What the Most Popular Wattpad Covers Have in Common
We pulled together data from the top books in eight of Wattpad's most popular genres to see what trends popped up. Here's what we learned...
Do Wattpad readers judge a book by its cover? To find out more, we compiled data from Wattpad's published books and the 50 most popular books in each of these genres: Paranormal, Romance, Teen Fiction, New Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, and Sci-Fi. (Since Wattpad's hot lists are always changing, the books we used may not still be trending.) That made for 421 book covers in total.
The Most Popular Cover Colors
When looking at colors, we looked at the main one or two colors that made up any given cover. You might not be surprised to learn that the top cover color was black at 22.6% overall. The second most popular color was blue at 14.8%. The least common color was orange at 3.8%.
Popular colors varied by genre and type. Covers of novels published by Wattpad Books (a mostly-YA publishing imprint) had almost no black whatsoever—just 2%. Horror, in contrast, featured black on 43.4% of covers. There was also a major spike in use of red in Horror with 22.4% red. Historical Fiction was more likely to use brown than any other genre at 21.3%. Purple was used most in Fantasy (13.8%), pink in Romance (13.3%), and green in Sci-Fi (12.2%).
A few common cover subject stood out right away—like Romance covers with shirtless men (22%) or Sci-Fi covers featuring planets (30.6%). Others trends were more unexpected.
For instance, 3.6% of the covers we looked at featured the moon.
We also found that 4% of covers showed men in suits and 2.4% had women in red dresses. In fact, several covers had both...
Another trend we observed was the used of silhouettes. This might be because silhouettes allow the reader to imagine any look for the character.
That may also explain why a pair of hands (2.9%) was also a popular theme.
We also spotted a lot of underwater covers (2.9%), and many of which actually used the same photo.
2.4% of covers (10% in Fantasy) featured a sword in one way or another.
Who Shows Up On Covers the Most?
Most covers (74%) featured at least one person as their main subject. Despite the fact that most Wattpad users and writers are female, 57% of cover models appeared to be male. Places—scenic vistas, planets, or buildings—made up 9.8%. Objects like flowers, weapons, or jewelry, made up 7.4%. Another 5.1% of covers featured no obvious subject, like close-up patterns or abstract shapes. The remaining 3.6% had animals, often a wolf or tiger, as their subject.
Text & Fonts
Just 0.5% of covers featured text only (versus illustrations or photos), but 3.1% didn't even have their title on the cover at all. The most popular font was sans serif at 34% with serif close behind at 30% and cursive at 25%. Handwritten (9%) and distressed (3%) fonts were relatively rare, with both being more popular in Horror. Cursive was most used in Romance (36.0%), New Adult (41.2%), and Historical Fiction (34.7%). Sci-Fi almost exclusively used sans serif fonts (71.4%). Fantasy (43.8%) and Historical Fiction (46.9%) used serif fonts most.
Want to know more—or just like looking at pretty graphs? We've packed some of our findings into the handy infographic below.
Have you noticed any trends in Wattpad covers? Let us know in the comments...