Weekend Links with Tropical Storm Hanna

Lots of links to start your weekend off with massive browsing. What you wanted to get something accomplished this afternoon? PAH! Suffer with me.

Kate Douglas has a question for you: is man flank deserving of the whiteout? Not for one second do I believe the man pictured on that cover has a tush that flat, but still, man flank is problematic?

Mimi Gets a Contract made me snort so hard I nearly aspirated a Splenda packet from across the room. Thanks to Angie for the link.

I just laughed myself into tears reading this article about the Diagram Prize, which is a hunt for the most bizarre book title. The Greek Billionaire’s Virgin Love Child’s Boardroom Mistress has NOTHING on these books. Don’t miss the slide show of covers. Thanks to Svenja for the link.

Thanks to the many, many people who sent me this link: using the frozen sperm of two Black Footed Ferrets which had died years ago, the Smithsonian National Zoo successfully bred two kits (those would be wee adorable baby ferrets), born in June. The sperm was frozen back in 97 and 98, and ten years later, those two ferrets are proud papas from beyond the grave. Mazel tov to the successful breeding crew, and to the new mommies. And mad props to Moth who sent me a link to the article with the subject line, ‘The Virgin Black-Footed Ferret’s Secret Baby.’

And if you’re feeling the need to gaze at the sleeping cuteness that is the Black Footed Ferret (official ferret of Smart Bitches), there’s always the immensely addictive ferret cam.

See, I am all about wasting valuable hours of your time today! We’re having a bit of a hurricane today in the northeast, so we’re all inside on the internet. Ok, *I’m* inside on the internet, but hey, join me in endless surfing!

Categorized:

General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    Cat Marsters says:

    My only problem with the original of Kate Douglas’s cover is the trickle of fake tan on his hip.  At least…I hope it’s fake tan.

  2. 2
    Kathy says:

    I like either bootie pic of the guy.  You can get a full view or you can imagine how great he looks.  I personally like the ferrets better.  They are just so damn cute.

  3. 3
    BevQB says:

    Sorry, Kate, but as much as I loves me some man candy—the flankier the better—the first cover pushes the envelope of what I feel comfortable reading in public or even at home with my kids around.

    However it wouldn’t be the first (or the fiftieth) book that I’ve had to read hidden in a book cover. I’ve got a nice leathah one for trade size and a couple of felt ones I made myself for MMPs.

  4. 4
    ev says:

    man flank is problematic?

    Not to me it’s not, but then the American population is still overwhelmingly puritan in their attitudes towards sex. I guess it is only worth “selling” if it’s a celebrity- then we need to know every little thing about it and spend hours searching the web for the pics. sigh

    I love the ferrets. I may spend the crappy day to day watching them instead of doing housework. Unless the power goes out, then I will get a flashlight and read. It has already been raining here and I hear tell we are expecting about 6 inches. Hubby is on call for work. Glad I bought charcoal incase the power goes out. Anyone want to come over for bar-b-que if it does??

  5. 5
    Jen says:

    I don’t find the man flank cover offensive per se, but I also wouldn’t feel comfortable buying it in a bookstore.

  6. 6

    Well!  First off, mama ferrett seemed to be giving baby ferret a rather intimate cleaning just now.  And I thought my mother spitting into a napkin to clean my face was ooky.  And secondly, baby ferret is all grown up!

  7. 7
    Bernita says:

    I prefer the   B cover.
    Not because I’m an anti-lewd prude but I prefer suggestion/anticipation.

  8. 8
    Joanne says:

    So no problems with the publisher(s) putting out covers with a woman’s naked butt yet the population has to be protected from the male figure? That’s just so idiotic.  The guys pretty so why make him look like he’s sitting in a cloud of cigarette smoke?

    As for being comfortable buying it in a bookstore? I get that, I really do, but only if the cashier is uncomfortable taking my money.

    Love me some baby kits, thanks!

  9. 9
    Cat Marsters says:

    It’s funny.  The cover has clearly been designed to draw in a reader looking for a sexy book…but on the other hand, people are embarrassed about buying sexy books in store.  I’m always being told that more flesh means better sales, but that’s usually on e-book purchases, where no one but you sees what you’ve bought.

