In the past few weeks there have been two incidents where individuals within the publishing industry have behaved unprofessionally. However, this is exactly why not everyone should be considered a "professional" regardless of the 'job description' or title i.e. COVER MODEL. This is why I’m not focusing on the individual themselves, nor their actions/what they did but rather the following:
Here we have had TWO individual who were GIVEN the title of "professional cover models" because they happen to be on a cover or two and people are SHOCKED when they 'behave badly' or "unprofessional". Seriously!? While some people were taken aback by the behavior, others came out saying they have heard of this sort of behavior or similar behavior or comments from the same individuals in the past and yet, they were still hired to be on covers, allowed to attend events and are expected to represent authors and publishers! This is where I say WTF!? Really?
Here’s the thing… Sometimes, these guys are pulled off the street or a gym because they have a good body or tattoos or maybe, won a contest on stage at a book convention. Many do not have any business or professional background. Others may have a business or professional background, but no knowledge of how the publishing industry works. Cover Models used to just be an anonymous pair of abs... bare chest.... eye candy.... Now, they are creating FB pages and other social media platforms and websites and attending conventions and REPRESENTING not only themselves but also the author of the book covers they are gracing and an industry with absolutely no knowledge of the industry itself or guidance from the industry!
I understand that there is a demand for fresh faces and hot bodies; however, in order to prevent incidents like recent events from occurring, the education of proper business etiquette and social media behavior of these individuals needs to occur. This is the basic standard of business conduct and authors must realize that they are a business. This means you need to be more conscientious about who you have representing and associated with your work. Oh and before anyone begins saying that some authors have no say in the matter when it comes down to selecting cover models, in the case of these two individuals, they work mostly with indie authors. Additionally, as an author, you hire the cover designer or the photographer for your personal photo shoot, you can tell them whom NOT to use on a cover. Especially if this type of behavior is the reason why you’re making the request, I’m sure the artist or photographer will have no issues.
We also need to STOP GIVING AWAY titles to EVERYONE and anyone and by title I don’t mean just the “cover model” one but the “Professional” portion of it. I’m seeing and saw it with the first incident weeks ago. By no means were either of these individuals either “Professional” or “cover models”. They happen to be two guys who were on book covers. That’s it! There needs to be a standard of not only quality of work but also behavior before individuals can either call themselves or other can deem them “professionals”.