This is what I hate about Romance covers ... even covers that are well done.
Look at this:
I picked these up at random from four genres. First thing we notice is these covers are, like, different from one another. The covers have something to do with what's inside the book.
Look at the titles --
The Gunslinger The Shoemaker's Wife Clockwork angel Mockingjay Iron Daughter In Sunlight and in Shadow Tigers in Red Weather Stranger in a Strange Land The Outlaw Album
The titles relate to what's in the book. They're different from one another, and memorable.
There's no sense that the reader has to be hand-led to these books by having the covers and titles shout across the store -- "Generic YA!" or "Generic Mystery!"
These distinct and memorable covers are picked from a couple of 'best of' lists: Here are six historical fiction covers.
Here's a round dozen YA covers.
Now we got a whole hundred of SF&;F covers.
And here's a pack of ten mystery / suspense books.
EDITED TO ADD:
Some of those covers above are, admittedly, best seller types. Are bestsellers the only books to get good, distinctive covers?
Not so much. Look at what they do with covers in a very small, very specific genre. Cozy mystery shows us that a small genre doesn't have to mean cookie cutter titles and covers. Here. Cozy mystery are midlist books with individual, story-directed covers. Publishers can afford to do this.
All three covers are recognizably cozy mysteries. All show different aspects of the cozy mystery genre. You aren't going to mistake one cover for the other or one title for the other.
How about another niche genre where the books are midlist books, not national bestsellers. Wanna see some Inspirational Romance covers?
I won't argue these are great art. I won't say these are thrillingly original. But see how the covers are talking to the reader? They're saying there's an individual story inside this book and it matters.
Now let us look at Historical Romance, 32 romance books, shall we? These are all well-regarded popular books. Picking out some random covers.
And we have a passel of women with their clothes falling off. Sometimes, men with their clothes falling off. Sometimes both.
Forgettable covers. Essentially these are the same cover decked out in different colors.
Don't get me started on the trite, interchangeable, forgettable titles.
To Desire a Wicked Duke After Dark with a Scoundrel One Night is Never Enough To Tempt a Rake The Perfect Mistress Seducing the Governess Unveiled Scandal of the Year The Countess
Eight out of nine, perfectly forgettable titles.
What does this say to the world about Historical Romance? It says, "One Romance book is like another." It says, "No story inside this book, Ma'm. Just pick one at random."