2014 Romance Book Cover Titles, Fonts, & Typography

You only have one chance to make a first impression is a worthy caveat in book cover design.  If a cover has a haphazard appearance,  it affects the impression readers have about the story inside.   An  inferior cover jeopardizes sales and future success.  The end consumers, both faithful and new readers,  expect professional looking covers and they do judge a book by its cover.

I’ve been judging covers via the cover contest since 2002 and one of my pet peeves is the placement of titles, authors’ names, and those pesky marketing blurbs.  This year Jessi, one of our new committee members, sent me a link to a blog post by Courtney Milan on typography.  Courtney has excellent tips on how to create quality book cover typography.

Courtney Milan Ramblings – Typography

Here are a few recent 2014 “don’t”  covers that I’ve discovered on Amazon.

Tarnished Saints' Christmas

Self Published – September, 2014

Always A Rogue, Forever Her Loves

Self Published – September, 2014

Proposal Under the Mistletoe

Self Published – September, 2014

And  a few book covers that caught my attention because of their  balanced typography.  The ability to read the title and/or author’s name via the thumbprint is a big plus,  especially for readers who purchase their books via the internet.  A balanced layout between the  illustration,  the title, author’s name or marketing blurbs is another winning strategy.

A Winter Wedding

Sourcebooks – September, 2014

Jolt

Bold Strokes Books – September, 2014

The Fire Seer

Self Published – September, 2014

Update 9/29/14 9:35 pm :  Amy Raby’s website lists Ravven as the cover designer for her self published release, The Fire Seer.  Ravven has a helpful link page on her site with some great tips and advice on cover creation.  I also corrected my typo…I had typed “topography” instead of “typography” in  my original post.  Sigh…success is  in the details for cover designers and bloggers.

http://www.ravven.com/blog/portfolio/book-cover-art/helpful-book-cover-design-links/

Fallen

Left Field Press – October, 2014

A Rancher's Redemption

Harlequin American Romance – October, 2014

OK, I have to admit that the handsome rancher on the Harlequin cover captured my attention before the typography but it was the second thing I noticed.

How do you feel about haphazard cover layouts?  If a cover is cluttered and unprofessional looking, will you pass up purchasing the book, unless it’s a favorite author?  I hate to admit it, but yes, I skip over covers that miss the mark unless I know and love the author.

2014 Book Cover Trends – Ravens and Crows

We’ve all seen beautiful book covers,  featuring a cottage by the sea and graceful seagulls flying over head.   The birds are subtle touches but they seldom stand out.   This year,  I’ve noticed that ravens and crows  are  prominent on several alternate reality or thriller cover layouts.  They are a focal point and not just a background item.  Of course, I have examples.

The first cover is Visions, a contemporary thriller.  It uses crows to show unrest, mystery, and maybe even an ominous threat to those inside the house.

Visions

Dutton Adult – August, 2014

The second cover is from, Illusions of Fate.  It is a whimsical cover with the  birds flying from the side of a porcelain teacup into the air.  It’s charming and I’m curious why the heroine isn’t  startled when the teacup design comes to life.

Illusions of Fate

Harper Teen – September, 2014

The third example is, Winterspell.   I love how the bird is perched on the two “L”   letters in the title.   Based on the crow and the heroine holding that knife, something bad is going down.

Winterspell

Simon Schuster – September, 2014

Even self-published steampunk novels are using this trend.  The fourth example is, Storms of Lazarus.  Now granted,  the first thing you  notice is the gorgeous hero on the cover but look again,  there is a either a crow or a raven perched on his shoulder.

Storms of Lazarus

Self-published – July, 2014

The next example is disturbing but it fascinates me.  Take a look at Homecoming Homicides and the feathered friend getting up close and personal with either the heroine or an unfortunate victim.

Homecoming Homicides

Wild Rose Press – January, 2014

My final two covers are from the same Harlequin series and they are my, “What were they thinking?” covers.  I’m not sure if featuring giant ravens, looming over the hero and heroine, creates a good cover.  But then, maybe there are HUGE ravens in the  series.

Raven's Hollow

Harlequin Intrigue – January, 2014

Night Of The Raven

Harlequin Intrigue – November, 2014

What do you think of , Raven’s Hollow and Night of the Raven?    This isn’t a huge trend but it is an interesting mini trend.   Illusions of Fate and Winterspell are my favorites from the group.

SomniumDantis – Romance Book Cover ~ Behind The Scenes

I love discovering talented individuals behind great covers.  Last week, we received a nomination for a Regency reprint cover that instantly charmed me.  I had to research who was responsible.    The photography art credits referenced SomniumDantis  and the search was on but first things first…the cover.

Mistaken Kiss

Ink Lion Books – March, 2014

The woman behind the name is mysterious and she uses several pseudonyms but there  is a brief description SomniumDantis listed on her Deviant Art bio:

22. Nearly graduate in English Studies. Self taught historical fashion designer, fantasy lover. Believer in DIY. Occasionally model. 

I’ve decided to leave the woman behind the name incognito since that is part of the charm. A little mystery is a good thing, especially in romance.   SomniumDantis makes a wonderful model for her costumes and her love of art and history is a treat to explore.   I believe she has a great future ahead of her.

You can find more SomniumDantis information and photos here:

http://somniumdantis.deviantart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Lamaisondelaristocratie

http://instagram.com/somniumdantis

http://somniumdantis.tumblr.com/