What´s a book cover trend?
As with fashion, a book cover trend is a fashion development which most authors/publishers like to follow. Why? Because what worked for book X surely works for other books, right? Wrong. WRONG. ( thinking about getting the crayons out to drive my point home)
As far as trends go- Not everything trendy is acceptable. In fact, many trendy book covers are either not fitting or they´re down right hideous.
Hence the reason why I will present to you the typical book cover trends! But more of that in a few.
Let´s have a quick chat about pretty and ugly book covers.
I walk away from an ugly book cover. Yeah, I know I shouldn´t. But who can blame me? If I find a book cover tacky, tasteless or even less appealing, then there will be no-show of grabby hands in a bookstore.
They say to never judge a book by it´s cover. I most certainly do.
Judging a book by it´s cover is the #1 way how I buy my books. Or maybe- it´s the #1 way I get interested in a book.
I like pretty things, especially book covers. But sadly enough- the pretty book covers aren´t the only ones noticeable. In fact- passing an ugly book cover is just as hard as it is walking by a pretty one. Some book covers are cringe worthy.. even hilarious. And if you have a vivid imagination then your mind comes up with all sorts of funny and rude stuff when seeing unbelievable cover images.
It´s not only about what´s hot and what´s not. For me, the major problem is how often I see certain book covers. Sometimes I see the same cover image only printed in different colors. It doesn´t take years of observation to notice a pattern. If you keep your eyes open then you can easily place book cover images to the matching genres.
Still, once in a blue moon I get surprised by authors / publishers. Sometimes I see an eye catchy book cover and do a double take in when realizing which genre the book belongs to.
Alas. Here are the different types of book cover trends. Ready?
Black Background & Random Object ( mostly Romance )
Remember the Twilight Saga? All 4 books? Black background with a random object that´s possibly ( or not ) linked to the plot? Yeah. Those started off a wild fire in the book world. Before we knew it we were seeing black book covers with high in contrast colors. Black and red. Black and purple. Black background and a single shiny key. Black background and a dove….
Those covers aren´t really trendy anymore but they still work because they´re neutral. No one can say anything bad about a cover that has a black background and a random object on it, other than maybe that it´s out of style.
Don´t Have A Head But I Have A Great 90´s Tribal Tattoo ( Romance)
Have you ever tried to bathe a cat before? All´s good with Mr. Cat until it realizes you want to give it a bath. It lashes out. Scratches the living daylights out of you. That´s how I feel when I see a book cover image that has a headless, well oiled, ripped bod. Was it THAT difficult to add a head? And what about the tats? They scream 90´s. Maybe they didn´t want their faces to be seen because someone might guess their age? Lol. It just doesn´t make sense to me. Perhaps they have a case of the shrinking heads as in the movie Beatlejuice? These covers make my Top List of Most Tacky Book Covers.´( especially book cover #3. There´s too much going on there. Tats, a suit on a hanger, the Eiffel Tower, the title…. no head. * holding breath *)
Speaking of headless…
Have You Met Mr. Suit? He Lost His Head As Well. ( Romance, YA, NA )
Okay, fine. The right one has half a head. But still… The rest wasn´t important? I bet they, too, have tribal tattoos hidden under those fancy suits. Oh, oh, oh! Remember the part where I said sometimes book covers don´t match the story? Storm and Silence is a Historical read set in the Victorian Era. Headless stud has a nice suit, though. This type of book cover is still popular among authors who write about baby millionaires and / or semi – asshole Heroes who have it all. Not really my cup of tea but I can live with the suits.
I Need Time To Think. Alone. But You Can Follow Me. ( Romance )
Also very popular. Women having a thoughtful moment out in the open. But I have to say- I prefer these over the headless dudes. The lady in book cover #3 either has a death wish or she´s one of the X-Men ( Just kidding. I read that book. Neither happens. I think a woman holding a bottle of wine ( to handle the drama) would have been a more suitable image). These covers will most likely stay around.
The Missing Heads From Heartbroken Men ( Romance, Erotica, NA)
There they are! But it seems like #1 and #2 are suffering from headaches. #3 looks like he´s given up on life. The headless covers looked happier than this mess. Personally, I think these covers are cheesy and with my luck they´ll probably stay trendy until the end of time Fucking hope not )
I Wanna Hold Your Hand ( Young Adult Books )
Now, Young Adult books are also divided into different categories, as well, with the main being Young Adult Fantasy and Young Adult Romance. Let´s focus on the cute and innocent YA Romance…. because it´s just SO innocent.
Because, holding hands was a big issue back in the day. Remember those moments where you had butterflies flapping in your belly? No, neither can I. Lol.
Let´s move on to more expressive stuff……
The Book World Has Been In Darkness Long Enough. ( Romance, NA, YA, Chicklit )
A trend LOVED by many authors and publishers now. I get it. I can see the appeal. Colors are an eye catcher especially when splattered on a white background. But I also see this trend dying down pretty soon. These types of covers are my favorite, so far. Why? Because they don´t really state the obvious. The main focus is on the title. The colors are just a pretty bonus.
The Eye. ( All genres)
Yeah, I know. Pretty cool. But I have to admit that it´s also pretty creepy. This is a trend that´ll soon pass. Who knows… maybe in three years everyone will find noses sexy. Fingernails? How about feet?
Get A Room. ( Romance, NA, Erotica )
These are the most spread out book covers out there. Couples making out. There´s nothing wrong with a couple making out in a cover image. At least that´s a small guarantee that you´ll get to read a romance that involves sex, or making out. There is a 50% chance that´ll happen in those books. And if no bed sports happen then it´s false advertising. Anyhow – These covers might never go out of style no matter how tacky I think they are. Sex sells. Always will.
Hey Hey Hey! Go Easy On The Neck, Will Ya? ( Historical )
These need to find rooms, too. I do love myself some good old-fashioned historical romance. But when I look at the HR book covers I end up having a laughing fit.
And when they´re done with their version of hanky panky the women like to present their cupcake dresses….
Look At My Dress ( Historical Romance )
This looks like a page from an old clothing catalogue.
See why I can´t keep in my laughs? I´d say Historical Romance covers are by far the most ridiculous and oh – so amusing. OH! We cannot forget our Scottish Fabio´s!
The Decapitation Of Scotland’s Fabio Lanzoni
Historical covers wouldn´t be the same if a Scottish HR didn´t have a buffed, headless bod wearing a kilt and holding a sword / dagger just for good measure.
So you see… They´re everywhere and I see them going nowhere. They´re here for good.
How about we focus on a different territory?
Stay tuned. Book Cover Trends Part Two: Paranormal, Fantasy & Horror is on it´s way…