As kids, I’m sure we remember the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But try as we might we really do end up getting a book based on how pretty the cover is. I can remember perusing a shelf in McKays one day and when I pulled a book off the shelf I thought to myself “This cover is rather dull” and back on the shelf it went.
I think that cover designers have a really big job on their hands. A book’s success or failure could rest on how the cover design looks to the public. Today I want to talk about popular types of covers and what they could do to improve them; and why we subconsciously judge books by their covers.
One common cover design that I see everywhere is the one with the girl’s face half cut off. Yeah, you know what i’m talking about. The cover looks something like this:
For some reason, it bothers me not being able to see her whole face. There’s nothing wrong with this type of cover, but; I do think that it is a little overused. If I were to be picky, I would tell the cover designer to give the girl her whole face.
Another problem I have is when the book cover looks like it was drawn by a five-year-old. Like this one:
This is the fifth book in the Dahveed series. And if I didn’t already love the series, I probably wouldn’t pick this up. I wish they had asked me to make the cover. I think I could have done a better job. I was waiting for two years for this book to come out and when my friend showed me the cover I was like, “Really? Ugh.” Don’t get me wrong the story is fantastic! the packaging just wasn’t to my liking. For reference, here is what the second book looks like:
It’s gorgeous! I absolutely love it! And the pictures on the cover give you a peek as to what is in the book. Flawless. A+ job.
Only once in my life have I picked up a book purely for the cover design. usually when I go to a book store I know what I want and go after it. But this book captured my attention:
I saw the book, read the description and walked home with it. And as it turns out… I enjoyed it. Then I recommended the book to a friend of mine and she bought it. The cycle continues.
So why do we judge books by their covers? Because before we read the back of the book; the cover is supposed to give us a taste of what the book is going to be about. I applaud book cover designers. They have a very difficult job marketing books for certain readers and trying to get our attention. Authors need them, we need them, publishing companies need them. For all the complaining we do, designers do a pretty good job.
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