Adult · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

What Makes a Good Book Cover?

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This weekend I finally decided to crawl out from under the rock I’ve been living and joined Bloglovin‘. Given that I’ve been actively blogging for 6-7 months now it probably would have made sense for me to sign up ages ago. Derp. Feel free to follow me if you’ve also jumped on the Bloglovin’ bandwagon. On that note, feel free to follow me on Instagram also, if you want to see a billion pictures of my animals, with the occasional baking or book picture thrown in.

I’m starting to feel a little like a salesman now and it’s getting weird. (“Follow me now! No down payment necessary! All for the low price of your newborn child and a chunk of your dignity!”)

*crawls back under rock*

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I’ve been doing some thinking lately about book covers. Several people recently have posted pictures of their favorite book covers from 2017 and it has made me ask what exactly makes a good book cover. I’d assume that most of us can agree that we don’t necessarily buy a book just based on the cover alone, but the overall aesthetics of a book can definitely be a contributing factor. If the outside of a book is super boring or overly gaudy, it may make you less likely to purchase it, no?

I can’t say what makes a book cover attractive to other people, as attractiveness is entirely subjective. I can, however, tell you what I do and don’t like when it comes to cover art.

Likes:

Above are three examples of book covers that made me say “Ooooh, what’s that about?” the first time I saw them. I picked them up, not knowing anything about them beforehand, simply because of the interesting cover art. (Funnily enough, the ACOTAR series has become one of my absolute favorites.) I love catchy designs, bright colors, and a few subtle hints as to what the story is about. I dig the bold lines, the whimsical imagery, and all the swirling action going on with these three particular covers. It’s all very attention grabbing. This is one area that the YA genre tends to shine. Whether you’re a fan of YA literature or not, you have to admit that they have some pretty snazzy book covers.

Dislikes: 

Notice some similarities in the above book covers? On first glance, it looks like they are all part of the same series. Upon further inspection, you will see that these are three unrelated books by different authors. I feel like this book cover makes up the vast majority of books that you find in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section at any bookstore. Plain background with a mysterious looking wizard/assassin/person on the cover. The same thing occurs in books with female protagonists. The only difference is that you can usually see the woman’s face and they have a more badass stance. Like this:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these covers, but I just find it incredibly redundant. When you’re trying to sort through thousands of books on a shelf you need something to stand out and say “Pick me!” not “Hey look, we’re all the same!”

Above are a few more examples of book covers that I dislike. There’s too much negative space and not much else to look at. Just having the title and the author on the front is not really enough to make me feel all hot and bothered.

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I am sure that plenty of people out there will disagree with me, as we all have our own personal tastes. I would love to hear from some of you about what you like and dislike in book covers. Leave me some comments and tell me what your favorites and least favorites are.

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10 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Book Cover?

  1. Lol dignity! 😂

    Oh no, you don’t like covers like Prince of Thorns, sigh, some people just have no taste! Though they definitely aren’t my favourite type of fantasy covers either especially when it’s supposed to be the main character in the book on the cover and they look nothing like how you picture them when reading the book.

    I think you missed a trick with the covers you don’t like though, it just shouts to include some really crazy covers!😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re okay as far as covers go, but it just feels like there are SO many of them. It gets kinda boring after a while.

      I did forget to include the really crazy, ugly, and ridiculous book covers. Hmmm, this may have to be a separate post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you and I have a similar taste when it comes to book covers. I’m all about the bold, eye-catching colours and swirls. I’m currently reading a book called ‘Fellowship of Ink’ and the cover was the first thing that reeled me in. It’s just so unlike any cover I’ve ever seen! It’s like someone’s vomited up a rainbow and it’s absolutely gorgeous!
    I agree with you about the covers with all the extra space. Minimalist isn’t a style that always works for book covers. I know we shouldn’t judge books by their cover, but it’s natural to do so. If a cover looks bland and boring, it’s all too easy to imagine the book inside to be too.

    Liked by 1 person

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