Cover Art Trends In Self-Published Historical Fiction | Self-Publishing Relief

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Your self-published book may be historical fiction, but that doesn’t mean your cover art has to be stuck in the past! The latest cover art trends for historical fiction are taking the genre in a direction that’s more aesthetically pleasing to the modern reader without necessarily sacrificing old-fashioned charm. Our forecasters at Self-Publishing Relief predict a captivating blend of both vintage and cutting-edge designs for upcoming historical fiction covers.

Book Cover Trends For Self-Published Historical Fiction

Sans Serif Fonts

Almost everyone is familiar with a serif font like Times New Roman. Many authors think this is a great go-to font when designing the cover art for a historical fiction novel. But right now, many authors are opting for more modern sans serif fonts in place of traditional (dare we say stuffy) fonts. Some popular choices are Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana—but there are plenty of other sans serifs like Avant Garde, Futura, and Gill Sans too! Have you seen a font you like, but don’t know what it’s called? Check out this font-finding lifesaver!


Splitting Images

So many historical fiction covers are showing the power of strategic design. While you may have found the perfect image for your cover, you might want to also consider splicing the image with another or adding additional design elements to fit the tone and theme of your work. Graphic overlays aren’t just aesthetically appealing—they can be used to tell a visual story or set the mood before readers have even opened your book! But be mindful, because beautiful covers that don’t actually represent your book are a strategy you definitely want to avoid.


Warm Gradients

The gradient technique, which melts one color seamlessly into the next, is a strategy that looks great on almost any genre of book cover. However, historical fiction authors are using warm tones in their gradients to achieve an old-timey, nostalgic effect. This gradient technique doubles as a filter effect and can transport readers back to your time period of choice!

Understated Art

If saturated colors or vintage images don’t suit your style or your book, don’t worry! Minimalist designs are also “in” for historical fiction. Writers are using abstract shapes, basic colors, and simple designs to represent their stories. However, in minimalistic design, every single design decision counts. Don’t stress; check out Minimalism 101!


Text Wrapping

A fun, new technique that has piqued the interest of historical fiction writers is placing text strategically around the focal points and images of the cover art. This precise text-wrapping gives the visual impression of 3D text. It’s a great way to make sure your self-published title stands out from other titles, while also using an eye-catching design technique. Remember, your book cover is your strongest point-of-purchase sales generator!


Paint Textures

Many authors are forgoing photographs and digital images and are instead opting for a hand-painted effect. These cover designs emphasize color over form. Color is one of the most important elements when designing your own cover for your self-published book. You can use paintbrush strokes and colors to represent the themes and emotions of the book rather than straightforward images. Some paint textures can have a nostalgic effect on readers, pulling them back to a simpler moment in time that existed before graphic design. The irony is that you have to use modern techniques to achieve this effect!

So feel free to set your top hat and corset aside and give your historical fiction cover some modern design flair! Writers are using avant-garde techniques to represent stories of the past. This includes innovative experimentation with text, graphics, textures, and colors.

If historical fiction isn’t your genre, Self-Publishing Relief still has you covered! Check out the cover art design trends for these genres:

Cover Art Design Trends For Self-Published Cozy Mystery Novels

Cover Art Design Trends For Self-Published Horror Novels

Cover Art Design Trends For Self-Published Poetry Collections

Cover Art Design Trends For Mystery/Thriller Novels

Cover Art Trends For Self-Published Romance Novels

New And Classic Cover Art Design Trends For Memoir Writers

Graphic design not your thing? Let Self-Publishing Relief do the work for you! Choose from our many predesigned covers, or we can create a custom cover for your book.


Question: Which is your favorite historical fiction cover design?

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Thinking about self-publishing?
Receive your FREE copy of our helpful guide…


Act now! Enter your name and email on the right to receive..

— Design tips to boost your book’s marketability

— Insider secrets for writing the best back cover book blurb

— The importance of a flattering headshot

Send Me My FREE Guide!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Live Chat Software