One of the fun things I get to do every week is look at all the new book covers in my favorite genres. Once a year I attempt to distill down to a purely personal post on a small percentage of covers which stood out in my mind as particularly memorable.
There are two parts to the creation of this post – first, when I started thinking about the most memorable science fiction romance covers I’d seen in 2020, I took my pen in hand and wrote down the ten which came immediately to mind. It’s an arbitrary number but people generally like lists of ten, right?
I see something like 4000+ covers in total a year (in 3 genres and related subgenres) while doing my weekly new releases column so if a cover stays on my mind that’s really impactful! I’ve listed my Top Ten Most Memorable (to me anyway) SFR Covers as Part One. This is my purely unscientific grouping.
You’ll note the only order is alphabetical. I don’t rank these.
(I had a bad migraine so the alphabetizing got a little out of order in spots…)
Moving on to Part Two, Honorable Mentions: I see around 1000 science fiction romance covers a year while doing the report. I scrolled through every single SFR cover which made it to the blog in 2020 and ended up with 40+ which caught my attention above and beyond the others.
Before anyone rushes to apply my purely informal and highly personal results to their next book marketing campaign, I’m not any kind of an art or graphic composition expert! And there are giant trends in SFR such as the sexy manchest and abs, which I myself use on my Badari Warriors novels that one must be aware of. I found that while looking at the 1000+ SFR covers for this exercise, most of those didn’t really stand out to me, however.
There are getting to be more ‘alien’ aliens as heroes and quite artistic depictions in 2020.
I obviously am drawn to certain color palettes too…but who knows if I’m a typical reader?
And some covers just express the genre tropes so well, they demand my attention.
I’ve also gone through the same exercise with Fantasy/Paranormal covers this year, and then a few highlighted cozy paranormal mystery covers or other.
On the weekly New Releases posts, I feature 8 covers each time in the social media promo for the post, including one that’s my highlighted image. I strive for variety there, as well as featuring any new releases by the ‘must buy’ authors like Anna Hackett, Cynthia Sax, Laurann Dohner, Ruby Dixon or Honey Phillips, to name only a few. In the weekly spotlight image, I try to mix professional-looking covers featuring individuals/couples/aliens/pleasing compositions/differing color palettes…I lean toward the covers which I feel will catch the eye of a potential reader as they browse through their streaming social media. So my selection criteria on featured covers for the weekly promo are different than the criteria I used for this massive end-of-the-year exercise.
When I assessed my results on memorable covers of 2020, what did I find attracted me? What made me linger as I slowly scrolled my way through the HUGE list alphabetically by title? Sometimes it was the stock photo model’s face, or their eyes (I’m a sucker for piercing/soulful/gorgeous eyes) or the color palette or the ”scifi-ness” of the cover, or the couple together or just the power of the image overall.
Without further ado, here are the rest of the approximately top 6% of the hundreds of scifi romance covers I saw in 2020 which made me pause this weekend and take a longer look, followed by the Fantasy/PNR selection and then my ‘specials’. Since I combined two huge genres for Fantasy/PNR, I picked a few more Honorable Mentions for them.
Which genre cover stood out the most to you as a reader in 2020 (whether I picked it as one of mine or not)?
The SFR Honorable Mentions, followed by Top 10 Fantasy/PNR and those Honorable Mentions…
AND THE HONORABLE MENTIONS FOR THESE TWO GENRES: