Book Cover Trends: Headless Romantics

Oh yes. We´re revisiting the headless party again. Imagine a life without headless people on book covers… It´s close to impossible.

When I talk to my friends about headless bodies on book covers most of them wave off the topic before it even has a chance to develop into a conversation.

“Meeh. I don´t read those types of books.” Some of them have said/will say.

A clear case of judging a book by its cover, if you ask me.

And that´s perfectly fine. I judge a book if it has a dragon on it, too. Hell, I´m about to judge the headless fools on romance book covers myself. So, I fully understand where people are coming from when they voice their dislikes for a book cover.

It´s not the image itself that´s raising awareness. I couldn´t give a hoot if I saw a headless character image on a book cover or not. It´s the repetition of an image. The fact that you can´t walk in any direction without seeing a handful of naked, well buffed headless bodies. Why not include the head? I can tell you why.

Many readers ( including myself ) don´t appreciate character images on book covers. They like to make up their own faces without the aid of an image.

While flowers or other objects on book covers are neutral, headless bodies ( clothed or not ) aren´t neutral. They´re genre specific. Made to attract the romance loving crowd.

 

Headless body = romance

 

In this time and age, sex sells. And there are many willing readers waiting to get their hands on some proper literary sex. So there is no need for heads. Do I approve? Continue to find out.

 


 

#1  Fit Without Heads

 

Headless Romance Sports

 

Would I think these are romances based on the cover image?

Definitely. The image focus is on the buff bodies. The bodies are, therefore, an important tool to lure in romance readers. Heads don´t sell as well as the promise of sex with a sex God.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore? 

Nope. Can´t say they would. I´d eye them on my way to the less revealing covers.

 

My personal thoughts:

Uhm, I´m really not a fan of hairless chests. Not a fan of extremely built bodies, either. So, these images aren´t appealing to me in any way. But (!!!) some of the stories behind these covers aren´t too shabby. No kidding. I often think some of these books would be better off with different cover images. As for the stories matching the cover images- A reader gets what they see. If you see a hockey player on the cover ( with or without head ) then there will be a hockey player in the book. The cover images are story theme revealing.

 

 


 

 

#2  A Headless Fantasy

 

 

Headless Romance Fantasy

 

Would you think these are fantasy romance novels based on the cover images?

I would. It´s no secret that many romantic fantasy novels are just plain ol´ contemporary romances with a sprinkle of magic included. I´m not surprised I´m seeing almost the exact same images as above.. They just have different colors and titles.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Nope. Not unless I´ve seen one of these books being praised online.

 

My personal thoughts:

Nothing´s changed for me. I´m still not a fan of headless, hairless, buffed bodies. No demon horns or angel wings could change my opinion.

 

 


 

#3   Mr. Headless Suit

 

 

Headless Romance Suits

 

Would I think these are romance novels based on the cover images?

Of course! A man in a suit is like a sexual magnet for some women. A properly tailored suit can say that a man is successful. And we all know how attractive success is. How does the saying go? `Success is sexy`? Sexy so happens to work as a lawyer, is a billionaire, a politician or is some drug lord running multiple businesses in romance novels. And besides- the focus here is on the suit. A dead giveaway that someone has money and power or some sort of authority.

The cliché with suit wearers: They´re cold, stand-off-ish, own a shit ton of buildings, properties or islands. They have black hair and piercing eyes. And when they´re dealing with emotional turmoil they have a three-day scruff. Or, they´re not rich but like to spank wallflowers who batted their eyelashes the wrong way.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

No. Although I´m fond of a well-fitted suit I can´t say I find them or the characters wearing them attractive enough. Especially without the heads.

 

My personal thoughts:

So SO outdated. The thought that designers/authors are still using these cover images baffles me. Either give them a head or put them in beige slacks.

 


 

If you think we´re done then think again. We´ve only scratched the surface so far. The romance world is filled with headless cover images. Headless men, headless women, and even headless couples.  There´s enough image decapitation to last us all two lifetimes.


 

#4  Mrs. Headless

 

Headless women

 

 

 

#5  Headless Romance

 

Headless couples

 

See? There´s more. * sigh *

 

Unfortunately, I don´t think this trend is going anywhere. Romance sells. Sex sells. Always has. Always will.


 

Have you noticed naked bodies on cover images before? What is your take on the images? Yay or Nay? Do you think this trend needs to pass or would you like to see more? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

 

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Book Cover Trends: Part Two (Paranormal, Fantasy & Horror)

Hi! Welcome back to Book Cover Trends!

If you thought there was nothing left for our Book Cover Trends show and tell, then you´re  wrong. Oh, so wrong.

