Today I’d like to welcome one of the co-conspirators behind the absolutely fabulous SFR Galaxy Awards. Heather Massey is here to announce the Great Steampunk Romance Airship Tour and discuss…
Analysis Of A Steampunk Romance Cover
by Heather Massey
With steampunk romance gaining more visibility over the past few years, I thought it’d be useful to tease out the elements one can expect from a steampunk romance cover. These covers have evolved quickly and I’d wager it’s because the steampunk aesthetic is unique and lends itself to a visual medium. Also, whether covers feature original designs or stock images, steampunk elements are fairly accessible.
Cover designers routinely use certain elements to tip off readers about steampunk romance content. Color is a main one. Steampunk romance covers trend toward warm, earthy color schemes—reds, browns, orange, yellow. The sepia-like tone evokes the Victorian-era time period (especially if that’s the story setting). Another reason for this color scheme is that it pairs well with metallic objects that are made of brass, bronze, and copper.
Other elements are more specific in nature. Below are a few additional steampunk romance cover clues along with examples.
Airships are one of the most popular steampunk romance cover elements. And no wonder—they’re frequently present in the stories. Plus, they’re really cool!
Many steampunk and clockpunk devices are made with gears and so many covers reflect that aesthetic. Gears also provide clues about the time period and setting.
Steampunk romances feature a number of intriguing gadgets from handheld devices to transportation vehicles. The presence of a gadget is also an indication that a story is likely to contain action-adventure elements. The covers below proudly display a type of gadget.
Goggles & Clothing
Many steampunk romance characters wear goggles at some point. One of the most popular accessories, they’re handy for eye protection when one is creating an invention. They also prevent bugs from smashing into the eyes of heroes and heroines during travel. You’ll encounter them in many covers because they make the characters really pop.
Steampunk romance covers are also a great excuse to showcase fabulous Victorian-era fashion, or any alternative version thereof.
Characters who wear prosthetic devices are fairly common in steampunk romance. And for good reason—the devices are fascinating and often serve an interesting purpose within the story. Prosthetic limbs lend themselves to the exploration of important themes and it’s always a thrill when a cover represents them.
Now that we’ve had fun dissecting steampunk romance covers, it’s time for a giveaway!
Leave a comment for this post and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the following ebook:
The Iron Heart – Leslie Dicken (winner’s choice PDF, ePUB, or .mobi)
And there’s more! Everyone who leaves a comment at any of the stops on The Great Steampunk Romance Airship Tour will be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize:
$100 e-gift card (winner’s choice Amazon or B&N)
75$ e-gift certificate to Clockwork Couture
1 digital copy of IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS (winner’s choice PDF, ePub, or .mobi)
Please include your email address. The deadline to enter all of the giveaways will be midnight PST on February 14. On Friday, February 15, check back here to see if you’ve won the ebook prize.
The grand prize winner will be announced on February 15 at The Galaxy Express.
Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts
(February 2013; Lyrical Press)
The West just got a whole lot wilder.
A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.
A man with a secret… Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.
A perilous quest… Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late.