[Home] [Philosophy] [What's New] [Products] [FAQ] [Feedback] [Order]

From The Desk Of Clarence Bass

If you enjoy and benefit from our website and products, tell your friends.

horizontal rule

NEW BOOK COVER: How We Selected Photos

We asked visitors to help us pick the photo for the cover of our new book. You responded with enthusiasm and wisdom—and considerable diversity of opinion (see article 195 in our Personalities category GO 195).  All six photos received support, often with well reasoned and detailed explanations. Number 6, the tank-top photo in the doorway with the inviting smile, received the most votes. The other five photos, all muscle poses, taken together, however, received almost three times as many votes. The split was essentially between a welcoming, friendly image and various degrees of muscle that some might find intimidating or even offensive, but more would probably find inspiring.

The selection process began several days into the photo shoot when we asked Laszlo to watch for cover candidates. His first pick was # 5 (classic, side view in natural light). Ironically, that photo was not popular with our visitors; it was second only to number 2 (moderately flexed full-body nude), which was last. (Carol and our friend Carl Miller rejected 5 almost immediately.) 

Laszlo has an amazing eye. What was he seeing that everybody else seemed to miss? By hindsight he was quite perceptive, foreseeing the split that showed up in the vote. His pick shows muscle, but probably not enough to run off hesitant book buyers. His selection was essentially a compromise between the two camps that appeared so clearly in the vote. He actually articulated (in his own way) the split—muscle versus personality—in that first discussion in our kitchen, arguing that 5 was both inspiring and inviting.

Interestingly, Laszlo's vision soon crumbled. When he got home and started showing the photos to friends and acquaintances, he was surprised to find that no one picked 5; they didn’t like the more posed photos either. But many were drawn to number 3 (upper body nude, semi-relaxed, scar visible). An older, non-athletic woman described it as “feeling without posing.” People not generally impressed by muscle liked photo 3. One man who did not respond well to the other photos called it “exquisite,” observing that it “doesn’t look like a bodybuilder pose, any more than Rodin’s Thinker does.” Laszlo’s friends were attracted, even mesmerized—and certainly not offended. After thinking for a while, a nineteen-year-old church friend (intelligent and perceptive beyond his years, according to Laszlo) said, “What I get from the picture is honesty…This guy is for real.”

Realizing that choosing the right photo was more complicated than we had imagined, Laszlo suggested that we solicit the opinion of our visitors. That turned out to be a brilliant idea, because it soon became clear that many of you were expressing what Laszlo’s friends were seeing in photo 3. For example, Carol’s niece, who is not into bodybuilding, said she “looked at that picture the longest…because of the detail.” The scar told her that body builders are "human." A senior partner in an advertising and design firm termed it “a very peaceful shot lacking pretense.” He said, “It speaks volumes about you - much more so than the usual 'bodybuilder' poses. If you seek to inspire, this is the shot!”

That was the type of reaction we were seeking. But the tipping point came when Dr. Paul Miko, Director of the Aging Studies program at the University of New Mexico, had a group of his students vote on the photos. Their response seemed to isolate and summarize what our visitor were seeing and saying. With one exception, the student’s voted for 3 or 6, with 3 getting the nod by a margin of 29 to 17. For us, that closed the deal. Number 3 on the front cover would arouse the interest of  readers, and 6 on the back would give them a good feeling about the author.

Number 3 fits the “Great Expectations” theme. It says to readers: Expect—and work for—the best, and that’s what you’re likely to get—at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and beyond.

Six doesn’t inspire and show what’s possible in the way that 3 does. On the back with the author bio, however, as one visitor put it, it says, "Come on in my friend and I'll tell you everything I know about health, nutrition and training sensibly."

Here is the final result of our search:


To order the new book:  Great Expectations: Health Fitness Leanness Without Suffering
$24.95 + shipping ($4.60 media or $6.60 priority)  Go

horizontal rule

Ripped Enterprises, P.O. Box 51236, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87181-1236 or street address: 528 Chama, N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108, Phone (505) 266-5858, e-mail:  cncbass@aol.com, FAX:  (505) 266-9123.  Office hours:  Monday-Friday, 8-5, Mountain time.  FAX for international orders: Please check with your local phone book and add the following: 505 266-9123

[Home] [Philosophy] [What's New] [Products] [FAQ] [Feedback] [Order]

Copyright © 2007 Clarence and Carol Bass.  All rights reserved.