Stop judging a romance book by its cover.
I love romance novels, it makes up for about 80% of the content on this blog. If you frequent my blog, chances are that you’re a romance novel lover as well. You’re also probably aware of the stigma associated with romance novels. There are a lot of people that think all romance novels are trash. It has no substance, they say. The characters aren’t multi-dimensional, the storylines are weak and it’s not based nearly enough in reality. These are all of the things that I’ve heard from people when they see just how much I love romance novels.
We all know none of this is true. Hell, go through the first three pages on this site and you’ll know that’s not true. Are there poorly written romance novels out there? Damn right there are. But that does not account for all of them.
If we’re being honest here, a lot of these preconceived notions have to do with the covers of romance novels. I will freely admit that most book covers in this genre are terrible. Designers tend to go a little heavy on the photoshop, the airbrush is out of control and there are lots of publishers who refuse to believe that you can sell a romance novel without having two people on the cover of the book. As much as I may like the image of well-toned man, there are only so many times I want to see a man glistening in baby oil staring back at me as I’m trying to read a dang book.
If I had let the book covers get to me, I would have missed out on a TON of great romance novels. I pushed past some highly suspect book covers in the past to delve into a romance book that made me fall in love with the characters and read more of that author’s work. We can’t always hold the writer responsible for the book cover. There are many instances where the publishing houses have the final say on the art, and there are times when they miss the mark. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t fully fleshed out characters, a solid storyline, witty comebacks or even a mystery or two awaiting you once you peel back the cover.
As readers, we must be willing to try. Book publishing sales tell us that there is indeed a large market for romance novels. There are a dedicated number of readers, including myself, who absolutely love this genre. I do believe there could be even more of us, but too many still see romance covers and automatically cast the book to the side thinking that it’s going to be cheesy and too far fetched. Don’t get me wrong, this can be the case for some romance books but I refuse to let people lump every book in this genre like this.
I am tired of getting the side eye when I bend the spine of my Harlequin Kimani novel in public. Stop judging a romance by its cover. Frankly, you’d be surprised at how many great storylines are waiting for you once you’re willing to pick up the novel that may have a couple sitting on a bench in a small town, or riding off into the sunset. While the covers can be a bit cheesy, that doesn’t mean that the content is.