Friday, June 29, 2012

Does a Smutty Cover Sell Erotica?

"Does it matter if the images are overtly sexy if the content is predominantly aimed at readers using electronic devices?" Elizabeth Woodham recently posed that question in her blog titled, Cover Art.

In the blog, Elizabeth mentioned the recent debate brought on by the success of Fifty Shades of Grey indicating that a non-erotic, artful cover made it easier to read in public. True, but for many indie authors the books we publish are only sold as eBooks. So, does it matter?

Here is my take on the subject: I like a sexy pic and enjoy some of the covers I see on erotic novels. However, most of them look the same and may or may not have much to do with the storyline. I actually had a really sexy cover of a female's butt for my "quickie" Sensual Erotica: Bottoms Up. Even though it is just an eBook, I must say I blushed every time I looked at the cover. I eventually changed it to three wine glasses.

Why three wine glasses? Because the story is about a menage a trois and I enjoy the play on the phrase "bottoms up" since one of the young ladies in the story likes anal sex.

I know people do not flock to my books because of the tantalizing covers. However, I try to be creative and artful with the design. I think mainstream women may have an easier time purchasing them even though the content is every bit as raunchy as the more scandalous covers.

That said, I may very well be losing regular readers of erotica who think my stories are as non-sexual as my covers.

What do you think?


  1. You are absolutely right Red. And this is also true for the titles too! Thanks for letting me indulge in reading my "guilty pleasures" without worrying if my kids will catch me! Don't worry about losing readers! Think of those of us who feel free to download/purchase without fear of getting caught! Bless You!

  2. Honest, I shall think of you when I create my book covers! :) You are right about the titles. I have a few that may raise eyebrows but at least they aren't gross.

  3. Hi Red

    Do you design your covers yourself? Is it hard to do?

    1. I do design my own covers! I use a free program called Paint.NET. It takes a learning curve and is not perfect, but it is free. :) I use a website to buy the photos. It is fun for me to make my covers - almost as much as the books.