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The Bestselling Colors in the Book World

The Bestselling Colors in the Book World


There’s nothing quite like getting a new book; UPS knows me by my first name because I order so many! I woke up with this question this morning: is there a correlation between the color of a book’s cover, digital or physical, and its success within its genre? I took a look at several New York Times Bestseller lists to find out.

Bestselling Fiction

In the top 5 books in fiction, we see primarily copper, gold, silver, and ochre in spades and accents of lavender and bright blue. Granted, 3 of the 5 are from the same author, which might skew the results a bit, but nonetheless, warm colors and metallics rule the day for this genre. This makes sense as the 3 books by George R.R. Martin all deal with a world of royalty and opulence.


A_Dance_with_DragonsClash_of_Kings


A_Game_of_ThronesThe_Help


Now_You_See_Her

Bestselling Nonfiction

Of the five books present in the nonfiction category, we find a lot of warm colors, again. Here though, they are rich, non-metallic, and darker - much like the subject matter they enrobe. Looking at the covers, we see a range of colors from a memoir done up in nostalgic cream to a first person account of heaven wrapped in joyful yellow to a vibrant orange cover of a tale of scientific discovery. The two historical books in this genre are a sepia-toned look back World War II next to a similarly themed look at an American family’s time in Hitler’s Berlin.

The top selling nonfiction books show us, in color and in subject matter, that real life is a dizzying mix of dark and bright, grand and personal, recollective and modern.


Heaven_is_for_RealThe_Garden_of_Beasts


The_Immortal_LifeUnbroken


A_Stolen_Life

Bestselling Hardcover Graphic Novels

Not quite as bold as comic books meant for children, the best selling graphic novels’ covers present us with a color palette of hues as dark and straightforward as the stories they portray. Whether looking at the modern yellow and gray of the newest X-Men novel or the dingy vintage orange of “Paying for It,” a seemingly seedy account of one man’s experience being a john, all the covers in this category allude to the grittier stories to be found in their pages.


Blood_WorkGreen_Lantern


Age_of_XPaying_for_It


Swamp_Thing

Bestselling Children’s Chapter Books

Arguably the brightest covers of all those so far, it is appropriate that the top 5 children’s books give us saturated primaries, lapping flames, and bright lettering with only one black and white cover. The two books boasting primary colors deal with more simplistic subject matter while the flame-licked cover of “The Throne of Fire” sits squarely in the jewel-toned fantasy world where “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is well-served by the black and white of its cover, conjuring thoughts of long-lost mysteries yearning to be solved.


Middle_SchoolPeculiar_Children


Super_Diaper_Baby_2Throne_of_Fire


The_Abduction
What color trends have you noticed in your book list, lovers? I’d love to compare notes.

Rise Above,
Stephan

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6 Comments
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 Comments

dennisthemenace

I read this article with interest. I don't read fiction, but do read non-fiction and craft books. A while ago I had a book published - on a textile technique. We decided on a pink and purple cover, and it sold well. Several booksellers told us that they only sell craft books with red, purple or pink covers as they sell better than others. I have no proof that that is correct, but as I said - mine sold well.

ycc2106

Again, this is the same as the actual IF-word!
>> IF58-BOOKS
I'll add a link to this post =)

PowerChild

The color swatches derived from each are appealing, but most of the cover designs are a bit lacking in appeal. That "Theodore Boone" cover could have been improved if the beveled edge was removed from the font.
Team

mollybermea

Great input. That's pretty cool. Do you have a link to your book? And if you like, put the image in the comments, would love to see it!

dennisthemenace wrote:
I read this article with interest. I don't read fiction, but do read non-fiction and craft books. A while ago I had a book published - on a textile technique. We decided on a pink and purple cover, and it sold well. Several booksellers told us that they only sell craft books with red, purple or pink covers as they sell better than others. I have no proof that that is correct, but as I said - mine sold well.
Team

mollybermea

THANKS YCC!
ycc2106 wrote:
Again, this is the same as the actual IF-word!
>> IF58-BOOKS
I'll add a link to this post =)

slyM0nd0

Remember the message is the medium, most of these seemingly aesthetically 'crude' design choices standout even to a layman's eye even though they may not consciously think ' wow thats a crap-ass gradient' it still draws attention to the cover and therefore the book which is the end goal of the cover
.
PowerChild wrote:
The color swatches derived from each are appealing, but most of the cover designs are a bit lacking in appeal. That "Theodore Boone" cover could have been improved if the beveled edge was removed from the font.

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