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Art and Design Marketing

The evolution of romance covers

Bookmarked Bridgerton Is a Perfect Example of Why You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover(s) by Anne Wallentine (Slate)

The Bridgerton books got a makeover inspired by the steamy Netflix adaptation—the latest in a long line of redesigns that show how tricky marketing romance can be.

Publishers have used myriad strategies over the years to try to balance the audience’s competing desires for excitement and discretion.

A balancing act between marketing the type of book versus not making people embarrassed to be seen reading it. Adds context to the general sexiness of self-pubbed romance covers which are read digitally, so no one knows what you’re reading (although IIRC there was a period of time where Amazon didn’t allow male nipples on covers? 🤔)

I didn’t know the origin or purpose of the stepback cover — funny when the color strip is reproduced in the digital cover 😂

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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