Question: What Makes a Better Cover…Headed or Headless?

Posted November 7, 2013 by Carmel in Question / 21 Comments


My first reaction to this question was headed, all-the-way! As a general rule, most romance covers are pretty generic and a girl can only see so much man nipplage before they all begin to blend together. My original thought was that adding a face to go along with the six-pack helps to differentiate one rock-hard body from another but what happens when the model doesn’t match the image that I have of a particular character inside my head? If it’s a new book in a series that I haven’t read yet, that’s usually not a problem but is it just me or does Wrath kinda look like Eric Northman? I’ve pictured the BDB leader a certain way for the past 11 installments and when I first saw the cover of The King it definitely gave me cause to pause. That is NOT the blind king!

TheKing HisUntamedDesire DarkMoon

I’m not sure if my guy will agree with this statement but I personally think that when the dude on the cover has a head it’s a little less… pornographic. Seeing the hero’s face makes me view him as an actual person rather than just another hunk of man meat for me to drool over. Then again, that’s also part of the appeal where headless artwork is concerned; it allows me to create my ultimate fantasy guy and ignore minor details like, for instance, the character being blonde in the author’s description. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against fair haired men but my preference tends to be for the tall, dark and silent types.

ColesRedemption KissedByADarkPrince SilenceOfTheWolf

What’s your poison: Headed or Headless?

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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21 responses to “Question: What Makes a Better Cover…Headed or Headless?

  1. I like both. It changes things up a bit to have a head shot every so often. And yeah, completely agree Wrath is channeling Eric and I’m not very fond of it…not how I see the King at all!

  2. Definitely headed! I’m really not a fan of half-naked men on covers to begin with, so giving him a face gives me something else to look at. 😛

    And that is not how I pictured Wrath either! At all!

  3. Ive become desensitized by these hairless nakead and at times tattooed chests I don’t react much anymore. This question made me realize that I appreciate covers with clothed and headed models better. The facial expressions complete the blurb and the costumes just brings it all together IMO.

    • That’s an interesting perspective; it’s true that all of the naked torsos being to blend together after a while… I still like looking at ’em though. LOL Does that make me shallow? 😉

  4. True! I see a little pony but I prefer to see his signature long locks & why is he shirtless sitting in the dark like that?

  5. Hmmmm….I think I have to go with headless. I really like the mystery that a headless cover emits. It’s a real “downer” when you’ve read a series for a while and the author decides to put that character on the cover, only to shatter your image of him…half of the time they look nothing like their description (my only exception would probably be Bones). I don’t mind it as much if it’s a new to me series, but don’t mess with my reading eye candy LOL You’re right Carmel, that guy on the cover of The King is not Wrath! 😉

  6. I usually don’t mind either, but I agree that if it’s in a series that I’m already reading and they switch from headless to a full picture, it can mix up what I pictured the guy as being.

  7. I don’t mind either, but I think I prefer headless or partially hidden faces. I like to think of my own vision of the hero and heroine and I don’t like it if the image on the cover isn’t even close to what’s in my head.

  8. I actually love seeing the guy’s eyes like in Jaguar Fever, Jaguar Hunt–he has a smirk that is sooo totally David, and A Hero of a Highland Wolf is soooo yum, that without that look, well, the body’s so hot too, but wow, that intense look is perfect. He fits Grant to a tea. But I’ve had others that don’t fit what I envision. 🙂