We’ve done a lot of testing to see whether covers actually impact book sales. Our results have shown that a cover alone can account for more than a 30 percent difference in clicks on a BookBub listing, and other sources have reported similar results.
But knowing covers do affect response rates doesn’t mean much if we don’t know which covers work and which ones don’t. While we can’t collect conclusive data on this age-old question, we have been able to spot some common themes in the covers of books that have performed well with our readers. Below are BookBub’s eight most popular cover trends:
This one may not be surprising given the popularity of Internet sensations like Lil’ Bub and Grumpy Cat, but covers that include animals are a sweet spot for BookBub readers. And dogs are at the top of the popularity list.
2. Beach Scenes
Reading is a form of escapism for many, and where better to escape than an Adirondack chair on a beautiful, tranquil beach (with a book, of course)?
3. Seasonal Themes
Fireworks on the Fourth of July, hearts on Valentine’s Day, pumpkins on Halloween, falling leaves in the fall — BookBub readers love embracing the season. During the winter holidays, when themes of warmth, family, and home are top of mind, Christmas elements perform particularly well.
4. Friendship and Sisterhood
Friends and family are very important to most people, and we cherish our memories with those loved ones. Perhaps covers highlighting the bonds of womanhood bring these feelings to mind, but suffice it to say, they work.
5. Shirtless Men
Tried and true: hunky, half-naked men are… attention-grabbing.
6. Great Photography
Another attention-grabbing technique: vivid, colorful, appealing photographs. While this style may not work for every genre, we’ve seen cookbooks, advice, and nonfiction titles perform particularly well using this approach.
7. “Chick-Lit” Art
Looking for a fun and lighthearted read? Look no further. Covers like these act as a branding tool, and do what a good cover should: Indicate to the reader what they can expect when they open the book.
8. Cute Kids
Children are just adorable! And like many of the other trends we’ve seen work with BookBub’s readers, they tend to inspire feelings of nostalgia, family, comfort, and home.
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