What makes a good cover?

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So what exactly makes a good book cover?

In most cases, it does come down to personal taste. A lot of people will absolutely love a cover, whilst others will absolutely hate it. But let’s be honest, in most cases, we do share similar complaints or approval.

So, here’s a short compilation (I hope) of what I believe is absolutely (I’m saying absolutely a lot today) necessary for a good cover!

1. An interesting image that catches my eye, without revealing the entire plot.

In most cases, the most simplest of covers are usually the best. We don’t want to know the entire story within the cover, we just want a small taste of it. If the cover is full of crap going on, well, that’s just gonna give me a headache.

red_queen_book_cover_a_p Red Queen is a perfect example of what a good cover should look like. It’s as simple as it could get. There’s a crown with blood spilling over it. It’s eye-catching, beautiful, a little creepy and really does relate to the title. We can sort of guess what the book is going to be about because of the title and the image, but it doesn’t reveal enough to ruin it for us. This image makes us want to buy the book.

2. Covers that are basically, artwork.

Let’s face it… I think all of us, or at least the majority of us, have bought books just ‘cos of the cover. It’s happened to me like 95% of the times. Why? It’s hard not to. You want that cover on your shelf, to look at it and caress it. Whether the story is good or not, who cares? You’re basically paying for the cover, not the book.

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3. No girls

I’m tired, tired, tired, tired of girls on YA covers. In most cases, it makes the cover look uninteresting and cheap. To me, I feel like the publishers couldn’t invest the time to come up with something really unique and cool. Instead, they just wanted to publish as soon as possible and make money.

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4. No faces

There is something worse than having girls on the covers, and that would be faces. I don’t understand the strange obsession of having faces plastered on the covers. In some cases it works, but in most… Well, it doesn’t.

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(The meme is already a face… Never mind, my jokes were never really good)

5. Simplicity

As I mentioned before (or maybe I didn’t, I forget everything really quickly) simple is usually the best option. We don’t need jumping monkeys, warriors on dragons and flying buses. Usually, the best cover is the one that has taken the main theme and plastered it onto the cover with just one object.

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There are probably a thousand more things I could come up with, but I did say I was going to keep this short…

Let me know what you think makes a good cover!

And to cheer you up here’s a baby pig eating an ice-cream!

(If you don’t need cheering up, you can still smile at the picture)

(Though, to be honest…the world is kinda fuc**d up at the moment, so you seriously need reconsider all that happiness in your soul…)

Just kidding!

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7 thoughts on “What makes a good cover?

  1. I agree. I remember just recently snarking on a cover reveal about “Pretty hair, lips, nose, boobs, tum, yep, that definitely tells me all I need to know about the story.” There’s also been times when I’ve been on Twitter, and just saw some absolutely horrible covers that made me go “Oh no, honey, no. Don’t try to sell your work with THAT.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d also include covers featuring people who look nothing like the descriptions of the characters which is even more annoying than people without faces in my opinions. I think a big part of what bothers me about people being on the covers is that they are always dolled up in a way that the character never is. Too much makeup, thinner than the character described, windblown hair, ballgown etc. It’s really old and obnoxious.
    As far as simplicity goes, I love the look of silhouettes like the cover for The Night Circus, which is gorgeous. I’m also a big fan of the typography/simplistic image thing going on these days like with Simon vs. the homo sapien agenda, or A darker shade of magic, or The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I’d also give a shout out to covers with illustrations that give a sense of style to the book like most of Rainbow Rowell’s novels, or the Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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