February’s Hot Topic: Cover Trends

This month we’re having a look at some recent trends in book cover images.

(Behind the cut due to many thumbnail images) Juno Books took a look at butt covers recently, and Vampire Wire proposed that butt covers are the new legs and shoes. (Good call, Vamp!)

I give you butt covers: what’s your take? Have we seen enough already? Do butt covers affect whether or not you’ll buy the book? Do these chicks (and 1 guy) kick ass? Baby got back? Do you like big butts??


Out of this trend, or perhaps alongside, a new trend has emerged: the tattoo cover.


Personally, I’m not wild about butt covers, but I do like some of these tattoo covers.

What are your favourite covers? And what are your favourite trends in cover images?


9 comments on “February’s Hot Topic: Cover Trends

  1. I see an arse, chest or leg shot, and I automatically assume it’s erotica, or at least trying to snare a certain gender of reader.

    That said, hasn’t stopped me from buying ’em.

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  2. The reason I originally picked up “On the Prowl” was the claw marks on the wall, and the reason I picked up “Stray” was once again the claw marks. (Strange I know, but I think its a side effect of being a regular chew toy/scratching post for the various animals I work with)

    The reason I originally picked up “Moon Called” was the coyotes in the background (and partly the paw print tattoo). I will admit that in the case of “Touch the Dark,” The Kushiel Books, and “Blood Lines” that the tattoo was what first caught my attention.

    Naturally I did not by the books based upon the cover alone but that was what did catch my attention in the first place.

    On the reverse, for the longest time I refused to touch the Southern Vampire Mysteries because the covers put me off (the glitter and cartoonish feel didn’t seem to fit). It was only because many of the books I did read had blurbs by Charlaine Harris that I finally read them.

  3. I don’t see these as butt covers so much as I see them as “back” covers. And it’s curious as to why this position was chosen. I can understand not showing the face because readers like to see what their characters look like by using their own imaginations. But as to the backside? Lack of originality? Riding the coat-tails of a successful book?

    As a professional artist myself, I think a cover artist should be as focused on creating a breakout cover as writers are on creating a breakout book.

    So why not focus on another area of the body that relates to the story between the covers? Tattoos are cool, no doubt about it, and I love the mystery they suggest. But how about a tattoo on the back or side of a neck, an arm, an ankle? Or the claw marks Wendy mentioned would be an intriguing element on someplace other than a backside. How about the claw itself?

    I honestly think it’s the lack of originality responsible for this rash of “butt” covers. Sheep. We need a new bellwhether. Ha! 8^)

  4. Frankly, I’m tired of butt shots. I’d like to see something new and not see it mimicked on every cover in the genre. Remember when the cover trend was all legs? Silhouettes? Abstract halves? Anything can become too much of a good thing.

    At this point, I think the tattoo covers are better–but only when the artist is depicting a tat that’s actually in the book and depicting it as the author described it. Carey’s and Briggs’s books all have great tattoos for plot reasons and that makes the covers much more appropriate and interesting to me (haven’t read the others). Relevant and intriguing art would be nice….

  5. I definitely remember the leg/shoe shots. Oh, doggy. There was a lot of legs out there.

    While I appreciate having the characters’ faces left up to my imagination, I’m definitely over the back/butt shots. I agree with the tats, if the tats are relevant. And I’m liking the ideas of more objects, and more original artwork.

    One cover I’m most impressed with is Kim Harrison’s The Outlaw Demon Wails. The model’s face is obscured, which is nice, but it’s the action and emotion in the picture that I’m in love with. That chick is pissed. I don’t want to mess with her. In fact, if I saw her coming at me like that, I’d be sure to get the hell out of the way. Which is exactly why I’d pick up this book, even if it didn’t have KH’s name on the cover.

  6. I see the back shots as wonderful venues for tattoo presentations. I adore women’s tattoos (I have one), and I love the fact that the artists have chosen this format to highlight them. In fact, I see the shot as being more about the tattoos than the back/butt. Tattoos are usually very carefully chosen by the person as a statement about them to the world. The artist could well have used the tattoo to speak about the main character through the cover. In any case, I love these types of covers. They rock!


  7. I like city landscape covers. Like the original LKH covers. I would like to see some of those, I think they are great for urban fantasy

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