    Then again, I’m more embarrassed being seen with torrid bodice-ripper covers in public: historical novels, I’m looking at you (my non-romance-reading friend nearly wet herself laughing at the selections on offer last time she ventured into the romance section with me).  I know the book inside is fabulous, but it looks like utter trash.

    How do you create a cover that meets the reader’s expectations of how that genre should be represented—in KD’s case, which says, “Buy this book if you want a hot read”, that people aren’t embarrassed to be seen with in public?

  10. 10
    Laura says:

    I prefer the original version of Kate’s cover, but it’s less to do with the amount of flankage and more to do with the apparent added coating of lacquer. Is it just me, or does the guy on Cover B look significantly glossier than he does on Cover A?

  11. 11
    Jill Shalvis says:

    Mimi gets a contract is priceless.  Thanks for the procrastination links.  I didn’t need them, I’m on deadline (can’t you tell, as I’m here commenting . . . ), but the laugh was worth it.

  12. 12
    Hortense Powdermaker says:

    Oh, those erotic romance novelists. Always pushing the envelope. First it was man-titty, now it’s man-flanky – with all that going on, can man-butty be far behind?

    Give me the Anger of Aubergines any day. A tasty vegetable on the cover – that’ll sell a book.

    Nothing screams sex quite like an eggplant.

  13. 13
    Kate Douglas says:

    Thanks, ladies, for posting my link. I have been loving the comments coming in on the cover change. First of all, I doubt I would have even noticed the “fog” if my publisher hadn’t sent me a stack of the original cover flats to drool over, months in advance of release—and sorry, I’ve already given them all away. I ran a poll on my newsletter, so I’ll admit my responses were skewed by the fact the first ones were almost entirely from my readers who expect naked booty, but I still managed to get a few who said they’d feel more comfortable picking up the book with the fogged out cover, so, in respect to sales, it was probably a good marketing ploy. Of course, my reaction, knowing it was a male buyer who objected, was that the decision was sexist—as Joanne said, naked women’s butts are fair game. And, if you’ll look at my other covers, I’ve got even more than that showing on some of the “acceptable” covers—you can see all of them at http://www.katedouglas.com (direct link to all twelve covers on one page) The first sexy beast book might not have shown a naked butt, but it didn’t hide the pubes…something I didn’t notice until readers pointed it out. (Not a single one of them was complaining, btw) We all have different comfort zones, and if your ultimate goal is more sales, then I guess the fogged cover is preferable. I, however, am really glad that the one I have framed in my office shows it all!

  14. 14
    SonomaLass says:

    My problem with the “man flank” cover is, as usual, a problem with contorted positioning.  It looks like he is twisting his leg at a rather awkward angle (hence that flat look SB Sara noted)—I presume that’s to be sure that the camera catches flank and not any other bits.  But if he’s sitting on something that causes his thigh to be at that angle, then what is he looking at? Whatever it is, the “V” in the title is pointing to it like an arrow!

    Oh wow, the Diagram Prize.  Priceless!  Thanks, SB Sara.  It is not raining here at all, but it’s the last day of a week-long heat wave, so I’m not planning on getting up off my arse to do much.

  15. 15
    AgTigress says:

    On the book cover;  honestly, what a ridiculous fuss!  Cover A looks completely innocuous to me.  Cover B is a bad design – if they want to crop the image higher, they need to do a complete re-design.

    The Diagram prize – always a good source of entertainment!  The title that finally won the 30-year prize was Greek Rural Postmen and their Cancellation Numbers.

  16. 16
    Kate Douglas says:

    To clarify—there is no added lacquer on the changed cover. I imagine it’s merely the different scanners used to copy the art. And Cat—that’s not a trickle of fake tan on his thigh. If you could see the original you’d know you’re seeing droplets of water the model was sprayed with for the photo shoot. Btw, I’ve scanned the offending thigh into my “avatar” and hope it shows up!

  17. 17

    As one of the authors in that anthology with Kate, I was surprised when I found the print cover in bookstores didn’t match the one I’d been showing off on my website. I have to say, I did like the man flank better, but I write naughty books so you know where my mind is normally. ;-)

    Then again, I’m just happy to have my first book out…and my name on a cover with Kate and Vonna AND a pretty man.

