’Tis the season to cozy up with a good book! If you’re promoting a holiday-themed book, a festive book cover can help attract your target audience. In general, holiday-themed covers include a lot of wreaths, decorated trees, festive lights, snow-covered landscapes, and roaring fires. The colors of red, green, and gold are extremely popular — or wintry blue and white themes.
We gathered up some eye-catching book covers from a variety of genres, and we hope they inspire you when creating your own (you might want to bookmark this post for next year)!
Note: You may see that some categories are conspicuously missing, such as thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. Though they may have winter-themed books, we found those genres are less likely to feature holiday themes in their covers.
One of the most popular genres to feature holiday stories is contemporary romance, and readers swoon for a handsome hero to take home for Christmas. These covers often feature cartoon couples cuddling in the snow, but these romances can also be appealing with a simple, snow-covered or star-spangled landscape.
Whether it’s a Regency, medieval, western, or Scottish romance, there’s plenty of Christmas joy to be found. Historical romance covers often feature gorgeous period dresses, and here we see them in holiday colors! And of course, readers are looking to see their hunky Highland hero in his tartan — in these examples we see him in front of a warm fire or an evergreen tree to create that warm holiday feel.
Erotic romance covers usually show more skin than contemporary covers — but of course there are always exceptions. Single object covers (à la Fifty Shades) or a handsome man in a business suit sometimes also appear in this genre, often paired with a tantalizing title. Either way, these holiday erotic romances clearly sizzle for those on the naughty list.
Rom-com books are generally lighthearted in tone and, as such, their covers tend toward a cartoon-illustrated style with an adorable, comforting feel. Snowflakes abound in these book covers, and the bright colors make us want to bundle up and frolic in the cold.
Women’s fiction focuses on relationships and the protagonist’s emotional journey, so the covers can range from lighter to more serious. These holiday-themed women’s fiction book covers are just as likely to feature people as they are Christmas trees, wreaths, and ornaments of all shapes and sizes!
Cozy mystery covers tend to feature either a charming elaborate scene or a simple image with a clean background. No matter what, there’s lots of snow and cheer — no dead bodies are actually shown because you don’t want to ruin the holidays!
Historical fiction covers are always striking, whether they feature muted colors for that old-timey feel or period outfits to drop you right into the story. These books transport us to another time, letting us escape the stress of the holiday season.
Teen & Young Readers
Books for young readers are fun and adventurous, and these holiday-themed children’s and YA covers play with typography and design elements to inspire the spirit of the season!
This selection of holiday nonfiction and memoirs demonstrates a range of tones, from the more serious to the silly, and each cover reflects the content so the reader knows what to expect.
What kind of holiday-themed covers do you like best? Let us know in the comments below!
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This post was updated with new examples on December 22, 2022.