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Monday, 9 September 2019

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers


Good and Bad Book Cover Design


Welcome back to another stop on the Autumn Hop by Bookish Blog Hops. This time we're discussing the good and bad of book cover design. 

In case you missed them, here's a quick recap of the stops so far:


As a book cover designer myself (check out my premade book cover designs here), I couldn't not host this stop of the blog hop.

Despite the good intentions of "never judge a book by it's cover", if we're completely honest, most of us do. I've picked up so many books due to the cover pulling me in. I've also passed over others because the cover was a turn off.

Today we're talking about our book cover likes and dislikes. For me, a cover needs to have a clear, readable font. Fancy fonts are OK but they still need to be gentle on the eyes. In most cases, I also find that less is more. Some of my favourite book cover designs are in fact very simple.

I love the earlier covers for The Shepherd series by Ethan Cross. Clear font, simple image, high impact. The whole thing sets the tone for the story.

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

Another example of a good book cover design is the Percy Jackson series. It's fairly simple but with subtle details (like the symbols in the letters). The image is also quite simple but the whole thing together gives a feel for the story.

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

Another of my favourites is The Defrosting of Charlotte Small by Annabel Giles. This design is super simple but brilliant at the same time. A powerful symbolic image that proves less is more.

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

Here's what the rest of the Bookish Blog Hops gang had to say:


Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

Dislike: I would have to say The Paris Orphan by Natasha Lester US cover and title. The Australia title is The French Photographer and the cover is stunning. The book is really not about the orphan, Victorine. It is about Jessica May, a World War II photojournalist. I think the American audience is being robbed. Like: Lilies on Main by J. Lynn Bailey is a simple, yet beautiful, cover. A View Across the Rooftops by Suzanne Kellman.  Dark and ominous and makes me feel the atmosphere of WW II. 

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

People say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but a lot of times, the cover can make or break a book’s first impression. I can honestly admit that I will probably be more likely to take a book off the shelf and at least check out the blurb if the title and the cover grab my attention!
Some other likes and dislikes: 
-Legible Font Choices--If the title is too complex to read, or if the font for the blurb is hard to decipher, it makes it that much harder to decide if I’m going to like a book! That being said, I usually look up a book on Goodreads when I find it, anyway, so there’s the blurb laid out for me in plain text--but come on! If you’re going to pick a font, pick a cool-looking one that we can all still read. Don’t get too carried away with your decorative choices! 
-Stunning artwork--A cover stylized to look like leather with metallic embossing is always eye-catching; Something as simple as a pretty composition of an important plot device or some hint to the setting would also draw me in. Shirtless and/or sexually suggestive poses with the face obscured or outside the frame? Not so much. A painting that has nothing to do with the plot, and a cryptic title that is also potentially misleading? Also no. Computer-rendered 3-D graphics that look like the producer paid bottom-dollar for “sexy model in a sexy pose” without considering the actual description of the actual characters in the book? Hard pass. Too many elements going on so it basically looks like a grade-school collage of magazine cutouts? Calm down! Pretty, colorful images for my eyes to explore, and that also help “set the mood” for the story I’m about to discover? Yes please! 
One last thing: a wrap-around cover that doesn’t bother putting text on the back cover--much less a blurb. Especially when it’s a paperback. Nothing is more annoying than taking a book with a catchy title off the shelf and flipping it over, only to find:
-A large picture of the author dominating the whole space;
-A continuation of the front cover image, with even less composure and even fewer clues as to what the book is about;
-The author’s bio--like, WE GET IT, this book is by this person, but that’s not the first thing I want to know! I’d like to know if the story’s any good before I’m interested in the feats and accolades of the author!
-editorial reviews; so what if the New York Times enjoyed it? I don’t know them; I don’t base my opinion on theirs. Give me the blurb, let me decide for myself whether I like the premise or not!

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

I often pick up books just because the cover draws me in, without reading the blurb. Even though I’m an avid Romance reader, I’m not a big fan of the naked male chest on a cover. I usually skip those unless someone recommended the story.
But my absolute pet hate for book covers are badly photoshopped ones that just have all kinds of random cut-outs of things from the story. I feel very strongly that books deserve an aesthetic cover.

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

I’ve always been horrible about picking up a book based on a cover. I’ve always really liked horror and thrillers so the types of covers that draw me in are ones that tell me a little bit about what the book is going to be about. Because of the genres I like I always like when they are a little bit creepy. I’m a visual person so if the book looks creepy then I will more than likely pick it up.

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

I think book covers are one thing that let down self-published authors as they are a really super tricky thing to get right. I find especially with self-published romance that the cover tends to feature a super hot guy/couple and in all honesty the repetitive nature of that style of image just makes me switch off from even wanting to read the book. I will always be drawn to a quirky cover and have discovered many wonderful books by judging them this way.

Drop by www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com tomorrow when we'll be discussing what made us start our book blogs.

Book Cover Likes and Dislikes #BookishBlogHops #BookCovers

Are you a book blogger? Want to join the Bookish Blog Hops group?

12 comments:
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  1. I agree with Laura on the repetitive Romance covers. But I've also seem some discussion about the new trend of drawn Romance covers (like The Kiss Quotient). Some people say they expect cutesy, sweet Romance behind those kind of covers, and not explicit sex scenes.

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    1. Whenever I see one of those drawn romance covers I don't expect explicit sex scenes. They always used to be for sweet, cosy romance, so that's what I expect to find. Each genre has a "type" of cover for the most part. It's part of the branding. A reader will see a typical style and automatically have an idea of what type of book it is.

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  2. I am noticing an increasing trend of different covers for different countries for the same book - it confuses me.

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    1. It confuses me too. I hate when they do that.

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  3. Great post! I love how you post all kinds of different book related things.

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I like to mix it up a bit with different kinds of posts. Keeps things interesting... at least that's the goal 😉

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  4. Lets be honest, although they say you should never judge a book by its cover, most people do. If the cover looks inviting them more people will pick it up and buy it - that's why different countries have different covers for the same book as they know that different countries prefer different types of covers. Apparently in the romance/rom-com genre the USA population prefers books with real people on the front where as the UK we like illustrated covers. Sometimes when an indie author comes to me to ask me to review their book I want to tell them that changing their cover would get them far more sales as I have seen some shockingly bad covers but the writing is superb, yet the book is doing poorly.

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    1. I've seen so many indie books where I want to tell the authors to get a new book cover. It really does make a huge difference.

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  5. Great post I totally agree with you about judging a book by its cover I sometimes judge a book by its cover as well. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

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    1. I think a lot of people are guilty of judging a book by it's cover. Often a book cover design is the first impression readers get of the book.

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  6. I pick my books based on the covers. Its a bad habit for sure, but can't seem to change.

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    1. A lot of readers pick their books this way. That's why cover design is so important.

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