Thursday, September 9, 2010

Romance Novel Covers

Had trouble with the site all day, but finally am able to do the last post for the romance week. And it's a fun one. Today, I'm mostly posting pictures of Romance Novel book covers. There will be some commentary too, don't worry. It's a fun last post for the week. No posts will be up over the weekend as I'll be at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference.

Romance novels are notorious for their covers, which have some variety but often have a specific look to them. The covers will often have the couple on the picture, though the second common would be to have a single character (often the male, love interest). The type of romance, or subgenre, also influences the cover in some cases. Okay, let's look at some covers. (Note: all images were found in google images, not my own by any means, though that should be obvious. And if any of the books aren't romance, blame Google.)

And it wasn't easy to find romance but not erotica looking covers for any pairing.

The Couples

Let's consider the titles. And these were the better titles, for real, in the first 5 or so pages on google image of romance novels. OMG  There is one that seriously has the words "crack baby" as part of the title. Wow. Not only do the images have some things in common (I'll talk about the glaring male common factor in the single character section) but the titles are either very obvious or odd against the image. These images don't necessarily show that, but give google a try and you'll probably see what I mean.

Yes. It was difficult to find non-erotic, or just enough, book covers in the Google images of gay & lesbian romance novels. Not to mention, some of the covers were of a man and a woman, which they may include bi elements but that's hard to tell based upon the cover.

So, couple covers are common in romance novels. This is in part because it shows who the novel is about, because the story focuses around the two characters and their romance.

Single Characters

Notice anything? It seems that many romance novel covers with a man on it either has the guy shirtless or with something that still shows off his chest. Not something that appeals to me in the slightest, but  whatever works for their sales.  And it wasn't very easy finding a single female, or at least there weren't easy ones to in the first few pages. But the goal is to get the reader interested in the book and for the most part, Romance Novels know their target audience.

And that ends Romance Week. Yay!

What covers do you like for romance stories?
Did you have fun this week?


J. D. Brown said...

Hey Dawn :)
I totally agree with you - you CAN judge a book by its cover. Or, at least, you can judge its genre. lol. This was an interesting post. Not a lot of writers stop to think about what they want their cover to look like, but they should! It's extremely important. When someone walks into a bookstore and is scanning over the thousands of books on the shelves, it will be either the compelling title or the infatuating cover art that first draws them in.

Maybe one day I'll do a post on Urban Fantasy Covers. They have their own set of trends. lol.

Again, great post! :)

Dawn Embers said...


Thanks JD. The cover post was fun and I hope to do more in the future when I have genre/subgenre specific weeks. Yay for covers, even if the author doesn't have much (or any) say on it.