Let’s Talk About: NA Covers – The Good, the Bad and the Repetitive

discussion_nacovers

Hey people. Welcome to my second discussion post of the year :D. This time I decided to talk about something that I’ve been meaning to talk about for a little while. As you might already know, I judge books by their covers – I know I shouldn’t – and I mostly buy books that have beautiful covers because I’m a sucker for them. So my problem is this: the covers of my beloved New Adult books have issues. That is, they’re mostly terrible!

There’s a certain tendency in this genre to either have a couple in the cover, with various degrees of involvement, or to simply show off a half naked men. Well, both these things can be done really great, and I’m not really opposed to a little eye-candy in my covers, but more often than not the effect is not that great.


nacovers_1_

As I said, not ALL NA covers suck. Some are pretty amazing, even with all the troupes in regards to romantic covers you can think of. For instance, the new Hub City series has absolutely gorgeous covers, that are completely different from those usually seen in this genre. Other series that has covers that I love, even though these ones are more typical of NA, is The Second Chances series.

                     

Other series that I’ve read most of, and that has pretty typical New Adult covers, but is done well, is the Chasing the Dream series. I think that what I love most about these covers is the fact that in each of them I can actually see the couple in the book – that is, these covers FIT!

Another example of NA covers that don’t follow the “tendency” are the Colleen Hoover’s books. These covers are all gorgeous. Right?


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When a book has a bad cover, people will judge it by it – come on, I’m sure I’m not the only one! When there’s a naked guy on the cover, or a somewhat “dirty” situation, you will probably assume that of the book as well, right? I’ll give you two covers of two of my favorites NA books, and these are pretty bad and laughable covers – albeit kind of HOT!

Now, I’ll tell you this, the cover for Down and Out has absolutely nothing to do with the book, except that the guy has tattoos, and that’s about it. Why is there a half naked man on the cover? No freaking idea!

And Wallbanger?! Oh my… that’s not even what happens! I swear I went into the book thinking that he liked to nail his conquests fully dressed in the entry hall or something… turns out it’s nothing like that AT ALL! (though walls are banged!)

I could fill this with really BAD covers, but I won’t! I’ll be nice! But did you look at those two and judged the books because of it?


nacovers_3Another huge problem with NA covers is the repetitive motifs, but worse than that is the repetitive use of the same stock images. Sometimes it is done smartly enough that you almost don’t notice that the image is exactly the same. But most often than not you notice, and unless you’ve read said book or it was highly recommended you, you might as well mix up those damn covers that look exactly alike. Want some examples? (here I’ll also use YA books)

              

                                

            

            

               

                   

                

     

Sometimes it’s the same couple but with different poses… yeah… most are not good either…

  

Some of the covers above are quite good and cute, but when they all start to blur and look the same, are they really doing their job to grab our attention? My guess is no…


nacovers_4

I’ll be totally honest here, I would read most of these books above, some I have already, but very few I would like to own a physical cover of. New Adult covers need to stop following the same pattern. They need to be unique. I want to look at a cover and be able to identify it right away, like I can with the Colleen Hoover books, or the new Mercy Brown series. Those are good covers!

Again, I don’t mind a few naked men on the covers of my books, but do it when it makes sense. Do it tastefully. Sex sells, sure, but I guarantee you that some covers dissuade reader to buy the book instead if encouraging it.

So, what do you guys think? What do you like to see on NA covers? Does the incessant repetition of cover cloning bother you? Do you think twice before buying a book with a bad cover?

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68 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About: NA Covers – The Good, the Bad and the Repetitive

  1. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one judging a book by its cover…I do that, too, and I have to say, looking at ALL the repetitive covers here, I’m reminded of why I don’t turn to NA so much…I know, that’s bad. I really want to try and read some of Colleen Hoover’s books, though, I love those covers, and heard so many great things about her books 🙂

  2. Cátia says:

    You already know how much I agree with you in all of this. I love the covers in Colleen Hoover’s books. They are almost always beautiful (Slammed has a pretty ugly cover). I also love The Second Chance covers and I want physical copies because the covers are cute. Don’t even make me talk about Wallbanger. That cover makes me laugh so much but now I want to read the book XD
    But yeah, I agree with everything you said 🙂

  3. Aldii says:

    I like reading some NA books sometimes, a break from fantasy or YA or the most things I read so, from time to time I’m looking for a good NA. I totally agree with you, most of the covers aren’t great, there are good ones, as you said, but they mostly make me think the book is a cliche or that I won’t enjoy it (I’m not going to lie, sometimes I like cliches :P)
    As you said, covers should be unique or at least represent the book!
    So funny to see all those repetitive covers! I didn’t realise there were a lot!

