What works for book covers in a particular genre changes. Keeping an eye on when/if trends change is part of a good book cover designer’s job. It’s, obviously, also highly recommended for authors to be aware of so you hire the best possible help. So if you’re looking for say, thriller cover examples, you will see them here, in one place.
From now on I’ll be tracking covers in Thriller/Mystery/Suspense genres and calling out great covers, new trends, and posting updates here in this post for anyone interested to see. These will not change every month, not even every few months probably, but I’ll keep updating this at least once a quarter and show new examples as needed.
I’ll be keeping an eye on Amazon charts, Amazon Also-boughts and Ads, Goodreads, Bookbub, and Pinterest to see what’s going on. If you have suggestions for what else to add, feel free to leave a comment. And definitely let me know if you think this is a useful thing or not! 😉
A new update on what’s going on in thriller book covers as I’ve gone through Amazon.com charts again in this video. I’ve not looked at mystery genres yet. It will be done soon in a different video.
DISCLAIMER: Amazon charts are NOT 100% accurate and show different genre books in there so we have to be careful watching them. Thus I also look at Also-boughts to relevant books and New Releases.
Trends still in effect:
Bold colors, dramatic sky, traditional tropes
Some cool covers from this overview:
So, after going through Amazon.com charts and also-boughts these are covers that stand out for me. DISCLAIMER: Amazon charts are NOT 100% accurate and show different genre books in there so we have to be careful watching them. Thus I also look at Also-boughts to relevant books and New Releases.
Bold colors, dramatic sky nature shots
Continuing for a while now, awesome shots of nature landscapes with bold colors, high contrast, and often really dramatic skies have been a constant in the charts and new releases. Covers continue an older trope but with a modern update. Minimalist typography continues too. Authors who have great covers here are Lisa Regan, Rita Herron, D.K. Hood, etc Prevalent in Mystery and even seen in some crime thrillers.
Silhouettes (as always)
Another classic trope that always worked and will probably work, well modernized, is silhouettes on covers. Bold colors and bold typogrpahy continue (sometimes text has the boldest color on the cover). They seem to get darker in general too.
Some are the simplest environment + person covers (like Mark Dawson’s covers which had been copied too much sometimes), other times it’s more complex photo-manipulation like LT Ryan’s cover for Uncharted. All these are awesome and can be great for inspiration currently. NOT plain copying 😛
Now let’s dive deeper into few specific genres.
Here are some awesome covers for the Mystery genre. Pretty much the same trend really. Designers are doing an amazing job!
Lots of classic tropes playing out, classic bue/yellow color scheme is popular as always. Minimalistic typography (but some have nice treatments to not be just ‘flat’).
Even here we see the darker ‘feel’ trend come in it seems. Great series covers for Michael Stagg’s books.
Cool finds and honorable mentions
These might not be a part of a big trend, but I wanted to spotlight them for reasons like originality or jut looking superb.
Must you follow these trends?
Now that you know what is currently on-trend, does it mean you must do it?
Some authors should go for lighter covers. Or for riskier different covers (I’ve tried to share a few in the last section). I’d say let your risk appetite decide what cover you want to go for. If you’re all up for riskier, go against the grain or go crazier, if you’re more conservative, stick to these current trends. Nothing is set in stone. You have to do what’s best for the particular book and this just helps you be aware of what’s going on.
If you’ve found this useful, let me know in the comments or by sharing it with other authors in these genres. I’ll be updating this at least once a quarter (but reviewing things more often for myself) and will try to keep it up-to-date on what’s going on in cover design. And if you need a custom book cover designed, learn more about my book cover design services here.