  18. 18
    Audrey says:

    Loved the Diagram Prize. I didn’t realize that there is enough information to print a book called How To Shit In The Woods, nor that there was enough information that a second revised edition had to be printed. LOL

  19. 19
    JaneyD says:

    :loves the ferrets:

    I’ve watched little Peanut grow and grow. He’s going to have his pic of ferret ladies when he leaves his momma.

    Their numbers got so low that genetic diversity is still an iffy thing.

    Go BFFs! Keep on boinking!

  20. 20
    JaneyD says:

    —loves the ferrets!—

    I’ve watched little Peanut grow and grow. He’s going to have his pic of ferret ladies when he leaves his momma.

    Their numbers got so low that genetic diversity is still an iffy thing.

    Go BFFs! Keep on boinking!

  21. 21
    Lori says:

    Definitely Cover A.  And honestly, if I have the cajones to walk up to the counter with a book titled, “Sexy Beast V,” then I definitely have no problem with a little man flank!

  22. 22
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    Loved the Diagram Prize. I didn’t realize that there is enough information to print a book called How To Shit In The Woods, nor that there was enough information that a second revised edition had to be printed. LOL

    My father actually owned that book some years ago—it was a gift from his brother.  As I recall, it wasn’t really about defecation—it was more of a general manual on camping technique and how to dispose of one’s trash (not just personal waste) in an environmentally sound manner.  In other words, it was given a purposely lurid title in order to sell more books.

  23. 23
    Laura says:

    can man-butty be far behind?

    Hm, I don’t know. It’s awfully close to “man-butter,” and… um… yeah.

    Kate, thanks for the clarification.

  24. 24

    Thanks for the update on all things ferret.  And that book title by Moth is awesome! 

    Hunker down and stay dry, we’ll keep a weather eye out for Hurricane Ike next week.

  25. 25
    dillene says:

    Good grief- Michaelangelo wasn’t afraid to put man flank (and more) in his art.  The Sistine Chapel ceiling is a veritable smorgasbord of man flank!

    The sad thing is that the poor model has probably done thousands of lunges and squats, and now nobody gets to see the result of all his hard work.

  26. 26
    Ocy says:

    I can see why the publishers would choose to go with the second cover rather than the first one.  The first one is pushing the barriers of the sort of thing we see in the bookstores, and while I personally don’t have a problem with either version, the original is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable.  Stupid double standard.

  27. 27
    Julie Leto says:

    Fact of the matter is, if the second cover means a bigger print run and sell-in than the first because one major retailer has concerns, then I say YEAH for Cover B!  Sell more books!!  No one is going to notice what’s missing because the vast majority of readers don’t know what’s not there.  Go publisher, IMO, for listening to their accounts and making it so that more books can be sold!

  28. 28
    Wryhag says:

    Oy, Kate, I hated seeing that lovely (and utterly inoffensive) body so whitely truncated!  What’s to see that would make children cry or matrons pee through their Depends?  There wasn’t even a hint of mushroom-headed, blue-veined, one-eyed trouser snake visible!

    And what gives with the hypocrisy?  The title Sexy Beast in an aggressive font is acceptable, but a glimpse of sloping loin isn’t?  I will never understand . . .

  29. 29
    Kate Douglas says:

    Julie, as an author I agree 100% with you, and as I’ve said before, if I hadn’t seen the original and known exactly how gorgeous the poor guy’s body was, I wouldn’t have even noticed. I’m all for selling those books, but the woman in me agrees with Wryhag—to cover up ANY of that perfectly gorgeous body seems like a crime. (I, however, can’t say it nearly as eloquently…)

  30. 30
    tracykitn says:

    As regards the Diagram Prize…I hesitate to mention it, but my mom recently bought a copy of Six-Legged Sex: The Erotic Life of Bugs at my local Half-Price Books.  In her defence, she has a PhD in biochemistry (only about 6% of PhD’s in chemistry/biochem go to women)—oh, and she raids my and my sister’s stashes of romance novels.  And she otherwise has really weird taste in books.  For some reason, she was really, really (I mean, almost voyeuristically) excited about insect sex.

    My mom’s really weird, but I love her.

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