  4. fictional_living says:

    This is insanely true. And I can’t believe how many covers use the same image! I did post this on Colleen Hoover’s group page, because I felt like they would appreciate it!

  5. Amber says:

    First, I want to say that I love your blog design! Second, I love this post!

    A friend and I were just discussing the reusing of photos the other day. I think some of it comes down to the authors using stock photos, and then the designers altering them. There is one particular couple however, that I have seen used, reused, and then somehow used again, over and over. I won’t even pay attention to it now, and I’m probably missing out on good books due to that.

    The friend I was discussing this with is actually and indie author. She went out of her way to get a cover model, and make sure her covers were using non stock photos. I have to agree with her, I think it was smart.

    Last but not least.. Wallbanger. I remember reading that! Then my mom saw it on my Kindle and jaw dropped. I had to explain that one, and how the cover had nothing to do with the book at all. I’m still not sure she believed me.

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      yes, the stock photos… *sigh*… I obviously understand why so many indie authors use them, and I think the cover can be done well using stock photos, it just should be unique in some way, right?
      Wallbanger… LOL! I even find that cover funny now, because of how different it is from the book. even the guy… he has nothing on the Simon Parker from within the pages 😉

      • Amber says:

        I completely agree on the uniqueness part!

        Wallbanger.. I’ve seen that cover used a few times too. I agree with you there also!! He is no Simon Parker!

        • My Tiny Obsessions says:

          you’ve seen this cover used more too? DAMN! I saw a lot of couples in the same “position”, but never the exact same cover. it’s just too bad that good books can be passed up for having generic bad covers.

          • Amber says:

            Yeah! I’ll see if I can’t find it again and grab the name.

            I’ll be very honest. If I see the same cover, I skip the book completely thinking I’ve already read it. Sometimes it’s due to lack of interest in the cover itself. The whole, seen it, been there, read that, mentality.

            When I was younger, you would never see the same cover. (Mind you, I’m in my 30s.) In fact, that’s how I knew if I had or hadn’t read a book. I may not have remembered the story, but I did remember the cover. It was like if you remember a songs lyrics, but not the name of the song, or who sang it.

            It seems like with the digital age, it’s common now. Covers are easy access, you can manipulate them more. Instead of them having to be hand drawn like before. My best point in case with this, and it makes Wallbanger look tame, is the old bodice ripper romance books. (I mean Zebra.) You can tell those were drawn. How are we supposed to tell these things apart if we are just glancing?

          • My Tiny Obsessions says:

            oh yeah! I so agree with everything here. If I see a cover similar to one I read or decided that I wasn’t interested in, I’ll just skip it. I hardly read blurbs, the covers are it for me! And being in my 30’s too, I so get what you’re saying.

  6. Word Wonders says:

    I really really really dislike NA bookcovers (There are some exceptions as you stated in the beginning) especially the ones with the naked guys, I’m like: Is that supposed to make me want to buy the book ?

  7. eliseanoble says:

    Brilliant post! I’ve seen some models used over and over, not just on book covers but also on Facebook ads. Gets confusing when they’re all advertising different things! I can think of a few that make me grind my teeth I’ve seen them so many times.

    For my main book series, I commissioned an artist to draw scenes from the books, but a lot of the time I think they suffer because they aren’t typical covers with half-naked dudes on them. I worry people are conditioned to look for a certain type of cover for a romance.

