The silhouette book cover trend

Do these book covers look similar to you? You may remember my March 2018 post in which I share book covers that look very much alike. Well, in keeping with that theme, here’s another book cover trend: the silhouette. You don’t have to be a master researcher to find them and in fact, I picked up several examples just by browsing the shelves at the library where I work!

I looked online to see if 2018 was the year of the silhouette, but I didn’t find much. You can read about the best covers of 2018 and the predicted trends for 2019 in these online posts:

From 99 Designs: “9 Beautiful Book Cover Design Trends for 2019” by Meg Reid, December 2018

From the New York Times:  “The 12 Best Book Covers of 2018” by Matt Dorfman, December 21, 2018

I wonder how long this trend has been developing? The books here are listed in order of publication, beginning in 2009, with the exception of my Jane Eyre example. I thought it was only proper to put Jane and Mr. Rochester together! Of course, they’re not looking at each other, which is a little weird. Mr Rochester was published in 2018.

Just seeing these together makes me want to read a few. Do you feel that way too? Here’s a full list of the books and their authors, in case you’re interested:

  1. Little Bee by Chris Cleave 2009
  2. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley 2014
  3. A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri 2014
  4. Frog Music by Emma Donoghue 2014
  5. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni 2018
  6. The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu 2015
  7. Beastly Bones: A Jakaby Novel by William Ritter 2016
  8. Jackaby by William Ritter 2016
  9. The Vegetarian by Han Kang 2016
  10. The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach 2017
  11. American Street by Ibi Zoboi 2017
  12. Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights by Alison Case 2017
  13. The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Hargrave 2018
  14. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker 2018
  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 1847

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

31 thoughts on “The silhouette book cover trend

  1. What an interesting post! I hadn’t noticed but the silhouette does seem to be a popular motif for book covers.

    I just finished writing a blog post on the steps i took to get the right cover for my upcoming novel. I did look at trends but in the end, I settled for one that gave the reader a good idea of the story between the covers.

  2. This is fascinating! I like the silhouette look, but not when I see it used for so many covers. Yikes. Too bad there has to be ‘trends’ for a cover. Originality is more fun, but I suppose publishers think that if one silhouette covered book sold well, they better try it again. It’s like when publishers tell authors, ‘well, make sure you have a vampire in your story – vampires sell well’ ;-0

  3. Brilliant posting. I always believed that covers told you something about the plot of the book as well as making it stand out from the crowd. When they all look the same I find it quite boring.

  4. Barbara, well spotted and they are all enticing covers! I hadn’t realised I was part of a ‘trend’ with my cover last year! They are eye-catching, evocative and full of promise! Great links and so many new style of covers to look out for this year.

      1. Barbara, I didn’t mean that at all! Please don’t think so … it was more of a pause, moment, then realisation that this seemed familiar! I’m just pleased to be in such esteemed company. Wishing you a lovely weekend! xx

  5. I think these covers are beautiful and I hadn’t noticed the trend until you pointed it out! Fascinating. I remember seeing the cover for the fabulous Rachel Caine’s Midnight Bites book in Waterstones and the designer had used the same stock photo that my cover designer used years earlier for my first YA novel – it was a surreal moment lol.

    1. Wow – I have also seen stock photos used for different book covers. We used stock images for my father’s books – maybe I will see those on other books too. I also think these silhouette covers pretty – thanks so much for reading and commenting, Shelley! 😀

    1. So interesting, Jennifer – I think it’s a clever and pretty design. I wonder why some are facing left and some right? Do you think it’s a political statement? Thanks for popping over – looking forward to tomorrow’s Snap! 😉

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