So, I was perusing the free Nook Books over at Barnes and Noble (yes, I’m a Nook girl. I love my Nook, and no, you can’t read anything on it, it’s mine…) because, well, it’s Christmas time in my house, so all money goes to buying presents for others that doesn’t pay bills. So this is “free ebook” season for me.

I have to keep plenty of ebooks on my Nook, or sometimes, if I don’t have anything to read, I go a little batty.

Also, this time of year, lots of publishers have free downloads of books, like Harlequin, who for most of the holiday season, has books available for free download.

So today, after finding the latest Harlequin download, I went over to Barnes to check out the other free books, see if there was anything that sounded interesting. I usually find at least one or two that sound good, and today was no exception.

While there, I noticed a very tacky trend in ebook covers.

Now, before I go into this, I have to say the following: I am a cover brat. I have been blessed in my entire writing career to have beautiful covers, and never once have I been disappointed with any book cover I’ve ever had. I appreciate people who are talented with graphics to make these covers, how to shade, touch up, and detail a stock photo to make it into something special.

Again, I have been blessed.

So when I go into the free romance section at Barnes, I expect to see some “not perfect” covers, I get that, because people self-publish, and many times can’t afford the high prices of good cover art.

But that wasn’t what I saw that disturbed me.

It was the number of erotic book covers with women on them.

I know, I know, a lot of erotic covers have women on them. But usually their paired with men, it’s in shadow, and it is usually alluded to what is going on. And even if it is a cover with a girl’s butt or something, there’s, well, good lighting on it.

What kills me, is the obvious erotic stock photos of a girl, bent over, holding her skirt up, to show off her thong, as the entire book cover.  And nothing’s been done to it. Or her hands on her bare breasts, in orgasmic poses.

I saw a lot of this kind of tacky stuff. The kind of thing, that as a reader, my first thought would be–wow, did I pick up a porno magazine by mistake?

I know, I know, erotic book covers are supposed to be titillating. They’re supposed to push a bit, to make you wonder, and to turn you on a bit.

But here’s my thing.

Erotic romance is marketed–OBVIOUSLY–to women. So why would women, unless they’re looking for lesbian romance (and I looked, even the lesbian romance covers from professional publishers are pretty…), why would they even pick up a book (or select it via ebook) that has just a female on the cover?

To me, that’s not erotic. Especially if she’s in a “daring” pose, with boobs or butts or something else hanging out. To me, it looks, I don’t know… desperate.

Maybe I’m getting old. Or maybe I’m a cover snob. I’m much more likely to pick up a book with a handsome man or a couple on the cover than a woman in a pose I would find in a porn magazine.

What about you? Does a woman in an erotic pose on a book entice you to read on, or would you prefer a man, a couple, or even something like on the Shades books–just a simple tie, or handcuffs or something?

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