Before we bring pirate romances into the picture, a question. Have you ever heard of Jordan Peterson?
He’s a semi-controversial Canadian professor of psychology who refuses to adhere to Canada’s Bill C-16. That law, passed in 2016, mandates the use of preferred gender pronouns. As in, if I was born with female DNA but prefer to be called “he,” it’s now illegal in Canada not to call me “he.”
The same goes for if I want to be addressed by any of the following potentially preferred gender pronouns, as provided by The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center:
Jordan Peterson flat-out finds that ridiculous, a sentiment he’s been very vocal on. Hence the semi-controversial nature of this Canadian professor. So far, he hasn’t been prosecuted though, quite possibly because he’s such a usual hit with students, the university he works for and a growing number of Jordan Peterson fans in Canada and the U.S.
Truth be told, it’s rather sad he’s more famous for his political views than his research. Because his research is utterly intriguing – and sometimes highly entertaining.
Take one of his professorial lectures, a part of which is up on YouTube with the title, “Why Women Fall for Pirates and Vampires – Prof. Jordan Peterson.” Whether you ultimately agree with it or not, it’s still an honest intellectual commentary on a cultural phenomenon.
Think it’s not a cultural phenomenon? Then do what I did last week and search for “pirate romance.” Then click on images.
It’s utterly hysterical! I dare it not to brighten up your day.
With titles like, “The Pirate Prince” and “The Pirate’s Desire” and “Pirate of My Heart,” the romance novels that instantly come up in this pirate romance search feature muscular men with opened shirts and bosom-baring damsels clutching them passionately.
It made me wonder how in the world these books get taken seriously enough to sell as anything but jokes.
However, let’s face it. I’m not the target audience here. I won’t speculate too far into who the target audience is, but apparently these book-cover creators, title come-up-withers and romance novel writers do know their audience. Otherwise, they wouldn’t keep successfully producing what they produce.
And mark my words. These books do sell.
I’m sure that Jordan Peterson could describe all this much better than I can. But those examples I found online do a great job of embodying marketing psychology. In order to reach your target audience with your product or services or writing, you first need to understand that target audience.
What are these people looking for?
What do they lack or think they lack?
In the case of pirate romance-seeking readers, it seems reasonable to assume they’re looking for:
Protection (a romantic pirate probably isn’t going to let anyone else near his woman. Or so I would assume. Admittedly, I’ve never met a romantic pirate as far as I can recall)
Happily ever afters.
So that’s what those front covers promise their core audience members: That life can be more than just a dull, unfulfilling, under-protected existence.
And for their non-core audience members, the book-cover creators, title come-up-withers, romance novel writers and every other marketing individual behind these products just don’t care. In their book, both literal and figurative, we don’t matter.
All the same, feel free to use these pirate romance images for a whole bunch of laughs to brighten up your day!