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Guest tillygreene

Cover Question for All!

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Guest tillygreene

Okay, recently I heard about big bookstore buyer saying he wished romance and erotic romance covers weren't so sexually explicit.

So, what do you think - are they becoming too sexually overt?

On the other hand, if memory serves me right, weren't the old bodice ripper covers accused of the same thing?

Hmmm, I'm curious to hear what you all have to say. Me personally, no I don't think they are. In fact, I'm finding just the opposite is true. While the new trend of no people or extreme close-ups can be intriguing and lovely to look at in their own right, they aren't saying romance/erotic romance to me and they aren't saying try me.

Obviously this refers to the traditional format [paper] and ebooks go do whatever they want, but I'm curious if others think they are too much.

Come on...spill :-)

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Guest Monica Burns
Okay, recently I heard about big bookstore buyer saying he wished romance and erotic romance covers weren't so sexually explicit.

So, what do you think - are they becoming too sexually overt?

Obviously this refers to the traditional format [paper] and ebooks go do whatever they want, but I'm curious if others think they are too much.

Come on...spill :-)

Personally, I love sexy covers with bare chests or a little skin, but some are going a bit too far in terms of comfort zones for people shopping in the stores. I'm going to the Women's expo in TN in Oct. They're doing an ad, and I've been told that it's likely my cover for Obsession, which I think is absolutely beautiful, sexy and tasteful, will most likely not appear in the ad. Online I don't think it's an issue, but small presses need to be aware that the eBook cover and print cover are going to cater to two different target audiences, and sexually explict in a bookstore won't necessarily earn the book shelf life. JM2CW

Monica

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Guest Emma Sinclair

I think I'm the odd one but I happily pick up the most explicit, yet sexy, cover and read it in public with no shame.

Monica - Your Obsession cover is gorgeous and when I look at it I don't see anything really that risque at all. I mean you see more than that on networkk television!!!

Now I do think there's a difference between showing a lot of skin and then just being...overt. I think glimpses are sexier than full on nudity which I think is why I like the "body part" covers so much.

As I'm writing this I started wondering - do you think maybe the reason some of the tamer covers with hints of body parts or sex sell better than overtly sexual covers because people think it relates to whats in the book?

With a guy holding a girls boobs you pretty much know it's going to be hot and steamy sex between the covers (of the book I mean, the sex could be anywhere). But with more subtle covers...it's almost like the cover is adding to the sensual tension of the book.

I totally went off on a tangent, didn't I?

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Guest Monica Burns

Thanks for the kudos on Obsession's cover Emma, I love Eliza Black's work. I wish I could have her do ALL my covers. But I'm loving Anne Cain too. She did Mirage's cover.

The problem with the sexy covers is that in many cases they don't fulfill the promise of what's between the covers. I know a couple of authors who don't write sex well at all, in fact their stuff is quite tame. But they've got these incredible covers and I know it's simply a sales gimmick to drive up sales, but in the end it just pisses readers off because they don't get what the cover promises.

So you're correct IMHO that the cover is what drives the majority of sales. Most people pick up a book because of the cover (unless they know the author's name) if they like the cover, they turn it over and read the blurb. If they like the blurb, they either choose to buy or they open to page one and read a little. Some of them even read the last page or two, just to be sure they're getting a HEA.

People buying new authors generally do it a) on recommendation :wink_smile: the cover and blurb, which drives the impulse.

Nice transition on the topic. :D'

monica

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Guest tillygreene
I think I'm the odd one but I happily pick up the most explicit, yet sexy, cover and read it in public with no shame.

Nope, I do as well. In fact I was over in England and they have the Aphrodisa books stacked not with Romance but in the "Erotic" section...by the way, this isn't hidden away, its just another set of shelves like mystery, sci fi, etc. Anyway, I'm standing there reading the titles and a gentleman - about 60 - comes to stand next to me and picks up his Black Lace, peruses it, then picks another. He didn't look embarassed or ashamed, just a man looking for something to read.

And you're right Monica, it has become a sales gimmick to have a hot cover. Women are big readers and we're visually oriented, in fits this would work...at the same time, is this why people are complaining that there no good books out there anymore? Because the last one they picked up didn't live up to what they'd expected?

I don't know. But I'm heading off to the bookshop to see what I can find :-)

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Guest RenegadeHeart

I absolutely love book covers -- the design, the graphics, the art, the entire presentation. If this was my ideal world the book cover would artistically reflect the actual content of the story (hear ye all publishers!) -- from sweetest romance to the boldest erotica. I do believe, currently, bookstore cover art might benefit from being a bit less risque than the cover art of e-publishers, simply a matter of public consumption, since there is a much more generalized population checking out the books for sale, than a reader checking out her favorite romantic-erotic e-publisher, or checking out the newest e-publisher, which is a more specialized group of readers.

I will add. I believe it a cheap commercial shot to use sexy cover art when the read itself is tame. And the only cover art I object to, is what I personally find ugly and distasteful, a matter of personal taste. Make 'em nude to angelic, I don't care. I love the fantasy art of it all.

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Guest tillygreene

Fantasy art is wonderful! Boris and Ann Bell [i think and most likely wrong, but it's definitely Boris :-)] even have books out of their work.

Yeah, its a cheap shot to misrepresent whats between the covers and in the long wrong may cause that author to not sell their next book as well as the first [or get killed on the returns].

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