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Recently there has been a big discussion about book covers around the water cooler. In the past, the bodice rippers were often hidden because of the indecency of the characters on the cover. Today covers have come under fire not because of the content but whether or not the people had heads or if they were just torsos. There are many different blogs where people vote on the cover that they like best. Inkspell decided to ask our authors for their take on the Cover Wars. We want to know what they like in a cover and what they don't like.
I think that a good book cover design is pivotal to the success of a book! I enjoy books that are decorated with colorful, whimsical, and intricate designs; and I like for them to be a clear expression of what the content of the book is. I despise the books that have computer generated people on them. I think real models are always best. And fun, creative fonts are a must. When I saw the cover for my book, The Carny, I almost fell out of my chair. It was so, incredibly gorgeous...and it so very clearly represented what was inside the book--it was perfect. I think that authors should always be allowed to have a say in their covers, and that book covers should always bring out the very best in that author's story. Anyone who says a cover doesn't matter is lying. It is the first impression a reader has of your work, and can either make or break your chances at sharing your story with that reader.
You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can't escape the allure of a really intriguing book cover either. I think the more mysterious the cover the better. The more it piques intrigue the more likely one is to wonder what it is about and pick it up and read the back cover. Of course it depends on the genre. Romance books aren't going to necessarily want to go in that direction. Mystery, thrillers, paranormal, YA, on the other hand want to make people ask themselves, "What exactly is that book all about?" "Why is that on the cover?" "What does that picture represent?"
Book Covers by far are one of my favorite things about a book. I can’t possibly count the number of times I’ve been induced to buy a book by the cover alone. My thoughts about covers are simple. I, personally, used to believe that a cover with real people was better than those with cartoonish figurines. However, as time has passed and technology grown, I’ve changed my mind about this debatable subject. Although I still very much prefer covers with real men and/or women in the front, there are times I will look to others that are different in order to find a good read. My preferences vary also. I enjoy covers with real people, beautiful backgrounds, or even with some art thrown in the mix, which show with pictures what the story is about. There’s nothing more alluring than a cover that entices you to open up the book and find out what it’s about.
I'm usually drawn towards the darker book covers, where less is more kind of thing. I like the mystery and intrigue it offers. A glossy finish with high contrast colors on the cover is a nice touch, also. Having people on the cover doesn't draw my attention as much as say a unique object or design, but I have bought books with people on them. I'm not too picky. I think there's a lot to be said about judging a book by its cover and I try not to do that, but I admit I often find myself choosing what catches my eye.
What’s in a cover?
I’m a huge fan of book covers. Going to the book store is like a trip to a mini art museum. I know the old idiom “never judge a book by its cover”, but covers are a big part of what makes shopping for books so fun.
As an author of YA fiction, I’m also a fan of those types of covers. I love the dramatic colors and exotic font scripts, the pretty dresses, the moody backgrounds. There are some amazing artists devoting themselves to cover art, and I must say I’m really impressed with what’s coming out these days.
I’m a big fan of seeing a person on the cover with a scenic background. In young adult fiction there are several trends in book covers that feature a person. Some authors prefer the cover art not show their face, so that readers can come up with their own ideas of what the characters look like. Apparently, this is quite a trend in YA book covers. I’m not adverse to this. The other trend is to show the character’s back. This also allows for mystery, and lets the reader put a face on the character. Another trend is the main character, presumably, wearing a pretty dress and a melancholy expression (called ‘The Mope’).
For a fun list of young adult book cover trends featuring a person on the cover, check this blog out: http://jillianaudrey.blogspot.ca/2012/05/trends-in-young-adult-book-covers.html
Of course, I’m a huge fan of the cover for The Watcher and think artist Najla Qamber did an amazing job of combining a few of these trends. Mia, the main character is showing her back, and yet she’s also looking at the camera, so it’s a mysterious pose. Since I’m also fond of wings, I love the use of the tattooed wings on the cover, as they pertain to the character and have a special significance in the story.
I love a good cover. And let's face it. If the book has a gorgeous/appealing cover, say while browsing on Amazon, I will click on the book immediately, to read the excerpt. If the excerpt doesn't entice me enough, I won't buy it. So, covers do play a big role on whether to click and view a book or not. But then, there are times when browsing the library shelves or bookstores, I stumble upon a book whose cover isn't very appealing, but the description sends shivers all over my body. I guess, if an author has taken the chance, and worked on a story for months to make it shine, then she/he should consider a good cover. After all, it's the eye that leads the way--most of the time.
I’m the type of person who wants to say EVERYTHING! I can spend hours in a bookstore, looking at covers, reading the jackets. A cover can sell me on a book even before I know what the book is about. I love covers with people on them, especially if they’re doing interesting things, like underwater (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin), flying (Tempest by Julie Cross), dying? Oh my gosh, what’s going on here?? (This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers). I’m especially particular to the covers for The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare. The Victorian and steampunk elements of Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince make me drool…not the mention the hot models. The novelty of single-object covers is lost on me. Between Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, and the million spin-offs, I’ll pass on a cover like that any day. But just as easily, I can be sucked in by a simple, yet to the point cover like the cartoon zombie and unicorn which grace the front of Zombie vs. Unicorn. And tattoos. Tattoo your cover models, people, I’ll read your books.
Moral of the story? I LOVE books. And I might be guilty (SO GUILTY!) of judging them by their covers.
Now that our authors have weighed in on the debate, we'd love to hear from you! What interests you in a book cover?