Publishers Weekly on Cover Clinches

Awhile back, a very nice lady contacted me about clinch covers. She was writing an article for Publishers Weekly, and several people told her that she ought to speak with me about cover art, so would I mind if she asked me about clinches?

Pah! says I. I would be pleased to talk about cover art! My opinions, gleaned from… three years of running this blog and searing my eyeballs with Covers Gone Wild!

The article went live today: The Forever Clinch by Lucinda Dyer, featuring a quote from yours truly, a mention of the Smart Bitch Book (THANK YOU) and a nod to some very wise people, including Kate Smith, founder of Romancing the Blog. The upshot: clinches can be awful but they’re not going away any time soon.

Best quote: Jennifer Enderlin from St. Martin’s Press: “Avoid at all cost poses where the heroine is bent so far backward she’ll be in need of a chiropractor.”

Well, don’t avoid it too often, please. We needeth the covers to snark!


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  1. 1
    Shanna says:

    The article was also picked up by one of my favorite blogs, Jezebel. Here’s the link:

  2. 2
    SonomaLass says:

    I think it’s more important to “avoid at all costs poses where the hero is behind the heroine and she’s wearing a look of pleasure, surprise or shock.”  Unless the publisher is looking for a lot of buttsecks and Burma Sauce jokes, that is….

    SB Sarah is right, we need the snark fodder. However, I don’t think anyone’s listening to our advice, so we’ll still be getting those “life saving” covers.

  3. 3
    ev says:

    Without cover snark what would we talk about???

  4. 4

    That was a great article and I enjoyed it very much. I left a comment there, fwiw.

  5. 5

    Yes, the occasional clinch is lots of fun.

  6. 6
    Tae says:

    wow… umm… what’s a “clinch” cover?  I suppose I can always google it.

  7. 7
    Cait says:

    Did you notice the cc on those books?  Back when paperbacks were really affordable!  And all but 1 were by MEN!!
      Do they really do clinches and sex well??

  8. 8
    Ashwinder says:

    what’s a “clinch” cover?

    It’s a cover where the hero and heroine are shown in some sort of pose where they look to be all over each other. Think of the old Johanna Lindsay books featuring Fabio as one of the cover models. Or just click on the cover snark tags here, and you’ll see lots of examples.

  9. 9
    Lizzy says:

    In the world that I would create, every book’s cover would be a clinch cover. Even the dictionary. This is how much I love clinch covers.

  10. 10

    Off topic:  Lizzy, it took me a while to figure out your avatar. I though it was an upskirt shot of a woman wearing a tutu!!! Ack! Glad to finally see it is just bare feet. *g*

  11. 11
    dangrgirl says:

    Quote from the article: “So is there a future for the clinch? Can it really compete with covers sporting an impossibly sexy tattooed young man?”

    Why can’t the hero in the clinch sport an impossibly sexy tattoo?

  12. 12
    Willa says:

    Good article, very nice! I do enjoy clinch covers, although I try to hide them on the subway, sometimes. I’m insecure like that.

    This Onion piece that’s linked at the bottom of the article is HILARIOUS!!

    I don’t know if SBTB posted a link to this already when it first showed up on the Net, but I’m so happy I read that. OMG too funny!

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