Thursday, 21 July 2011

"I'm looking for a book with a naked woman lying down on the cover..."

There's a certain kind of crime writer (with an associated kind of crime reader) that I sold a lot of when I worked in a bookshop. The writer produces formulaic books with non-specific titles at tremendous speed, and the readers gobble them up and forget them half an hour later. Looking through the crime shelves, said readers are unable to remember which ones they've read, and the covers, titles and blurbs do nothing to help, since they're all basically the same. I've never seen such determination to keep producing basically the same book, though, as shown by the designers at Bantam for the work of Tess Gerritsen.





This cover was also discussed in this post, as it's a lookalike.


Lots of sleepy naked chicks in Gerritsen-land.

12 comments:

Brian Busby said...

Are we to think that Harlan Coben has the exact same opinion about Life Support, The Bone Garden, The Surgeon and Vanish? Or is it, as your post suggests, that Mr Coben is simply unable to remember which is "crime-writing at its nerve-tingling best"?

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Do authors have much voice in the cover illustration? I guess publisher think that make ladies, or a little sideboob or underboob, sells. Kind of like the alleged Anita Loos effect: put a blonde on the magazine cover and it sells more copies on newstands.

Tulkinghorn said...

The Silent Girl

No one could hear her scream, because she was, you know, silent and all. Although come to think of it, if she were screaming, she wouldn't have been silent, unless, of course, you can ascribe silence to something that's merely unheard. What if she were in a forest,for example, screaming would she actually be making any sound? What if she could hear it?

JRSM said...

Tulkinghorn: You have raised an important philosophical question, soon to be explored in my forthcoming thriller 'The Girl Who Was Stuck in Schrödinger's Box'.

Evil Pop Tart: Most authors, much to their disgust, have little or no say in the cover designs. But I suspect you're right about the psychology--sideboob=sexy, even if it's dead sideboob.

Brian: I prefer to think of him as going. "This is crime-writing at its nerve-tingling best! No, THIS, is crime-writing at its nerve-tingling best! No, wait, THIS is crime-writing at its nerve-tingling best!"

Seth Christenfeld said...

Considering that one of the characters in the series is a medical examiner, I'm pretty sure that they're dead naked chicks.

JRSM said...

A gentleman would never draw attention to such a character flaw in a woman!

Craig D. said...

Jesus! I can imagine similar covers being used for different authors in the same genre, but this is ridiculous. At some point someone is actually saying, "Get me stock photos of pretty naked girls lying face down. Yes, again. For which author? Very funny, smart-ass. Get on it."

Melvin Roland Parris said...

It seems eerily possible that these are all pictures of the exact same girl. Perhaps when they run out of shots from that particular session, Ms Gerritsen will have to stop writing books?

Craig D. said...

Melvin: Probably not. When an author is cranking out a shitload of books that are all exactly alike, it’s a sure sign that they’re selling like crazy.

Ian Ellard said...

It's not so much the nudey lazies on the cover that bothers me. It's the use of the phrase - and I've seen it elsewhere, notably on Jilly Cooper's latest - "THE NEW RIZZOLI AND ISLES BESTSELLER".

What does "new bestseller" mean? How can that be?

JRSM said...

That always bothers me too--new books that come predescribed as bestsellers. I guess it's an educated guess, but it's still pretty presumptuous, even though 'bestseller' is now a fairly debased word.

Brian Busby said...

Agreed. It's not much different from "greatest hits" collections sold as "featuring the new hit — —".

As you say, presumptuous.