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      if we are conditioned to look for that, it is about time we start to change that. YA managed that somehow. I honestly absolutely love NA, but the reason I only buy NA in kindle format is because those covers don’t make me want to spend the money of a paperback =/

  8. graciefm says:

    I’ve never really read any NA books and it is mainly because of the covers, all the ones that come up in my emails have half naked men on them and my mind instantly goes to Fifty Shades of Grey and really bad erotica. I can’t even bring myself to read the blurb a lot of the time because of this!

  9. Kat Impossible says:

    You know me – I am a complete sucker for pretty covers! It’s disheartening to see so many re-used ones. I don’t know what’s up with people? Are a lot of those self-published and those are free images to use? What is up with that?

  10. Sara @ freadomlibrary says:

    Personally I like the Wallbanger covers haha they’re effectively misleading and maybe I like them because they’re different from the usual Adult romance covers. But those covers with all the same cover images… WOW. That’s a lot of them, a lot more than I’d ever thought there would be. It’s a problem. I do like the way Colleen has her covers though the Hopeless one I’m not a fan of. I just feel like with NA, I expect half naked men on the cover so it doesn’t bother me much. But you’re right, there needs to be some uniqueness from now on

  11. lostwithinwordsx says:

    Some NA covers are absolutely terrible! I haven’t started reading NA yet but those covers really makes me not want to pick them up XD I never noticed the repeating covers though, great catch Cristina!

  12. Tasya says:

    Well, it’s actually awkward seeing all the same photos for different book covers.. Like it’s so obvious! I actually hate the NA cover that has half naked man or man and woman in such a sexual position… I mean NA discusses about sex, but can you not put it on the cover?? It makes the book looks cheap and erotica-ish. I’m actually feel ashamed to read those books in public even though they’re good, because of the covers! Love this discussion!

  13. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    omgggg THAT IS SO WEIRD SEEING THE SAME COVERS. :O Like they’ve used the same stock images and everything?!? Omg. What a nightmare. (But it was epically awesome seeing all of those side by side. I love this post. XD)

    I agree that NA covers tend to be awful. Like I don’t really read a lot of NA anyway? But hate the generic romance poses and nooopity no to the naked people on covers. I hate it when YA does that (and it does!!) it just makes things awkward and embarrassing unless you’re reading in your room. (Or thankgoodness for kindles. XD)

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      Yes, thank god for kindles! I buy a lot of NA, and read a lot of NA, but always in ebook format =/ – yes, mostly due to the bad covers. When I started noticing the repetition on some covers, I was a bit shocked. I mean, it’s one thing to have similar covers, but actually use the same pics and not exactly treat them to be unique… no, it’s just bad 😦

  14. tattooedpages says:

    wow! I was shocked to see that there are many covers that look the same! I don’t read NA but would like to. Colleen Hoover has been recommended as a good introduction to the genre, but do you have any other recommendations ?

  15. Prima says:

    Sometimes I get so confused between books because their covers are EXACTLY THE SAME. Same generic couple/shirtless guy on the front, same font. Also, the couple on Obsidian are everywhere! I saw a GR list on them, “Book covers with the Obsidian couple on them”. It was pretty funny to see the list XD

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      LOL, I didn’t find that list, I actually just found this 2 by accident, while looking for something else, eheh. I agree, it’s confusing. when I find a book that I like the blurb, I have to add it somewhere so I don’t lose track of it =/

  16. S. J. Pajonas (spajonas) says:

    Agree! I actually have a note in Evernote where I collect “same covers”. Lol. Because your “repetitive” section up there is what I see all the time. I decided to go way outside the box for the cover of my NA novel, Summer Haikus. I originally launched it with a couple on the cover and then had Najla Qamber redesign it with just objects. I love it! And it’s definitely different than all the other NA novels out there. You can see it here, if you like. http://www.spajonas.com/summer-haikus/

  17. thedaydreamingbookworm says:

    WOW! You went all out and found all the matching covers, haha! The Hub City series has one of the best covers for NA series! I totally agree that there needs to be more unique covers. I’ve even gotten NA series mixed up because they use the same stock image XD. Plus, all those naked, tatted guys? I can’t read those in public!

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      LOL, that’s why I’m thankful everyday for my kindle… otherwise I couldn’t read some stuff near my little nephews :P. Hub City cover’s are pretty spectacular :D, I want the physical books of those.

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