I did a little experiment the other day. Nothing too scientific, because, you know, science is very...science-y and mysterious. But I took a somewhat non-scientific stroll through the best selling romance novels on Amazon and found that romance novel covers can be divided into a few very distinct categories:
And just so you know? Those are listed in the order in which they appear. And the largest majority of the arty covers were romantic suspense reads by Melinda Leigh. (Seriously, how many books does she release in a year? It’s simultaneously scary and awesome.)
Now, we happen to understand a certain number of things about the publishing industry and book marketing, and we know these things have a HUGE impact on the romance novel covers the buying public sees. For example:
So because we know these things about the publishing industry, we know that change will probably not come anytime soon. The books featuring these kinds of covers are selling like half price candy the day after Halloween, so why would anyone want to change anything? But if it were up to us, we’d see a lot more:
Men with hair on their chests
We’re not saying we want to see men with ridiculous levels of ungroomed, unruly hair on our romance covers, but a little chest hair would be nice. Men are supposed to have chest hair, y’all, and I don’t want to spend too much time with any man who spends more on waxing in a month than I do.
Even in the books featuring diversity, the covers often feature two white people almost kissing. Heroines who are described in the book as being “curvy” are portrayed on the cover by models who are downright scrawny. The point is, we’d love to see more on covers than just a couple of white people.
Models on the cover who actually look like the characters in the book
This is more than just the diversity issue listed above. We’ve seen far too many books about a curvy blonde heroine who have a willowy brunette on the cover. Why is that exactly? Is it laziness on the part of the author/cover designer, or is it due to a lack of available imagery?
But as usual, we’re more interested in what YOU think than we are about rambling and expressing our thoughts on the matter. So, let’s hear it!