14 April 2021

Book cover fashions: the headless torso

 I've commented before on the current fashion, in some circles, for having headless male torsos to illustrate book covers -- see Urban fantasy, mediocrity, and the male torso | Notes from underground, but now that I'm thinking of revising and reissuing one of my children's books with a new cover, I'm wondering about the possibilities.

This seems to be a fairly common theme for a cover nowadays...

... though one wonders what the faceless characters are like in the book. 

So I'm wondering if my revised children's adventure-fantasy story should follow a similar theme, something upon these lines.

How important is it that book covers should follow the latest fashions? Will it enhance sales if the book has a headless torso, and diminish sales if it lacks one? And who is attracted to books with headless torsos anyway? Does anybody know?

If I give that picture to a book-cover designer, would they be able to turn it into a suitable cover design? Does it matter that the kid in the picture is blowing bubbles? The protagonist in my story doesn't blow bubbles, but he doesn't lack a head either, in the story.

Are there any other important tropes in book covers that one needs to take into account? If so, what are they?


Gretchen Joanna said...

Wow - I didn't know about this trend, but it surely must be connected to the general lack understanding of the human person, that we would want to cut off or hide the most beautiful and God-reflecting part of the body. Face masks are a humiliation for the same reason, it seems to me especially when imposed on children. Lord, have mercy!

Steve Hayes said...

Gretchen Joanna, yes, it definitely seems to be depersonalising. It reminds me of the title of C.S. Lewis's book "Till we have faces".


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