In anticipation of receiving the cover for my latest novel, Dreams of Perfection, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to book covers.
Historically, book cover choices were somewhat limited. They typically included only the title and the author’s name. Now a days, however the choices are many, and each one gives the reader a hint of what’s inside.
I’ve listed four broad categories of cover images, but of course within each category the mood of the covers can be very different based on the imagery, from dark and dangerous, to sweet and lighthearted, or sexy and erotic, depending on the artwork, the colors, and even the font.
Setting/Landscape Image. The cover may feature an image of a house or a landscape, and that house can be homey and welcoming or dark and foreboding. The same for landscapes. Sunny, bright landscapes set a happy, sweet tone for the book, but a dark, moss-draped forest might hint at suspense or mystery, perhaps even a paranormal storyline. Nora Roberts’ covers tend to depict settings, whether they’re her Inn Boonsboro trilogy or her latest release, Dark Witch, from the O’Dwyer Trilogy.
Meaningful or Symbolic Object. These covers display an item which likely plays a significant role in the story. A romantic suspense may have a knife or other weapon on the cover. A historical romance might feature a sword or a flower. Probably two of the most famous covers depicting an object are Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight.
Couple embracing or kissing. The ever-popular “clinch,” is one of the more familiar images for historical romances, but they also grace the covers of contemporary romances and erotica. My very own Rescuing Lacey depicts a couple in a very romantic clinch. I must admit, I love my cover!
I’m often amused be reviewers of erotica who are aghast at the explicit sex scenes in the novel. Chances are, novels bearing a scantily-clad couple in a suggestive pose involve erotica. Just saying.
Solo Hero or Heroine. This is becoming a more popular choice for covers, especially when they feature a hunky hero sporting his six-pack abs. Take Jill Shalvis’ cover for Blue Flame with a yummy, sexy hero — sans shirt. Please take a moment to ogle – you know you want to. Is it hot in here? Mercy! Excuse me while I fan myself.
Okay, I’m back. Whew!
What’s your favorite type of cover? Drop by my Facebook page to take the poll.