EBooks & CGI Covers

HecallsherjasmineI was reading my sister-in-law Wendy’s blog and noticed she’s reading "Heather’s Gift," an e-book from ebook publisher Ellora’s Cave, which seems to specialize in erotic romance.  DamonBut just because a book is published "electronically," do the covers also have to be CGI as well? Without reading a word, the covers imply that the writing will be as synthetic as the "people" on the covers. Fb2themanwithinThere’s something very unappealing about reading books about CGI characters having CGI sex…sort of the literary equivalent of an x-rated computer game.

Now to be fair to Ellora and her cave, I haven’t read any of the books and there are some covers that use actual models, or have artwork that actually resemble genuine human beings…Honoringsean

(Click on the covers for larger images).

20 thoughts on “EBooks & CGI Covers”

  1. It’s formula erotica. Pretty successful. Anonymous. Nothing arrives in brown paper wrappers, the books cost less than paper paperbacks. I’m submitting work to them. Not glamorous, but pays the rent, you know?

  2. The mental image of how and why David Montgomery might know what Jason Starr’s nekkid butt looks like has forced me to rise from my computer and scrub out my eyeballs.

  3. Kitty,
    CGI means computer graphics (I’m not certain what the “I” stands for… “Interface?”) The covers look like computer-animated characters,not even remotely like real people. They look like books about computer game characters having sex.

  4. I wasn’t aware they are sold in stores. From the talk at absolutewrite, which has a forum for this genre, it pays well, but rarely translates to regular publishing success. Sort of like the film business.

  5. why would they have CGI characters on the book covers??
    The usual reason. It’s cheap.
    I’m a graphic designer by day. I just did a huge project for a lighting fixture company in which all the photography of their fixtures was replaced with 3D graphics.
    When you’re dealing with a large number of similar, simple images, 3D’s much cheaper than photography or illustration. Since these covers look like student work, I’d be surprised if they paid more than a hundred bucks for each image. Good photography or illustration will cost many times more than that.

  6. Since I am an epublished author, it is mainly the publishers choice of what goes on the covers. Of course we have input, but a lot of times it is driven by financial concerns. Most of the epublishers have inhouse artists that are on a fee system. Some cover artists make up to $1500 for each cover. Some have real people and some have Poser or DAZ generated CGI covers. Most of the cover artists are professional artists or graphics artists in their other lives. Everyone of the artists are proud to be on the cover as are the authors of ebooks.
    And even though you might not like the covers, Ellora’s Cave posted a $2 million profit a few years ago. And those numbers are nothing to sneeze at plus I know that my own publisher is becoming more and more profitable everyday. Erotic romance is an up and coming field where the authors are gaining name recognition everyday.
    The other thing I really like about ebooks is the fact I get a larger share of the profits because ebook publishers can go directly to the consumers. Ebook royalties range in the 25 to 45% range. My ebook royalties are paid monthly and I am really proud of each and every cent I make.
    Ebooks are the wave of the future. Whether we like it or not, more and more things are becoming digital.

  7. $2 million profit and they still can’t come up with a decent cover? Cheap bastards.
    Ebooks in their current form clearly are not the wave of the future. But perhaps something decent will come along eventually that can complement (although likely not replace) the traditional paper book. It ain’t gonna be a book you read on your computer screen, though.

  8. Actually, Jenna, I write for NCP, and I believe NCP’s covers are mostly computer-generated too– they just don’t look it because the artists do more “cleanup” work. EC’s covers are better than a lot of smaller erotic romance publishers, though.
    I think e-pubs continue to produce cheap covers because their profit margins are extremely small. As the bigger e-pubs get larger, expand into major chains, and make more money, I expect their covers to improve. A question that I’ve frequently pondered is why e-pubs continue to mostly have “clinch” (man and woman) covers, or naked guy covers, on their romances when most paper publishers are tending to move away from these covers. The prevailing belief seems to be that this is what their readers want, but I wonder if anyone’s ever done a survey to confirm this.

  9. Most epubs go for clinch and naked-guy covers because they are under the impression that’s what readers want. Mainly because they say so.
    We personally have our share, but we’ve been phasing them out, preferring more artistic covers. And yes, ours are CGI. The cost of one covermodel shoot is extensive, and we’d rather spend the money on promotion, so our authors make money. We have our own priorities, and that’s a big one.
    Another is spending a lot of time working on the edits, because a pretty cover can only go so far. If the book stinks, no cover will save it.
    And frankly, our books tend to have more complex stories, so a naked male chest doesn’t really describe them. Formula is our enemy.


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