Remember when every paranormal adventure novel had to have a woman with a tramp stamp, with her back to the reader? Preferably wearing tight leather pants and holding a crossbow? Those days are over.

Now the latest big thing in publishing, according to Paul Goat Allen, is "tattooed man nipple." Although, to be fair, the nipples themselves aren't usually tattooed — the tattoos are usually nipple-adjacent. You could say the tattoos tend to abut the nipples.

Writes Allen over at Barnes and Noble:

While perusing the countless number of paranormal romances that have been recently released or will be published this spring, everywhere I turned I saw tattooed man nipple. It was almost uncanny: cover after cover featuring conventional beefcakes (washboard abs, meticulous manscaping, etc.) with tattoos conspicuously on their chests. And the focus of the majority of these covers obviously wasn't on the character's face – it was missing from most covers – it was on the tattooed chest!

Allen collected some tremendously striking examples of Spring 2011 book covers featuring tattooed pecs, and we went and hunted down high-res versions of them. So check out the man nipple onslaught! And read the rest of Allen's piece at the link. The comments are also well worth checking out. [Barnes and Noble]