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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm nearing the completion of my first book and am now trying to figure out what kind of cover would work. The book is a thriller/romance. It's about a nice woman finishing last in a corporate world, but with the help of a "devil on the shoulder" type that just came into her life, she will take control of her life and take what's hers. It's also going to be a serial.

I wanted to go for something like the 3 images below, with the heads on the cover like that, but I don't know how well it would work in the thriller and romance genre. Can you guys help me out?

http://i.imgur.com/4zrVGB8.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/fdIoaCP.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Hwncu0n.jpg

I see a lot of thriller movies with these type of covers, do you think something like the above would work for a thriller/romance book?
 

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Thriller movie posters don't work well for books. The reason the heads on posters works is because the actors are well known- and used as the pull for the audience. It's actually called "Floating Head Syndrome", which came with a funny video a fair few years ago:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/47d8df4123/movie-poster-floating-heads-from-fod-team-and-brian-huskey

So when it comes to thriller romances, you need to look at other books in your genre- and who write in your style or with your story themes. What are the trends that those books follow? You will not find that style on books because the models aren't recognizable. It's more important to portray the message in alternate ways, thematic ways, ways that other novels are doing it.
 

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Agree with Scarlett_R. The reason the High Crimes movie poster features big headshots of Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd is because... it's Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd! It's called Star Power. Works for movies but not so much for books because it's unlikely there are stars attached (unless it's a well-known series with a known main character).

I, personally, do not like covers with crisp photos of dominant, real models, but I know that plenty of Romance authors do this. If it's a Thriller/Romance, I'd try something more abstract. Something thematic or conceptual.

And yeah, see what others in the genre are doing, especially the bestsellers. That will give you a good clue.
 

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I'd study covers in the romantic suspense genre. You can totally do two people on the cover, but none of the examples given will work quite right for a book cover or for romantic suspense.

If your book is more thriller with a romance subplot, you'll want to study thriller covers instead.
 

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I don't agree with the first two posters on this because The Last of Us still works and it's not famous people at all.

Was "High Crimes" more successful because of Morgan Freeman? of course. It's Morgan Freeman.

But The Last of Us was still very successful and the cover art drew me in the moment I saw it.

Would I think Romantic thriller?? No... More like horror/suspense/thriller.
 

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@ Guido: No, no data. Just observations and personal preference. (and 30 years as an Art Director ;-)

@ No Cat: Yeah, I just checked the Amazon Best Sellers in Thrillers & Suspense, and guess what? NONE of the Top 20 has a two-shot photo as described here. Repeat: None. So GUIDO, there's your data! :)

@ Arshness: You mean the console game "The Last of Us"? Looks more like semi-photo-realistic illustrations to me, which is a totally different than model photos.

BTW: Alabama to Portland? Whoa. Culture shock! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your great advice.

I guess the first thing I need to figure out is which genre my book belongs to. If we were talking percentages, I'd say it's a 50/50 split between romance and thriller/suspense. Not a true split in every episode as some episodes favor romance while some favor thriller, but thinking over the entire season, it comes out to 50/50. When I look at the covers of the best sellers in both the thriller and romantic suspense genres, I find myself leaning heavily towards the thrillers. Big muscly guy on the front covers of the romantic suspense genre, that has nothing to do with my story. Then again, I haven't read these stories so it might not have anything to do with theirs either.

There are some covers in the romantic suspense category that don't scream romance, but more thriller. That tells me you don't need a hunk on the cover to sell in that genre. Perhaps the best course is to make a thematic thriller cover and just place it in both the romantic suspense and thriller categories?
 

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Too many covers look the same already. Follow your heart and break tradition, be different.
 

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Harald said:
@ Guido: No, no data. Just observations and personal preference. (and 30 years as an Art Director ;-)

@ No Cat: Yeah, I just checked the Amazon Best Sellers in Thrillers & Suspense, and guess what? NONE of the Top 20 has a two-shot photo as described here. Repeat: None. So GUIDO, there's your data! :)

@ Arshness: You mean the console game "The Last of Us"? Looks more like semi-photo-realistic illustrations to me, which is a totally different than model photos.

BTW: Alabama to Portland? Whoa. Culture shock! :)
Yes, The Last of Us. He linked it as one of his examples. Thus I mentioned that some of the advice against doing that didn't apply to that example. :)

Alabama to Portland: I'm a fish in the desert, bro. My family has always been the oddball here. We are nothing like the people around us, and the culture shock is one of the reasons we WANT to go. I think we'll fit into the culture there far better than we do here. :)
 
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