That most sumptuous of seasons is now in full swing (in the northern hemisphere, at least) – there is a big, yellow thing in the sky, Wimbledon is on, and it’s the fourth of July!
No, really, I hope you all have a wonderful day of celebrations on your side of the pond. I shall raise a beer and a punnet of strawberries in each of your respective honours, even if I cannot guarantee queenie will.
On that summery note, I’ve picked out some summery-covered new releases. I cannot comment on the content, but what unites each of these is that they are recently published, that they have a very popular feel, and are therefore designed to be picked up by holiday-makers in their masses. Let’s go ahead and judge each of these books by their covers…
Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan
Summer cover checklist: palm trees, sunset, summer dress, sea view and even a lighthouse! A prerequisite of all summery covers is that they must include the colour blue, because blue skies make us happy and remind us of sunbathing, or something along those lines. Extra points go to this cover’s designer for obeying the rule of thirds.
Read, Write, Love at Seaside by Addison Cole
Aside from the colour blue, another thing you’ll find these covers have in common is the scripty style title writing. It’s a kind of code to the potential reader that says, “Hey, I’m popular, light-hearted fiction and JUST the sort of book you like to read on the beach!” What I like about this cover in particular is the way the artist has stuck to a limited palette – purple, blue and beige. It yields a much cleaner effect overall, and is visually quite satisfying. Points for including the cute dog in the beach bag, but I do hope the owner remembered to pack poo bags in there too.
I Wish You Happy by Kerry Anne King
Ah, some very seasonal dandelions! We’ve ventured away from the seaside, and are now running gaily through a summer field. Impressively, the character has managed to locate some fresh dandelions when all the others are expired, and hasn’t been savaged by patch of nettles and thistles, but hey, realism isn’t always quite as romantic as an artist would like. We’re back to the rule of thirds with this one, but I’m not sure I like the orange as part of the colour palette. Put it down to personal taste.
The Summer House by Jenny Hale
You know, there’s photoshopping and there’s photoshopping. Perhaps this one is supposed to look cartoony and superimposed – I’m not sure, but it does do well in communicating that it’s a light summer read for you to breeze through on your hols (and it’s currently #215 in the UK Kindle chart, so clearly that fake photoshopping is not harming its sales). We have plenty on our summer cover checklist here: blue skies, voile curtains, flowers, beach, yachts and even a phallic lighthouse. How it does go against the grain is with the lack of scripty writing in the title, and instead the artist has chosen lowercase serif in a light colour, which is a reliable standard in pop fiction. Oh yeah, and it has ‘Summer’ in the title! Dead giveaway, but helpful for Amazon search bait.
Summer at Buttercup Beach by Holly Martin
I challenge you to come up with a more summery title than this one! The colour palette has been limited to entirely summery colours, there’s beach, there’s sky, ferns and a deck chair. There’s nothing challenging in the image, which indicates there’s probably nothing challenging inside, either. It just screams to be added to your holiday reading collection with a happy, brainless grin upon its papery face.
So there’s my very brief summary of summery popular covers. If you want to tell your readers that popular, sunny fiction is the content of your novel, then these are the exactly the sorts of designs you should look at emulating. Now, I’m off to sit outside in the garden. Where was that beer…?