Thu
Jan 5 2017 9:08am

Does It Matter If a Book “Looks” Like a Romance?

A lot of time and effort goes into making a book cover. For each genre, there's a certain “look” within it. And for each decade within that genre, there's a “look” within that. What a book presents to the world matter in the sense that what it “says” it is to consumers should be what it actually delivers. However, there is wiggle room within that—a book that doesn't “look” like a romance, but its back cover copy says it is, is certainly preferred to a book that does “look” like a romance but isn't. 

So, where do you stand? Does it matter if a romance cover makes it “look” like a romance? How much does the cover factor in? Which is more important to you, that book is a romance but doesn't look like one, or isn't a romance but does look like one? What does a romance cover look like to you?

Tell me about it in the comments!

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7 comments
Scandal Books
1. Scandal Books
I'm more than okay for books that don't have romance torsos on them, my biggest thing is the cover needs to look professional, not choppy and pieced together, pretty font goes a long way in my book.
Carmen Pinzon
2. bungluna
I don't rely on covers so much anymore. However, I do remember pre-internet days when books that were not romances had covers and back blurb similar to romances that lured me in. Thank heaven for only buying books recommended by trusted review sites!
Scandal Books
3. Kahintenn
I prefer historical romance, and I am always grateful for a cover that conveys in some way that the book is a historical (or not). Makes it easier and faster to find what I am specifically looking for.
wsl0612
4. wsl0612
Well I would be put off expecting a romance if the cover showed a dead body or a nuclear explosion so I do have some expectations. And I agree with Kahintenn that historical romance covers shouldn't have things like modern dress or cell phones. But other than that I don't feel they need to have a specific look to them.
MadameGin
5. MadameGin
It's not like I rely on covers that much. The fact that my budget is pretty limited and I always research the hell out of a book (read look it up on Goodreads) before buying it is a big factor, too.
Scandal Books
6. lizzie18
The covers don't matter much to me. I'll go for either a hot torso, a castle in the background, or a single flower on a pillow. Doesn't matter.
I go more by author, or title, or by the story on the back cover. I will however admit that some covers will catch my eyes and then I will check out the story on the back cover.
On type of cover I don't much like is the 'cartoon' cover like you have on top. Don't quite know why, maybe it conveys to me a more 'frothy' type of story ?
Scandal Books
7. SpiritedMuse
I don't mind if a romance novel doesn't look that way. It's just when they get too far left of center I'm not even sure of what it's going to be about. I mean it's one thing when the cover says one thing and the back is saying all kinds of stuff. And doesn't properly match up.

However with that said, I don't like covers that go too far the other direction either. But more importantly want the story to be good.
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