Thursday, March 17, 2011

Naked Men

Totally Faked Cover

That should boost my traffic!

I was thinking about an exchange I read between a couple romance writers.  Books with naked men on the cover sell better than books with cruise ships or a cute girl with a broom.

What if your book doesn't have a naked guy in it?

I'm reminded of my first "job" in television.  I hardly remember most of the details but it went something like this.
My agent at the time, Larry Ithinkhe'sstillaliveandstillmadatme, knew someone who was going to turn some romance novels into short movies for television and did I want to do one.  Did I ever!  Oh yeah, SURE!  (This was when I was fresh out of books with no television credits.  This was my way in the door.)

I got all the material from the big city.  Geez, there was so little story there as I recall.  I built a script as best as I could and turned it in. 

Boy, were they ever frustrated with me.  "You don't seem to get the point of this at all!"


"She's running alongside the East River.  Close up on her breasts bouncing.  Cut To locker room.  She takes off the tank top.  Close up on her breasts.  She drapes a towel around her and Cut To showers.  She throws towel over hook and stands under running water.  Close up on her breasts."

This is a true story!

So they said do you want to fix your script?  I said no, I don't f'ing want to fix it.  That's when they all got mad at me.  A week later I get a call from Larry.  "Do you want to share credit on this script?  You'll be the second writer named."  No, I don't f'ing want my name on it.  I don't want to be linked to this thing in any way shape or form and I don't care if it gets me one step closer to being a member of the Writers Guild of America.  And don't give me any money either.  I don't want anyone to be able to prove that I ever knew you.

In a way I don't care if there are naked men on the cover.  In a way I do because it's an unnecessary titillation.  In the same way we see violence everywhere, marketers use our autonomic reflexes like sexual response to arouse us.  I don't think it's fair, I don't think it's good for us or society.  But there's nothing I can do about it but not do it myself.

I suppose that means I'll sell fewer books.

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