Choosing a Cover Model

How does Sports Illustrated do it? How do they choose the “perfect hottie” for a cover?

I am sitting here trying to finalize a cover design for my cookbook and struggling trying to figure out what dish will be my “hottie” cover model. Do I display our green enchilada recipe because it is my all time favorite dish? Or maybe red enchiladas, because they are my second favorite dish and oh so pretty with a fried egg on top? Or how about a plate of some tostadas because everyone recognizes what they are? Or do I choose a photo that is more symbolic — One of my mom and me making flour tortillas with the rolling pin that was my grandmothers?

The decision has been so difficult; it’s like choosing a name for your first-born. You want it to be unique but at the same time you don’t want to have to explain what it means every time. So with that said I go to bed tossing and turning hoping for a sign from the heavens.

What makes you pick up a cookbook from the shelves at a bookstore? Next time you are perusing through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders think about why you pick up a book? The picture, the familiar cook or author, or the title? I’m just curious.

They say you can not judge a book by its cover, and yet every day people do.

Photographer: Fototails Photography
See more photos on YouTube

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9 Responses to “Choosing a Cover Model”

  1. 1
    Rachel — August 16, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    The top right cover is the best–no contest! I would buy that book.

  2. 2
    jeaninethurston — August 17, 2010 @ 6:30 am

    Top right is definitely my favorite too.. bottom right is my 2nd choice though! Can’t wait to see it in print!

  3. 3
    Jennifer — August 18, 2010 @ 2:56 am

    I like the rolling pin with hands picture, save the green enchiladas and picture of you and your mom for the inside back cover. :) What a great idea to creat a cookbook!

  4. 4
    muybuenocookbook — August 19, 2010 @ 3:34 am

    My heart is going for the Red Enchiladas Montadas cover photo even though some folks might not know what it is. I’m hoping that my book will educate what real Mexican food looks like versus what they are use to. Enchiladas are obviously a traditional Mexican dish, and with an egg on top is an El Paso and New Mexico thing so I think it blends the history of my background perfectly. So for now, I’m going with that option.Thank you all for your feedback!

  5. 5
    Nancy aka Spicie Foodie — August 30, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

    Congratulations on the coming cookbook! I personally would first pick up the top left, because it looks personal and like there is a story behind it. But for a cookbook purpose I would think the top right is the best. Best of luck!

  6. 6
    R.L. — September 11, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

    I like the photo of you and your mother! To me a lot of cookbooks look so impersonal. That photo imparts warmth and affection and the food looks delicious!

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — September 16th, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m guessing the cover will ultimately be up to the publisher and whatever is chosen I hope the cover imparts warmth and affection – well said :)

  7. 7
    De'neen DeWitt — September 12, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

    I love the top left, (the hands of your mother and you) personal, and makes me feel connected. Though that is because I know you and can feel the love. For the purpose of getting the rest of the world’s attention, Top right would be the pick… I would use the hands and the pic of you and Mom on the inside of the book to bring a sense of a personal touch and to tell your story. I am enjoying watching this grow! Thanks for sharing your passion, recipes, and story with us!

  8. 8
    Judy P — September 14, 2010 @ 4:08 am

    I LOVE the picture of the hands of different generations. That to me says it all. The pictures of food can go with their recipe. I wish with all my heart that I had my grandmother’s written recipes. Mostly, I have my memories !

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