Which brings me to the topic of gay covers.
M/M erotic romance really seems to be taking off and no matter which e-publisher you frequent you will always find a m/m book in the latest releases. So where do cover artists get their stock from? The usual resources, of course. Istock, Dreamstime, etc, etc, etc. Do a search on gay or homosexual men and you will find the usual illustrations and the odd awkward looking couple but very, very rarely will you find an image that will have an author (or reader) gushing. It seems people don't want to see scrawny pre-pubescent looking gay men on their covers. They want to see real men *rolls eyes* with six packs and boobs bigger than mine (and that's saying something) . So where does that leave us cover artists? Pulling together a couple of 'real' men from different sources and trying to play match-maker and all the while hoping no-one takes a dislike to it.
So when a fellow cover artist tells me a popular stock photographer doesn't want his models on gay covers I thought I'd better look into it. No cover artist wants to have to re-do a cover purely to replace one of the images. Here's an example of one of the stock sites license agreements:
Kinda limiting, isn't it. Especially when cover artists and erotic romance publishers alike rely on stock from these sites for their covers. So I guess you could say that we take liberties when it comes to the above license, all the while hoping to god no-one gets offended.
I must add that I am amazed that no-one has cottoned on to the fact that gay images with good looking, well built men are really popular. Hell! If I knew how to use a camera and had access to some good looking gay men, I'd submit some myself!
So spread the word folks!! We need more gay cover models!!!