Trends in Romance Novel Covers

I got a little curious lately about the shift in romance novel covers. It used to be a girl with her dress falling off. Then it was a girl with her dress falling off, with Fabio. Then a flap with flowers, covering a girl with her dress falling off, with Fabio. Then some hot kissing couples. What is it now? According to the data, the most popular romance cover looks a little like this:

*Example pulled from #1 Amazon bestseller spot.

To find out more, I did a quick comparison of Adult Contemporary covers vs New Adult covers, for my own research, and because I’m me, I made pie charts. And because I had pie charts, I decided to share them (if you have pie and don’t share it, you go to hell. It is known.)

It looks like the heyday of the couple is over–it’s all about the dudes. But let’s take a more in depth look here at what people are doing on romance covers:

So, it’s really about the abs. And rich guys are beating working-class guys two to one! Then again, a tuxedo is very flattering. I think a toolbelt is even more flattering, but I might be in the minority here.

Interesting fact: the plainest covers came from the most famous authors. Nora Roberts even had one that was almost entirely white space. I mean, she’s Nora Freaking Roberts. She doesn’t even need to slap a title on that baby, and it’d still sell.

Alright, so what does this breakdown look like for NA (New Adult, ages 18-25)?

Wow! Okay, so the younger crowd likes the gentlemen EVEN MORE! Let’s look at the detail breakdown:

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