I've seen thousands of romance book covers over my last umpteen years in the industry. Good ones, bad ones, and every sort of weird ones in between.

The old adage, "never judge a book by its cover," is a good one to make you think before you make assumptions. But when it comes to picking a book to read, we are all guilty of weighing our options over which cover VISUALLY appeals most to us.

Some readers prefer big, bold text while others like to see a hot model 😘on the cover. All of the factors that go into designing a cover and ultimately choosing which will represent a book are daunting. Authors and publishers pour over photos and mockups and ever-so-slight modifications with their designer until the perfect cover speaks to them. And then their baby πŸ“š is released to the world and the world will judge. βš–οΈ

But what exactly makes a cover a best seller? πŸ’° Aside from the author's name on the cover, what is it visually that makes people pick up a book to read it?

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.

This post is introducing the findings of main colors represented and the breakdown of how they're used on best-selling romance books. Further detailed statistics will be introduced in upcoming posts, so look for those!

A Breakdown of Main Colors on Best-Selling Romance Book Covers

ID Cover Design Study Colors
  • Blue – 19%
  • White – 18%
  • Black – 17%
  • Red – 9%
  • Yellow – 9%
  • Pink – 6%
  • Green – 5%
  • Gray – 5%
  • Purple – 4%
  • Silver – 4%
  • Orange – 2%
  • How did I conduct my color research?

    I kept a tally of each covers' overall main colors, typically recording 2-3 colors per cover.

  • What does this info really tell us about how to create a best-selling romance book book cover?

    In my opinion, a lot!

    But color alone doesn't make a good book cover. More statistics from my research are coming soon!

  • How can this research help create a cover for a best-selling book?

    No, every single book cover you use doesn't have to be blue, white, or black from now forward. This information should be used as a reference to guide you if you're torn between colors. If you're not set on a specific color scheme, try a blue tone!

If you're looking for a new romance book cover, Impact Design, a new division of Shameless Book Club, is coming August 31st!



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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