Book Cover Trends: Part 1 ( Romance & Historical)

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….

blackbooks

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)

naked headless covers

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 )

suit

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 )

leave me

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)

men

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.

hold hands

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 )

colors

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)

eye

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. neck

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.

dress

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.

scot

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…

 

13 thoughts on “Book Cover Trends: Part 1 ( Romance & Historical)

  1. This was a brilliantly funny post. I must admit when I see certain covers saturating the market, it really puts me off buying the book. I know it’s not necessarily the author’s fault as cover designs are often in the hands of the publishers, and if self-publishing I even understand an author’s tendency to veer towards the familiar, but some of these covers are just… *shakes head*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LMAO. Thank you, muchacha. I agree. It´s off putting and it´s often not the author´s fault. When it is the author´s fault ( due to missing taste or because they´re using a trend) then it would be wise to ask friends / fans for advice. Sometimes a few more opinions help in making the right choice. Thank you so much for commenting! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The book world has been in darkness long enough… Have you read Confess? The reason I ask is because of your comments about the paint splatters and title. The cover actually represents the content. Art and painting (along with real confessions) are parts of this book. If you look closely, the title actually has a picture of a young woman (the heroine) in it. Many of Colleen Hoovers covers are directly linked to the her stories and the titles will have pictures in them. They’re more significant than you’re saying here. It’s easy to trash covers when you don’t know the story behind them sometimes. I would be careful about generalizing when you may not be aware of content. That’s just my opinion, though.
    Also, there are a TON of NA covers without couples making out. Coleen Hoover’s, Tarryn Fisher’s, Jessica Park’s, Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series, Emma Scott’s… I could go on for a really long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I´ve read Confess. Sadly, my least favorite from all CoHo books ( which would be Hopeless, Slammed & POR ) I agree- the story matches the cover. I only stated that the cover art is trendy. A bonus is that is has an actual tie to the story ( which you don´t see too often ). I really love the colors and cover art. I would like to see more of these types of covers but I have a feeling they´re just a trend… even for Colleen Hoover.
      Uuhm, I´m sorry, I wasn´t trashing anything. I have an opinion. I´m entitled to use it.
      I think this comment has gone farther than needed. Thank you for your input on the topic.

      Like

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