with the class - and hoped that the lecturers would comment on them.

Then one day I was so pissed off by all that hypocrisy that I decided to take the books with the most lurid covers I could find (usually vintage paperbacks or pulp fiction reprints) to university. And should someone ask what I was reading or make derogatory comments, I'd give them some line about researching the depiction of historical events in early 20th century adventure fiction or race and gender relations in 1930s pulp fiction or whatever else came to mind. And it worked. ;)

And by the way, the two ugliest and most embarrassing covers I own can be found on an SF novel (the otherwise wonderful A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold) and a literary novel (a 1970s paperback edition of Snow White by Donald Barthelme with a porny cover that makes Ellora's Cave look tasteful by comparison).
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4210
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
Eye cramps.. Smile I can't say I've ever had those, but I've had eye strain.

You know, xina, that's what I really meant--eye strain the next day, but bad enough to hurt quite a bit. Sorry about that--cramps was not really the word to have used.
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