Tuesday, June 24, 2014

TTT - Cover Trends I Like/Dislike

It's time to link up with the Broke and the Bookish again!

Today's topic is to do with book covers. The stuff we like. The stuff we don't like. I'm kind of a cover snob, and therefore, there's more on this list that I DISLIKE than anything. All images from Goodreads.

The Stuff I Like
1. Amazing typography.
Let's be honest, this pretty much started with The Fault in Our Stars. I suspect typography will be on a lot of lists today. And with good reason! Font choice/layout can make or break a cover for me.

2. Covers that are minimalist, but not boring. 
We all know the boring minimalist covers - they tend to grace the classics at your local library. You know, the ones where it's just a plain cover with the title and author printed on it, and maybe a border? Yeah, I'm not talking about those ones. I'm talking about covers like the black covers of Michael Grant's Gone series. Or Eleanor & Park. Or More Than This.

3. Object covers
As a general rule, I'm not a huge fan of putting people on the covers of books. Especially photographs of people. Because I feel like you're inevitably doomed into picturing that face in your head when you read the book. So putting OBJECTS on covers is something I'm a pretty big fan of. Like the above. I didn't like the book, but the cover is great.

4. Fantasy covers actually being decent
Exhibit A (1995)
Exhibit B (2014)
Does that even make sense? You know what I mean, though. Fantasy covers are often pretty awful (see Exhibit A). Even on books by big-name authors, the covers can be...cheap-looking. Sort of like they were drawn in someone's basement in between rounds of D&D. But recently? There's been a shift towards giving fantasy books absolutely incredible covers that won't look dated in approximately 30 seconds (see Exhibit B). YAY.

The Stuff That Can Go Either Way
5. The ballgown
Sometimes it works, as above. Other times? It just gives off an impression that the entire book is just going to be one girl's journey to become a pretty pretty princess. Which I guess I should be grateful for because at least it acts as a warning sign that I probably shouldn't pick it up in the first place... (*cough* The Selection *cough*)

6. Close-ups of random body parts
They can be absolutely amazing, or just plain weird... This one is kind of a combination of the two, depending on how long you stare at it for...

The Stuff That I Wish Would Go Die In A Fire
7. Decapitation
Oh my God, do I hate this trend. WHY. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY HEADLESS (or partially headless) PEOPLE ON BOOK COVERS???? It needs to stop.

8. New Adult covers

That's a pretty broad thing to hate, I know. But I've read some INCREDIBLE blurbs for NA books, and then looked at the cover and been firmly on the nope train. Because if I see one more new adult book that features generic white people kissing? I will scream.

9. Models who don't match the character descriptions
Look, I'm not saying that they have to have three freckles on their left cheek and purple eyes. But if we're told like three pages into the book that the main character is blonde and there's a brunette on the cover, or you've told us for two books that she has dreads and they put that curly haired ginger (above) on the front of the book, I *am* going to be confused.

10. Movie tie-in editions
I know that these boost sales like whoa. But I really don't like it when the only version that's available (or at least the only version that's available for less than $30) is the one that has the actors' faces all over it. Because it stops you from picturing the characters for yourself, even if you didn't see the movie. This happened to me with Our Mutual Friend earlier in the year. I've never seen the mini-series but because I have the tie-in edition that has glossy photos in the middle, I couldn't help but picture Paul McGann and Keeley Hawes and David Bradley the whole time I was reading the book. Which is NOT what Dickens had in mind!

So. What cover trends do you love/hate?

K xx


  1. Wilhelmina UptonJune 24, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    I don't get the headless pictures either. Or the feet. John Green books in Germany have featured many covers with feet or shoes left behind. I don't understand that one bit.

    Like you, I'm a big cover snob. When I look at Netgalley, my first impression is of the cover and when it's some cheesy white people longingly staring at each other, I usually move along without giving it a second try. That said, the Gay&Lesbian tag there is hilarious, mostly for the book titles since most of the books seem to be m/m erotica. Anyway.

    Minimalist covers like Fangirl are amazing! That is all.

  2. The problem with trends is...that they are trends. One time is a yes, but a hundred times is a no. Here's my list of things I like about book covers.

  3. Nooot a fan of decapitation either. Unless it's done really really well. (Which I can't even think of an example, lol!) I LOVE dresses. Especially when the dress actually fits in with the book. Like These Broken Stars! While I love the cover of, say, Fury by Shirley Marr...the girl never wore the dress she's posing in on the front cover. That just bugs me!

    My TTT!

  4. I also love minimalist covers that aren't boring! Some covers just have way too much going on.

    Great post! Here's my TTT

  5. We have a few similar complaints this week and although I didn't mention the fantasy covers, I completely agree. Have you seen the covers for Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters series? Wonderful series, awful covers. And I completely agree with you with regards to The Selection.
    My TTT

  6. I don't mind the headless covers so much, for the same reason you like object covers -- it's a way to get a sense of the character (especially for a story set in a particular time period, to envision the clothing of the day) without having a particular face that's going to be cemented as THE face of the character. But I agree with debnance that when it becomes a trend, it's a problem.

  7. YES with the cover characters not looking like the character descriptions like in the Steampunk Chronicles. OR when it's a YA book and the character on the cover looks like they're 25. (Again... I'm looking at you Steampunk Chronicles...)


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