A successful Romance cover can go down smoothly like milk chocolate... if the ingredients are right. In order to be a successful hit on the bookshelves, every romance cover needs: the right imagery, the perfect colour combination, and the proper dusting of typography.
Let us start with colour (a powerful tool in catching a viewer's eye!).
When you think of the genre romance, what colour pops into your head first? Red? Most do! Red is the most common colour used to illustrate a romance novel, but depending on the context of your story, sometimes red just isn't the most suitable and effective color.
Soft and delicate romance books may call for shades of light pinks or pastel yellows, whereas antique romance covers, (like a Victorian romance set in the 1800’s), could use palates of teals and magenta tones. And for those “oh my,” sexy stories, the design for these covers might call for deep empowering colours like: purple, chocolate brown, and yes, DARK, yet powerful reds!
Colour choices can also be conveyed through your choice of imagery. This tool, using photography with the perfect subject matter and color theme, can almost be more effective than using plain blocks of color to display your underlying message. Look for images that are subtle, clean and simple. Designers and modern audiences love white space. Think about an important object or element in the story that can capture your audience, but be sure not to give too much away! It's important to leave a bit of mystery, leaving the customer to want to read more. See the “Intercourses” and “Inside” covers for inspiration. If you can’t find something simple to highlight, then try to think of an image that doesn’t have a distracting and busy background. If you’re thinking of having a person in the image, aim for an image that relies on interesting and intriguing angles. For example, take a peek at the “Sweet Addiction” cover; this tasteful cover show's only parts of her body, leaving more imagination to the viewer.
For those of you that can’t find that perfect image? Then how about letting typography be your entire dessert, like the novel, “Tangled.” This cover may appear simplistic, but my goodness is it powerful!
It's easy to forget just how impressive typography can be! A nice handwritten font like, Jenna Sue or Daniel, can really strengthen that personal touch; almost as if that character hand wrote the title themselves. Script fonts like, Quilline Script Thin and Lovers Quarrel, are great for emphasizing an important word in your title. (A tip: never used script fonts for body copy or at a size too small, as they can make a title illegible or straining on the eye to read!). And finally, some images are so successful on their own that the title and author text should be minimal. In these cases the typography is considered to be the cherry on top, NOT the whole ice cream sundae! For these types of covers try and find a clean sanserif such as: Quicksand, Raleway Thin or Akzidenz Grotesk. Fonts like these, compliment a cover without stealing the show…or the dessert! See “The Truth About Men” cover.
Once you have picked the right Romance ingredients, your readers can savour your creation.