Industry Trends: Fantasy Covers

Industry Trends: Fantasy Covers

by Jennifer Silverwood, September 13, 2018

Once upon a time, the fantasy fiction we know today didn’t exist. Novels occasionally showed elements of supernatural and science-fiction elements. But it wasn’t until the works of Lord Dunsany, then later J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, that the genre became what we emulate today. These authors drew their inspiration from myths and legends, from folktales and fairy tales.

The fantasy genre didn’t grow in popularity until after World War 2. Undoubtedly, the horrors of the two world wars inspired people to seek an escape. Much like the creators of those first fairy and folk tales, authors discovered a readership ready to exorcise their fears and find triumph through literary means.

So what does this have to do with book covers trends? We thought it might be fun to explore a wee bit of the history behind this wildly popular genre. The irony isn’t lost on us that there are more fantasy worlds explored in books, television, and movies than ever before. Perhaps because today we are seeking escape from our increasingly artificial and turbulent lives.

Fantasy has expanded into many subgenres. Today we’ll explore the most popular subgenres with you. One thing we feel we should note, some elements in this genre have endured through the years. For example, illustrated cover art is just as popular today as it ever was and has seen something of a resurgence. While most YA and urban fantasy fiction use photo manipulation. But there is a wide variety in every subgenre, and they all encompass that hint of the mystical and magic we’re searching for. Keep reading to explore samples from today’s bestsellers list.

**The following releases come from either Amazon, Kobo, iBooks or Barnes & Noble’s top 10 to 50 lists, excluding box sets. Links to product pages included. “Rise of the Sea Witch” by NQD**

Epic Fantasy

Urban Fantasy

Young Adult


Fairy Tale & Folklore


Thanks so much for visiting Najla Qamber Designs. We hope you enjoyed this month’s best-selling cover study. Stay tuned for future Industry Trends posts. Next month, we’ll feature a very spooky Halloween-inspired focus on the horror genre. Meanwhile, look out for our next Author Highlight!



1 Comment

    • Jennifer Silverwood
      Reply Cancel Reply
    • September 13, 2018

    This is probably without question...almost (lol) my favorite genre. And I think in part it's because of the imagination and magic that goes into these covers! I'm in such cover love staring at these haha.

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