Today’s discussion post is all about book covers and their power on us readers.
I know it’s said not to judge a book by its cover but how many of you have never one clicked a book simply because you found the cover irresistible? Mmmmmh? No one? I know that I have several “insta coverlust” clicks! I try to resist and make of my buying process a rationale process but being a book lover means being passionate about books attracted to their covers!
Covers are VERY important for publishing houses and author.
With more than 200.000 books being published every year it’s a hard battle for writers to attract readers.What’s the reader’s decision process? Well of course your friend’s recommendations, advertising, past experiences with an author etc.
But when you see a book none of your friends has read, by an author you’ve not read yet, the cover plays an important role. If the cover is plain, the chance is great you won’t even read the blurb and give the book a second look. I’m no different honestly.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s true! The cover has to embody what the book is about.
If you write about historical romance set in the highland or Victorian England, the chances are high that you’ll either get a naked chest dude with a kilt or lose shirt showing the heroes pecs!
But if you write a contemporary psychological thriller you’ll probably get something in dark tones, bold writing and maybe a mysterious silhouette.
See what I mean?
But I also think that past these simple “principles” you also have cover trends. Seasonal trends but also yearly trends and national trends!
National trends are perfectly illustrated in the Friday Face-Off weekly memes where we get to peek at the same books and all the variations of the cover.
Let’s take an example with A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab here and have a peek at all these Non US covers!
Seasonal trends are also often found in book covers. I have noticed that books published in Fall or Winter will tend to have darker covers than books published in Spring. Do publishing houses time their release according to seasons to match the content of the stories (and the look of the covers) with the season?
And of course you also have yearly trends. Same as clothes, book covers seem to change accordingly to the time period, the evolution in society etc. You can always spot for example a cover dating from the sixties. They have a “vintage” look that will be totally different from our contemporary covers.
So what are the current trends that I could spot in book covers and the ones I can guess from what the publishing houses already show us?
Keep in mind that I haven’t researched all types of genres but focused mainly on YA and romance, my two main genres! So feel free to complete with your observations!
Serpents on the cover!
Birds on the cover
Bold strong letters
Teens of colors
Covers illustrated by the very talented Charlie Bowater
And in romance, aside the shirtless dude on the cover, I have noticed more and more illustrated covers.
Let’s talk! Now what trends do you have noticed? Do you have favorites? What don’t you like on covers?
I personally love covers illustrated by Charlie Bowater (they are my favorites by far) or some with similar and dramatic vibes (like the series And I Darken US cover!).
Thanks for reading!