Now, perhaps you think the Risky Regencies’ Ladies are in perfect accord when it comes to everything. Not so; we would hardly be risky, would we?

One area some of us have discussed here–on- and off-stage–are romance covers. When she’s cheating on us, Janet Mullany posts as Jane Lockwood over here, and her most recent post discussed the Dishy Guy On Covers phenomenon.

This is not new. As long as people judge books by covers, alluring covers will be sold, no matter what the inside is like. Cases in point:

One thing to notice here is that most of the exploited images are of women; I’m not a vindictive person, so I don’t think it’s right that men are exploited more on our covers (good for the goose argument doesn’t hold water in the face of exploitation), but it is interesting to note.

And I doubt if hardcover books ever get these kinds of covers. Do they?

These aren’t even the most salacious of covers I’ve got in my files (I love pulp covers, btw, and have absolutely no problem with the mantitty).

Why do publishers put these on books? Because–and here’s the most obvious thing ever said–SEX SELLS. So do hot, beefcakey men and cleavage-laden women.

What I would suggest is that next time someone ribs you about the quality of the book inside the cover, whip out a copy of the Maltese Falcon, and be grateful our covers–and books–have come a lot farther than Swamp Hoyden or Pleasure Resort Women.

So where do you stand on covers (not literally; I could figure that out myself)? Do you bend back your covers in public, or show ’em off to anybody who curls a lip at your choice of reading material?