A huge part of selling novels comes with the cover. Yeah, nobody listens to the "don't judge a book by its cover" thing. Or, at least, I don't. I suppose that's unfair, given how much it ticks me off when people judge a book by the first page, but for me it's the cover, followed by the blurb. The cover catches my eye (sometimes the title) and then the blurb is what'll get me to read the book.
So I thought I would give you some insights into what I think a good cover is. Now, those of you who have liked my Facebook page know I like to make, usually draw, my own covers. But to be honest, those usually aren't a representation of what I want. Most of the time, I draw those things just to get a better sense of the characters or the story, so the aesthetics aren't the issue.
For a real cover, the aesthetics would matter. Also, note that the publishers, not the authors, pick the covers for books. Which actually brings me to a recent, very interesting challenge presented by author Maureen Johnson about gender-neutral covers. Check out this post with the slideshow at the bottom for that. It's seriously legit, and makes you think. This echoes a recent and progressing set of posts about sixth graders judging the way covers are done. The first post is here, the links to the rest are at the bottom of said post.
With all that in mind, here's my opinion of the type of book covers I love!
I like covers that are simple.
Yes. I like covers with a simple focus, simple lettering, and preferably not an author's tagline that's three miles high (I'm talking to you, James Patterson). The ones with a simple symbol work the best, I think, something important to the book that can catch the eye and off-set the title. Por ejemple:
Yup. That's pretty darn simple. That one is actually a version of the Mockingjay cover designed specifically for adults in the UK, because apparently British adults need special covers so they don't feel embarrased about reading YA lit. Or something.
I really like it, though, more than the original, even. Why? Well, because I appreciate covers which, on top of simplicity, are soft, with either clearly defined or very blurred colors, often having nature elements as the stressed symbol, or even a nicely done face. I've even seen some covers I liked that were just simply words. Not to mention, I do lean towards my fave colors, which are on the blue/purple/grey side of the color wheel.
So what are my favorite book covers, now that we've gone over the above? Well, I'll show you:
Series also need to have some kind of tied together cover set. You can check out almost any series to see this. The Hunger Games trilogy matches. The Twilight Saga matches. Another series that has matching covers I really like is the Matched trilogy. I thought the actual series fell flat, but man do I like these covers.
Some of you know that the first YA book I ever read was The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable, which is also part of a trilogy. I recently rediscovered it, and enjoyed it. It holds power for me because it was the origin. Well, the covers for that trilogy are also really good. The same featured characters in every color, a striking color scheme, and small symbols to distinguish each book's point. Not as simple, but very beautiful. A lot of artistry in these covers, although I do wish they were a bit softer. I like the last one the most.
Also, the Divergent trilogy covers had something good going on, although the last one fell flat for me.
Seriously, why is that last cover orange? I hate orange. It totally lacks the beauty and subtlety of the first two covers. Not to mention, it totally looks like a laundry detergent container. For those of you who don't know, before the title was revealed, Veronica Roth joked around about calling it Detergent. Well, the cover lived up to that.
Wrapping up, this is a pretty amusing post on a related topic--looking at trends of people on YA book covers.
You probably now have a decent idea about my taste in book covers. Let me know what you think, and tell me your own favorite book covers in the comments! Then come back next time for a post on my job history.
First, though, you ought to know that in the next-next post, I'll be doing a guest post by one of my characters. Yes, one of my characters will be "writing" a guest post on this blog--and you get to choose which one! You've seen a list of characters before, but those of you who know about other characters can also contribute them. So nominate away in the comments below and next time, and we'll see what turns up!
*Voting period ended*
Thanks for reading! To see a comprehensive and updated list of my favorite book covers, check out this Goodreads shelf.
Images via Goodreads and Amazon.com.
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. More than anything, stories are my life.
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