Much debate has been had over what type of erotic book cover the average reader would like to see. From the current market sales it looks like the new mainstream model is the simplistic type following along the guide lines of 50 Shades of Grey. Most of the top erotic romances on the top 100 have similar book covers with little flesh so obviously apparent.
I’ve asked many new readers to the genre, thanks to 50 shades, what they would pick up to read on their e-readers or in book form and across the board, they are looking for book covers that are NOT overly sexual in nature. They want something you won’t know it’s naughty if you saw the cover. They don’t mind say… two people entwined if the cover was washed over with a color so you had to really look at it tell it was entwined lovers.
They are coming from the stand point of being mothers, wives, daughters, of being private. Yes, our general acceptance of nude images have changed over the years, but we are still puritans at the heart and what some dignity. There has been many conversions over the summer of 50 shades from everyone, book clubs, pool side, vacation… heck everyone had an opinion. One reader told me she was at the beach and on just about every towel was a “Grey” book. She said if the cover was more sensational it probably won’t have been that way.
So do the reader’s really want the simplistic covers that don’t advertise the sexual aspect as fully? I think so. I happened to be in Target the other day and stopped in front of a book end cap. Just to test this theory, all the books on that end cap were erotic romance, but not one had people, body parts or anything other that could be seen as sexual on the covers. The covers where basic drab colors with an single tangible item on the front, ie… cuff links, ties… Some covers were just of satin texture with the title of the book and the name of the author.
Even USA Today did a fabulous article, Publishing world is turned on by ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ By Deirdre Donahue, on the how 50 Shades has changed the publishing world. Personally, I think it’s just helped the erotic genre adapt to mainstream, in a more acceptable visible way. The genre is still high octane living on the edge of sexual heaven, but it’s helped our puritan mindset with a more acceptable book cover.
What are your thoughts? Do you mind seeing the flesh covered, explicit covers or do you prefer the more simplistic plain covers?