So... back to Saturday's breakfast convo. Somehow we started talking about sports and romance, and how there is a trend of sports related romance novels on the market. Not just the sports you might expect, but MMA (mixed martial arts) and rugby, to name a couple. I told them about how Harlequin even found a little niche with NASCAR fans. This came as a surprise to both of the guys, and Herman asked, "How do you know what the trends are?"Just by paying attention to what books are being released and selling well, you can see trends emerging.
|My 1st cover|
One of my favorite trends to keep up with are covers. I love cover art. The first time I see my cover is thrilling! It's even better than when the box of books arrive. (Although I hug a book every time I receive my author copies and carry it around for a while until I can bear to part with it. Then it goes on a special shelf in my bookcase.)
When I sold to Sourcebooks in 2010, the trend was headless heroes and heroines, but by the time my book debuted in 2013, heads were almost back in fashion. Note Lord Andrew is only missing the top part of his head. (Yeah, I know. Who's looking at his head?) Then I was lucky enough to get in at the beginning of the hot-heroes-in-white-shirts-and-faces trend. Now I've spotted white-shirt/bare-chest heroes on books by NY Times bestselling authors, such as Mary Balog and Grace Burrows. I don't know how long this trend will last, of course, but what's not to love about nobility in half-dress?
A new trend I've been noticing are covers where the hero is looking directly at the reader when the heroine is with him. I have mixed reactions to this trend. If the hero and heroine are enjoying an intimate moment and the hero is staring at me, it can make me feel like a Peeping Tom. One cover that really works for me is Shana Galen's "The Spy Wore Blue". Maybe it works because his look says, "Nobody better mess with this lady. She's mine." And isn't that one of the reasons we read romance?
Seeing the hero and heroine in a romantic embrace where they are completely lost in each other doesn't make me feel like a perv, though. Go figure. I guess I just don't want to get caught in the act of peeping. LOL
I also love covers where the hero and heroine are both looking at the reader. The message is "We are equals, and we're going to kick some arse side-by-side."
Oddly, I don't feel like I'm intruding when the heroine is looking at the reader during an intimate moment. (Why the double-standards, Sam? I honestly don't know.) One of my favorite examples is one of Deb Marlowe's books.
And I'm a little partial to this one too.
|Release Date: Jan 7, 2014|
One trend that seems to have staying power is the girl in the pretty dress. Head or no head doesn't seem to make much difference. It's all about the dress!
What are some cover trends you've noticed in your favorite sub genres? What do you like to see on covers?