Dear Cover Designers…


What’s wrong with this cover?, you might ask, and – at first glance, my answer would be: nothing.

The gown is one of my favourite colours, and the diamond theme makes it all sparkly and pretty. It’s in the same pseudo-Regency style as most historical romance covers these days, and it gets bonus points for skipping the waxed/oiled/mostly naked man to go with the woman.



This book is set in the **twentieth century**.


As in: this book is set in the century we were born in.


It already drove me bonkers how all Victorian-era historical romances end up with Regency covers, because:


(Regency era.)



(Victorian era)



(Victorian era.)


And – here’s the era the book in question is set. She looks a little different to the woman in the blue dress!:


Two things are at work here:

#1 “Regency” has become shorthand to indicate any book set in any century in the past.

Which is annoying because:

#2 Fans of the genre are treated like they’re stupid.

It’s such a pet hate of mine, if you failed to notice! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Dear Cover Designers…

  1. Even worse, “regency” with a lowercase R. I am gritting my teeth right along with you. Every era has its own distinct voice and flavor, including the fashions. I have fond memories of days when one could tell the setting of a book from the cover art. Too often, i t seems like it’s either single color prom gowns, / WordPerfect style or shirtless dudes in plaid s.

    1. I know – unfortunately – that many people just don’t care about anything to do with historical accuracy (see recent historical romances set in the 1910s, where the characters haven’t heard of the railway, and elope to Gretna Green!).

      I obsess over every historical detail in my books, and am stressed knowing I’ve got some things wrong. If only publishers would cater to readers who cared instead of trying to draw in those who don’t…

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