maybe it’s me, but…


It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts; however, my recent in-depth study of the nipple coverage and associated poses of half-naked chicks on book covers at Samhain Publishing got me thinking.

My question is – Why is it there are girlies flashing their tits on these covers anyway?

Don’t get me wrong those covers are definitely attractive and the pretties pert (to say the least). I just don’t understand why.

The passionate clinch I get, the strong and smexy chest or back I can DEFINITELY understand (let’s face it reading romantic fantasy it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to being a perve), but… bare boobs?

Isn’t it us gals who buy the majority of romance fiction? Why then do we need – or want – a book cover with some random naked lady??

Is the image meant to evoke a response along the lines of “Ooohhh. This looks hot. I must get it.”? Are we meant to relate (as much as I can relate to anyone who is about a third of my body weight and is young enough to wear jeans like that) to her?

Seriously, what’s the deal here? Does anyone else think this is odd??

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About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
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17 Responses to maybe it’s me, but…

  1. Tam says:

    I think they are trying to tell you that “there will be naked boobies in this book and lots of them and in your mind, you look exactly like this chick.”

    Of course there will be naked boobies, I wouldn’t be buying it otherwise (well, I’m not, but in theory) and not even in my deepest fantasies do I wear jeans that low riding.

    So beats me. I can see the naked boys, that appeals to me, but naked girls not so much.

  2. Kris says:

    That’s it exactly, Tam. We all know there is going to be S-E-X in it and therefore naked man and chick titties because it’s romantic fiction for fr@cks sake.

    Given that and the fact it’s women buying the books, why not pull out the big marketing guns and just give us nekkid menz??

  3. Tam says:

    Hmmm. Maybe they fall for that idea that all women are really bi and get off on hot chicks? Beats me.

    Habit? More likely habit. Romance always has the boy and girl (well those ones only have the girl) but the books you buy in stores usually have their bits covered up to protect the poor kiddies playing in the romance section. In e-books they can be “more” explicit but obviously not totally explicit.

  4. Kris says:

    You reckon it might be an ebook thing?? Perhaps a survey and some data generation is required by our resident statistician?? *Yep, I’m looking at you, Tam. You fessed up about your obsession. :)*

  5. jessewave says:

    Why are you visiting Samhain so often these days?

    It is an ebook thing – Angela James said that they never had naked or half naked people on books that are going to print!

  6. Kris says:

    Hey Wave

    It was just the one visit and I wanted to check out Josh’s next mystery. Just took the long way to get there. 🙂

    Oh, so it IS an ebook thing. Interesting.

  7. orannia says:

    Am not sure if it is an eBook thing as I’ve only just started venturing in the area (as much as I can with dial-up and a VERY old, VERY slow computer)…and I’ve only bought m/m romance *grin* but if you look at the covers of print books do you ever see one with a female who is not slim? Even Eloisa James’ book Pleasure to Pleasure, in which the heroine was definitely not slim (YAH to Eloisa for going away from the current sterotype!) the female character on the front cover was super slim.

    My theory (yes, I’ve thought on it a lot) is that as the current ‘image’ is for slim females, that’s what’s on the covers…and (although maybe I should count) the majority of books. I very rarely read a book with a heroine that is bigger… I love that Nalini Singh describes her heroines as curvy. Please don’t get me wrong, there are numerous body types (and I have a good friend who is incredibly slim – like I was in my late teens), but I just don’t see all of those body types in print.

    *gets off soap box*

    Sorry 😦 Sill working on my inadequacy issues….

  8. Jenre says:

    Naked ladies on the front of books put me off rather than attract me to a book. Two naked man and a naked lady put me off even more ;).

    I agree with what’s been said earlier, it only happens on the covers of ebooks and is there to scream out THIS HAS LOTS OF SEX IN IT. Just in case we miss the publisher’s warning and are deeply offended by the sexual content of the book.

  9. Kris says:

    I would get up on the soapbox with you, Orannia, but I’ve promised myself a rant free week… even if the way body image is portrayed in the media is one of my biggest pet peeves. Grrr.

    Some epublishers do have a sub-genre associated with BBW romance (I feel pretty good to have gotten special treatment like this *rolls eyes*) and the covers are pretty gorgeous. Still…

    I wonder if there is a thesis topic in there somewhere about the impact of romance fiction on the body and/or self image of women. It would be interesting, don’t you think??

  10. Kris says:

    “I agree with what’s been said earlier, it only happens on the covers of ebooks and is there to scream out THIS HAS LOTS OF SEX IN IT. Just in case we miss the publisher’s warning and are deeply offended by the sexual content of the book.”

    Well we are a very visually orientated society, Jen, but you would have thought the fact we were, I don’t know, actually buying a book meant we were capable of reading what it was about in the first place.

  11. Jenre says:

    Yeah, but we’re reading erotica therefore we are about as intelligent as pondscum.

  12. Kris says:

    Pondscum, you say. Is that similar to the phrase ‘shit floats’??

  13. Tam says:

    I’ll work on that statistical analysis there Kris. Next on the list.

    Do people go and buy books from places like Loose Id or Samhain and then get outraged by finding sex in the books? If so, what the hell are you doing on those websites?

  14. Lily says:

    I think it’s more of an ebook thing as when I was reading print het books I wasn’t seeing covers like this. I can tell you that I would have passed right over the book if I had. When I read het (over 2 years ago) I looked for covers with either the usual couple in a clinch or just the hot hunk by himself. Now that I read m/m I either see 1, 2 or more hotties on the cover.

    Lily

  15. Ingrid says:

    <>Do people go and buy books from places like Loose Id or Samhain and then get outraged by finding sex in the books? If so, what the hell are you doing on those websites?<> Lol, thats why I find the warnings so silly.

  16. K. Z. Snow says:

    I’ve <>never<> gotten it, that bodacious-boobs-on-romance-covers thing. But Samhain sure didn’t invent the image.

    I’m a big believer in ignoring covers, for the most part. But considering what messages are being telegraphed by <>those<> kinds of covers, I sure as hell wouldn’t consider reading the books.

    I despise cutesy, coy, flirty twit heroines. I hate the presumption that I want to <>be<> such a creature. And that’s what I’m seeing here.

    If publishers are going to be presumptuous, I’d rather they presumed I wanted to be with a half-naked hunk. Now <>that<> doesn’t offend me! 😉

  17. Kris says:

    Tam: Excellent! I’ll make a note of it on your list of ‘to dos’.

    Good question. Perhaps they were expecting inspirational and self-help books with titles like “Tie Me Up” and “It’s Raining Men”? Who knows.

    Lily: There’s definitely a consensus that it happens mainly on ebook covers. You think that maybe why I’m attracted to m/m could be because of the 2 (or 3) hawt guys you get on a cover?? Good call. LOL.

    Ingrid: Ditto. Oh well. At least they make good topics for discussion. 🙂

    KZ: Yeah; I think it’s wide spread. I just happened to take particular notice of it while I was cruising at Samhain the other day.

    I reckon you’ve hit the nail on the head, K Z. Does the fact that readers are buying romance for enjoyment/escapism/whatever and a few are imagining themselves in the role of the main female character of the story mean the majority of us then want to be skinny, busty, long haired blondes who walk around the savanna in front of flesh eating animals without a top on?? Maybe some of us do *shrugs*, but the comments here suggest that some people also find it presumptive, stereotypical and offensive.

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