Shirt shortage

There appears to be a shirt shortage. There’s probably a page with a fund for this that we can donate to get these guys some shirts.  They’re either not wearing their shirt or they’re trying to get it off or they’re holding it up. Perhaps it itches? Perhaps it’s too small? Perhaps they’re demonstrating that they don’t have any contraband strapped to their torso.  It’s essential to the plot, right? It has to be, otherwise what is the cover telling you about the book?
Am I being a party pooper? You all want to look at those abs, right? Maybe you think it’s about time, what with all the breasts staring at you from the shelves of the petrol station. Maybe it’s about time the average man was made to feel inadequate because women are being made to feel inadequate by celebrities and porn and men’s magazines.
No one cares.
I don’t care either. I’m just taking the piss. I don’t read “abs” books, I just have to see them ad nauseam as I scroll through Facebook. They all look the same though. It’s like seeing the same guy shirt up or shirt off, over and over and over and over and over and over. I’m starting to use them in teasers just so someone might actually see the name of my book. They probably won’t, because they’re looking at the abs, but it’s worth a try, right? Sex sells.
I don’t care about the shirt shortage, as boring as it is, but I do care about the apparent need for it. If you can’t sell a book any other way … I guess you have to do what works for you. Romance novels used to always need a shirtless / open-shirted Fabio so you knew what you were getting … are we still there? No, we’ve gone somewhere else.  The guy doesn’t even need to fit the description of the character as long as he looks good on the e-reader.  Try googling shirtless men wallpaper, same thing, you just download the wallpaper and you can look at it whenever.
In my opinion, the shirt shortage is actually an imagination shortage. If all the covers were brown paper, and all you got was a blurb – I wonder who would make the cut.

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