Dear Stock Photo Site: eww, that’s NOT romantic!

Dear Stock Photo Sites (Photographers and Models:)

Independent authors and small publishers are using stock photo sites for cover art images more than ever before. But for some reason, the sites, even ones who say they have art for romance covers, don’t have a clue what romance covers should look like.

Please, Stock Sites, Models and Photographers, Take these tips, please!

1. We don’t want the models staring into the camera. It’s creepy.

2. We don’t want the models smiling or grinning. It’s creepy.

3. Cops, Firefighters, FBI, undercover agents, soldiers, billionaires and other heroes in  romance novels never wear trench coats or official jackets over bare torsos. Never!

4. Heroines in romance novels don’t dress in hoo-hah high skirts and bare-midriff or halter tops for every day attire.

5. Romance novel heroes and heroines don’t normally have tons of tattmulletoos.

6. Most heroes in romance novels don’t have curly mullets these days. Seriously!

7. Most heroines in romance novels don’t stare at the camera as if it’s about to ravish them.

8. Heroes and heroines in romantic suspense novels don’t brandish a toy gun while grinning foolishly.

9. No romance hero should have bigger boobs–uh– pecs than his heroine.

10. It’s hard to take a vampire hero, heroine or villain with plastic teeth seriously.


These are just a few observations. Authors, please add more.  🙂  Meanwhile, I’m still searching for a great pic for my new book, Shadow of the Cat, coming soon.



2 thoughts on “Dear Stock Photo Site: eww, that’s NOT romantic!

  1. Finding stock images is not easy – but then think of the cost of hiring models and doing shoots. I design lots of romance covers and even though not everyone requires a super-model on the cover, authors do tend to go for good-looking faces – after all, good looks attract. And how many really good-looking models will sell stock images for $10 – $50 on stock sites??? Not many! So very often the model images are not ideal, but unless one can fork out for custom shoots running into thousands of dollars, one has to make do with what is available. Things have also improved a lot over the last few years and there are a couple of sites that spesialise in romance images that are affordable and attractive. Please have a look at my premade galleries to see what is available, though the best covers get snapped up fast:

  2. The long-haired hero. Ew. Just ew. And it’s not even nice long hair – it usually looks straggly and oily. I also find a lot of unattractive models. I know everyone has different tastes, but a heroine’s hair should not be frizzy and a hero should not be a mouth-breather. (Parted lips prior to a kiss is okay – slack-jawed is not.)

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