Updated May April 2023
When you’re self-publishing your book, it’s no mystery that your cover design can make or break your book sales. And the best way to grab the attention of your audience and boost sales is to use cover design trends that are easily identified with your genre. At Self-Publishing Relief, we know that cozy mystery novels have a very distinctive design style that sets them apart from other mysteries and thrillers. Instead of dark colors and dramatic images, cozy mysteries feature brighter colors and warm illustrations. Here are the latest cover art trends for cozy mysteries:
Cute Illustrations with a Terrifying Twist
Minimalist illustrations are all the rage for cozy mystery covers. Unlike traditional mystery novels, cozy mysteries tend to incorporate cuter, “cozier” design elements, rather than dark, edgy images. Illustrations and art are some of the best ways to capture the essence of your cozy mystery with simple, vivid—and slightly twisted—hand-drawn artwork.
Contrasting, Colorful Typography
Some of the leading writers in the cozy mystery genre are featuring interesting color usage in their cover art, but in a way you might not expect. Instead of choosing one color for the title, author name, and cover text, the latest trend is to use multiple colors in your typeface. When your fonts pop, you have a better chance of catching the eye of potential buyers! Caveat: Avoid using hard-to-read fonts on your cover—they’re more likely to annoy readers and cause them to quickly lose interest.
Lavish Landscapes and Images
Cozy mystery covers are showing a trend toward picturesque landscapes and idyllic scenery—think Thomas Kinkade artwork. With warm colors and light, these images invite your readers into the seemingly peaceful location of your story.
Fanciful Frames and Non-Covers
One very unique cover art trend involves making the cover look like anything but a cover! The rectangular aspect ratio of nearly all book covers may seem constrictive, but it can actually be a gateway to intriguing design ideas. A cover can be transformed into a postage stamp, a framed image, an envelope, or any other unexpected rectangular object. This is an excellent way to invoke the theme or time period of your self-published book.
An About-Face on Faces
The latest book covers aren’t showing full faces or detailed profiles. Instead, authors are strategically using images where the featured character’s face is not shown. The lack of hyperrealism in the artwork helps to emphasize the mystery within your cozy mystery and encourages readers to use their imaginations.
Faux Finishes and Realistic Textures
Flat design elements are so yesterday! Writers are now adding different textures to their cover designs in a variety of ways. Rustic woods or shiny metallic surfaces can create striking design elements that reflect your book’s themes, settings, and time frame. Using a font that resembles handwriting or chalk is another way to make your cover textured and touchable.
The Purrfect Cozy Complement
Nothing embodies the “cozy” in cozy mysteries as well as a cuddly, curious feline. And if you spend more than five minutes on the Internet, you’re sure to notice that cats are incredibly popular! Cats have always held a special place in people’s hearts, so this is definitely an irresistible design trend you might want to pounce on.
When creating your cozy mystery novel book cover, use these trending design elements to stand out and appeal to your target audience. Remember, your self-published book’s cover is your most important point-of-purchase advertising opportunity!
Question: Who is your favorite cozy mystery author?