On your book's cover: an illustration or a photo? 🤔

We've learned so far that your romance book cover should be blue and your cover should feature a faceless person. But what about the image on the front? Do you have an illustration or a photo?

The research I conducted on nearly 50 best-selling recently published romance book covers says NO to an illustration. And the results are overwhelming!

And the Research Says...


ID Cover Design Study Illustrated or Photo

Photo – 81%

Illustrated – 19%

If you want a better shot at a best-seller, put a photo on the cover!

About the survey

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 research about photos vs illustrations?
I kept a tally of how many covers featured a photo and how many featured illustrations.

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 and the study on whether or not you should have a person's face 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!

Scroll to Top