Covers in romance come up again and again and, usually, readers are complaining. Whether it’s the Fabio-licious covers of the 1990s or the cartoon covers all over the place today, there’s always a contingent who just doesn’t like them. And, to be candid, one of the reasons I felt comfortable reading, after a thirty year absence, romance was because I had a Kindle and no one could mock me because of how the books I was reading looked. […]
When making a decision to buy an audiobook, the cover doesn’t influence my choice one way or another. If I want a particular audiobook, I’ll buy it, and if I don’t like the cover, I’ll remind myself that with my iPod, I’ll seldom see it.
But can an attractive or catchy cover influence me to take a second look at a book by an author unfamiliar to me? Or does a non-appealing cover have the power to repel me enough that I won’t consider taking a deeper look at an unknown author? The answer to both of those questions is a “most definitely.” Do those second looks lead to an audio purchase? I admit that it seldom does but if a cover speaks to me, I’m often inspired to take a closer look at the synopsis and reviews.
When you consider that choosing the right audiobook is a […]
As long as I have read romance novels, I’ve been interested in their covers. They are bright and often lurid and embarrassing. Who wants to sit on a bus, or at a coffee shop, reading a book with the characters practically having sex on the cover? The marketing strategy is something I find fascinating and counter-intuitive, but it obviously works. A lot of casual readers do not know much about many authors or sub-genres or trends within the industry. They just pick up what looks interesting in the grocery store aisle.
In looking at many, many covers, I’ve found that many of them have similar characteristics, and similar styles. While there are, of course, exceptions, most cover styles fall into one of five categories: The Cute Animal, The Cute Couple, The Faceless Couple, The Solo Star, and the Sexy/”Clinch” Cover.
They’re like bad relatives. You can’t avoid sleazy Uncle Bob or foul-mouthed Cousin Betty, because Uncle Bob married to Aunt Emily (the loveliest auntie in the world), and Cousin Betty is sister to Cousin Mark (who’s like a brother). But you’d really, really prefer not to have to see them. Ever.
Give a romance detractor a romance novel, and I’ll bet that nine times out of ten, they’ll look at the cover and grimace. Hell, give a romance reader the same book, and you’ll probably get the same reaction. So much for not judging books by their covers, but really – really, can you blame them?
Creamy bosoms and hairless tanned chests. Serifs gone mad. Florid colors. And the clinches – oh, the clinches. Shudder.
Let’s ignore the fact that they’re totally generic. Hey, romance is a genre book, and all genre books, to a certain degree, are generic. That’s the […]
Answering the (oft asked) question: How did the Cover Contest come to be?
Don’t forget to vote in this year’s contest. Voting is open until midnight, May 28, 2009.
May is the month of the annual Cover Contest. Given that, and the fact that several AAR staffers have a real interest in covers and are also members of the Cover Ballot committee, we thought we’d do a quick interview with some of the key participants of Cover Café, to give you the reader an inside look on why we put the work into this annual contest.
Mary Lynn – Cover Café Coverballot Committee Member, Former HST/Historical Chair
“I think I’ve always looked at covers. […]