The book world doesn´t just live off of young love novels and cheesy romances. There´s more. Much more. As much as I´d like to continue discussing headless men with pumped abs I do feel the need to dive further into the book cover world.

Werewolves, witches, shapeshifters, vampires, assassins, faeries and serial killers deserve book covers, too. It´s the darker book cover side.

Let´s see what´s hot and what´s not in the make-believe world.

Ready?

 

Someone Needs To Wear The Crown  ( Dystopian, Fantasy )

I´ll admit that these covers are really cool. I like crowns. Wish I wore one myself. As far as book covers for Dystopian / Fantasy go, this is all I see lately. A crown here, a crown there. So many crowns.

crowns

There´s just alot you can do with crown images.

I predict a LONG reign for these types of book covers.

 

 

The Crow ( Paranormal, Fantasy )

The crow. Probably THE MOST used animal for book covers. I get it. They´re black. They´re mysterious. They´re always attached to the paranormal world. The world has over 8.7 million species. It´s believed that 1-2 million of those species are animals. You cannot tell me that the crow is the only mysterious animal. It´s certainly not the only black one.

I guess the black bear, a black bat, the black widow, a black bunny were already taken?

crows

I see this trend going nowhere. Crows are here to stay. As long as no one is willing to break this stereotype then I guess we´ll be seeing many more crows.

 

Let´s move on to bad ass women….

I´m Going To Save The World With My Awesomeness ( YA, Dystopian, Fantasy)

These covers definitely say “I´m the chosen one!” A reader knows the story is about a dysfunctional world and someone, a chosen individual ( there´s a 90% chance that someone is a poor human living in some type of slums), will right the wrongs and bring justice to a corrupted world.

These are my least favorite book cover images. I just think they´re…ugly. There´s no other way to express my feelings towards these covers. But still…..

bad ass

… readers love this cover image. In my opinion, you have to be a huge fan of the fantasy genre to accept the badassness these covers have. Or you just don´t give a hoot. I do, though. There are other ways to attract a reader´s attention. How about using a crown?

 

 

Me? I´m The Chosen One That Has To Save The World? ( Dystopian, YA, Fantasy)

Sometimes the badass female lead develops her backbone much later in a story. She has to grow into her role as the chosen one. But before she swaps her pitch fork for a glowing faerie sword she has to change her clothes. One cannot win battles in Versace´s Dystopian Autumn collection.

not badass

These ladies want to make a difference. I can´t say which I prefer. The assassins or the princesses.

Speaking of ladies…. up next is a girl who needs our pity….

 

 

Emo Girl  ( YA, Fantasy )

emo girl

Okay. I love this story. It´s Twilight with Angels only better. The Fallen by Lauren Kate is one of my favorite reads. But…. the girl on the cover ( which I assume is supposed to be Lucy, MC, is far from being an emo child) does not represent the Heroine. Having 2 hot angels chasing your booty ain´t a good enough reason to cry.

 

Let´s get away from tough cookie Heroine´s and sobbing messes.

 

Artistic ( fantasy, Children, YA )

artsy

Because it doesn´t always have to be an image of some sexy beast. Okay… Both books are intended for children´s minds so the cover has to match. I totally understand that. And I think it´s okay to use an illustrated cover image. Spot on in these cases.

 

Doors & Windows  ( Mystery, Thriller, Horror )

doors1

Definitely creepy. Normally, doors do nothing for me except keep me safe inside my house. But on a book cover? An absolute 9 on the creep scale. Also, these won´t ever go out of style. A trend that´ll stay!

 

A Rose IS A Rose, Is A Rose, Is A Rose….  ( All genre´s )

Yupp. Roses are DA SHIT!

rose

Seriously, roses are perfect. Old as time but perfect for any genre. You´ve written a romance? Just use an image of a rose. You´ve written a suspense with a psycho? *snorts* Just use a rose that´s leaking blood. Is your book about having din-din with a sexy vampire? I recommend a black rose, because…well, you know. The black crow isn´t THAT fitting. Wanna write a fantasy? Ooh, you can´t use a red rose then. Use a white one. Werewolves? Oh, please *wave off* Werewolves are known to be rose experts. They have gardens filled with long-stemmed roses. High quality you´ll only find in a McWolfy garden.

Funny enough, roses can be used for all genre´s. It´s only a matter of how an author / publisher pimps it to match the theme of the story. What´s even funnier? Most of those books don´t have a single rose in their stories. But the covers are often quite stunning.

 

 

Okay, people… That´s it for today. Stay tuned for Book Cover Trends: Part Three…. Coming soon!

 

Hope you enjoyed the lists so far! If you have any ideas you´d like to add or see in the future then feel free to hit me up! Drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

xoxo

 

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…