What it's like to be a romance novels cover model.

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Curious about what it takes to be a romance novels cover model?

The romance novel industry is growing at a rapid rate. In 2013, it was worth almost 1.1 billion dollars and the expectations are that it's going to be worth even more as new reading platforms continue to develop.

Consumers are no longer satisfied with paintings of Fabio gracing the covers. They're demanding photos of men, and variety. While the demand is there, the money for models isn't.

From the New York Times:

With Romance Novels Booming, Beefcake Sells, but It Doesn’t Pay
This corner of the book world is red hot and among the most innovative, with
e-books and apps, and it needs a steady stream of fresh-faced cover models.
By Laura M. Holson
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Jason Aaron Baca is good-looking, not handsome like the Ryans (Gosling and Reynolds) or rugged like Daniel Craig, who is fetching in a tailored Tom Ford suit. But when Mr. Baca, 42, slipped on a pair of dark aviator glasses recently, he looked remarkably like Tom Cruise in “Top Gun.”
He was dressed for work in a khaki military jumpsuit. And even though it was barely noon, he had already stopped by the gym to make sure his biceps and legs looked combat-strong. His assignment: To be a military helicopter pilot saved in a crash by a female rescuer with whom he once had a torrid affair. Now that they’re reunited, their passions have flared.
Mr. Baca is a cover model for romance novels. He has been on nearly 500 book covers, by his own account — one of scores of men like him vying to be heroic heartthrobs. Not since the flaxen-haired Fabio Lanzoni dominated drugstore book racks in the 1980s and 1990s, with his lion’s mane and bulging biceps, have cover models been in such demand.

Read the rest here: link.