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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been noticing a change in the book cover trend in genres that are not paranormal/fantasy or sci-fi. Earlier, photo manipulated covers used to mostly be for paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi since there are elements in the genre that can't be shown through just photography so they needed to be added digitally. Now I see photomanipulated covers are catching up with other genres too since they are visually more attractive. For eg., the cover for The Edge of Never looks quite like a cover for something paranormal but isn't.


My question is, how important is it for you to have or see a cover that indicates the genre spot on? Do you always take highly retouched or photo-manipulated covers to be paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi?

Edit:I probably didn't word it correctly. By highly retouched or photo-manipulated covers, I esp. mean covers with dramatic lighting. This thought came to my head because I recently did this particular cover. The author came up with the idea of adding a smokey background. This isn't something that goes on a typical contemporary romance cover, I liked the idea when she explained that she wanted to highlight the mysterious aspect of the story. While a lot of people said it looks paranormal, but both the author and me are quite content with the outcome. IMO, the font choice and tagline are clear indications that it is a romance novel.

 

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The Dark Rayne said:
Do you always take highly retouched or photo-manipulated covers to be paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi?
No. There are plenty of highly-retouched/manipulated covers in all genres. Often you didn't realize how manipulated they were, simply because it wasn't obvious - it just looked like that was how the stock was from the start. But it's rare to find a piece of stock art that's perfect as-is...for any genre.

What makes the cover for The Edge of Never appear to be pararnormal is the mostly black&white with the splash of red color scheme and the ethereal quality of the lighting behind the heroine's head, not merely the fact that the image has been retouched.
 

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But that is still a good question, even if it is true that pretty much all photographic covers are heavily retouched. The ones that look retouched might seem more Fantasy?

A certain kind of retouching - glowy, possibley limited colour scheme etc - looks "Fantasy" genre, maybe. But I wonder if that association is because that style is often used by Fantasy books, or if it just looks fantastical?

In the example though, the way the font is used, as well as the title itself seems very Fantasy-like. "The Edge of Never" sounds like a fantasy title, and the font looks sort of old fashioned. Would you have the same genre association with that cover if the font was more hard edge, and the title something else?
 

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Is this a case of we see what we wanna see?  ;D

I don't see paranormal on that cover, or fantasy. I see YA or contemporary romance for college age, which I guess is New Adult for now.
 

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The Dark Rayne said:
How important is it for you to have or see a cover that indicates the genre spot on? Do you always take highly retouched or photo-manipulated covers to be paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi?
Important to me. I've been trained over time to look for certain elements that immediately identify a genre; the gorgeous dress on a headless woman signifies historical fiction focused on royalty / nobility. Edge of Never looks like paranormal for the elements Amanda mentioned, plus the overall image with font is stark. I don't associate fantasy or sci-fi with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Masha du Toit said:
In the example though, the way the font is used, as well as the title itself seems very Fantasy-like. "The Edge of Never" sounds like a fantasy title, and the font looks sort of old fashioned. Would you have the same genre association with that cover if the font was more hard edge, and the title something else?
Exactly. That's the point I was trying to make. This doesn't look like a typical romance novel cover, looks more like paranormal.
 

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That cover looks like a YA novel to me, not paranormal or fantasy.  I am used to full on illustrated covers for fantasy and sf.  Photo-manip covers for those genres are actually pretty new (urban fantasy popularized them, I guess).
 

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I don't think EDGE of NEVER looks paranormal, but the other one definitely does. It's a gorgeous cover, but I would immediately think paranormal because of the smoky background and his eyes. Paranormal Romance.
 

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I vote with the "we see what we want to see" contingent.

The first cover looks very YA. The font doesn't say "fantasy" to me in the least. If someone is searching for YA and sees this cover, they'll assume it's YA.

As for the 2nd cover, I didn't even realize it was smoke behind the brooding man. Looked to me like he's standing in front of a big pencil-type of mural. I even see what looks like a horse under the author last name. (Looking closely I see that it's not a horse, but at first glance, that's exactly what it looks like.)

Bottom line, if someone's searching for fantasy/paranormal books and sees the first cover, they'll assume it's a fantasy/PNR cover. If someone's looking for romance and sees the 2nd cover, they'll assume it's a romance. At least, in my opinion.
 
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