To person or not to person? That is the question.

It's a personal preference whether you want to put a representation on your romance book cover of who you pictured in your mind 🤔 when you wrote your characters. Some authors want to show readers exactly whom 👨 they should think of when reading what they wrote, and some want readers to create the characters purely from their descriptions.

Who or what goes on the book's cover 📕 is an agonizing decision for most authors. Should the book's new cover feature a person (or people)? 👯‍♀️ Should the person have face visible? Or should the cover be abstract and leave the reader guessing if the personification of the characters is accurate?

So many questions, and here are some of the answers!


People On The Cover

ID Cover Design Study People on the Cover1

Yes – 72%

No – 28%

Faces On The Cover

ID Cover Design Study Faces on the Cover

Yes – 40%

No – 60%

Put a faceless person on your romance book cover! It's science!


I conducted a study of the covers of nearly 50 best-selling romance books published in the past few years. Elements like color, subject, font style, and illustration were taken into account when analyzing the covers.

How did I conduct my faces-on-the-cover research?
I kept a tally of each covers' main subject, whether it was a person or not a person. I also tallied how many of the people showed their faces on the covers.

What does this info really tell us about how to create a best-selling romance book book cover?
It's a start toward creating a cover for a book people want to read!

More statistics from my research are coming soon! Visit the previously published information on the colors you should feature on your cover.

How can this research help create a cover for a best-selling book?
This information should be used as a reference to guide you if you're torn between having a person on your cover or not. If you're not set on a specific cover design, use this research info!

If you're looking for a new romance book cover design, Impact Design, a new division of Shameless Book Club, is now live!



I’ve been working hard on the ✨magical✨ internet since 2006 when I retired from teaching elementary school to stay at home with my two baby girls. Those baby girls are now ornery teenagers, and I'm a single mom, old school lifestyle blogger, smut book peddler, and Shameless Book Con HBIC.

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