With Romance Novels Booming, Beefcake Sells, but It Doesn’t Pay
almost 2 years ago
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"After a few more clicks of the shutter, he and Ms. Shao paused to examine his work on a 2-by-4-foot television screen. “It looks good because it has everything,” Mr. Baca said. The smoldering gaze. A glimpse of his six-pack abs. Mr. Baca had even thrust his pelvis forward, a trick he learned to make his stomach appear flatter and ensure the ladies looked, well, you know, there. Romance writers and publishers, as it happens, are among publishing’s most innovative participants. They were early to digital serialization. Book sellers, too, now crowdsource ideas to find fresh writers. And if you want to explore a virtual relationship, you can try a romance-novel app."
"If covers were hand-painted in acrylic back in the Fabio era, the tool of the trade today is Photoshop. Heads are cut off midface if a model is overexposed. Parts of different photos can be pieced together like a Picasso portrait. Toes, too, are deleted if they clash with the book’s title. For Mr. Baca’s helicopter-pilot shoot in Santa Cruz, Eileen Nauman, a writer better known by her pseudonym Lindsay McKenna, emailed a series of guidelines. She wanted to see him looking alert, with a “slight, playful, teasing smile” and, she wrote, with his “flight suit open to sternum, showing off your great body, but nothing too flagrant or obvious.” “The cover of an e-book is the size of a postage stamp,” she said. “Everyone has about three seconds to peruse, and the first hook is going to be that cover.”"
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