Skip To Content
  • Viral badge
  • lol badge

19 Book Cover Clichés

These crop up all the time.

1. Scary silhouette man.

Must be a: Pacy, hard-hitting thriller for holidaying dads.

2. Woman holding a birdcage for some reason.

Must be a: Spooky period tale in the Woman In Black vein.

3. Man lurking by fence.

Must be an: Atmospheric crime novel, featuring a hard-bitten and psychologically complex detective.

(Add fog, for period effect).

4. Woman in long white dress.

Must be a: Novel aimed at women. But with literary pretensions. Definitely not chick lit.

5. Woman in long backless dress.

Must be a: Tale of high-society intrigue (and just a hint of naughtiness) set in the '20s/'30s.

6. Bloke with sword.

Must be a: Fantasy epic. Part of a long, long series.

7. Bloke in hood.

Must be a: Same again, but featuring some kind of wizard/magical monk.

8. Bloke wearing hood and carrying sword.

Must be a: Fantasy yet again, but this time with a ninja/samurai element.

9. Woman looking out over water.

Must be a: Wistful tale of love, loss and regret, which your mum will read in the bath.

10. Shadowy man walking into the distance.

Must be a: "Taut thriller", according to Richard And Judy's Book Club.

11. Woman with luggage.

Must be a: Forgettable airport novel featuring a bland and materialistic married couple going through difficulties.

12. Woman's legs.

Must be an: Intermittently humorous book about a quirky and self-deprecating woman's quest to have lots of hot sex.

13. Lots of black and red. Gothic font.

Must be a: Twilight wannabe.

14. Pink and sparkly.

Must be a: Chick-lit romp, which has sold in unimaginable quantities.

15. High heels, muted tones.

Must be a: Shameless Fifty Shades of Grey rip-off.

16. Jewellery, muted tones.

Must be a: Same again, but with more romance, less bondage.

17. Child's sad face, handwriting-style font.

Must be a: Misery memoir, supposedly based on real life.

18. Spooky road to nowhere.

Must be a: No-nonsense page-turner, for which the film rights have almost certainly already been sold.

19. Just some leaves.

Must be: Vaguely related to nature. Very much a "will this do?" Father's Day gift.

h/t: Caustic Cover Critic, The Book Smugglers, and David Horspool of the TLS for having spotted a few of these. Inspired by Private Eye, who have an occasional column on this subject.

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form