Monday, August 13, 2012

Can You Judge a Book by its Cover?

By Julie Daines

We've all heard this saying a million times: You can't judge a book by its cover.

But I really wish you could.

Some of my favorite books in the world have unattractive covers. Granted that's just my opinion and someone else probably loves the covers I hate.

How many times have you recommended a book and added the caveat to ignore the hideous cover.

Cover styles come and go. But lately, there has been a huge surge of nearly identical covers--especially in Young Adult fiction. Just click on this link and check out the covers of the 2012 YA debut novels.

Luckily, I think/hope the random girl in a flowing prom dress (which usually has NOTHING to do with the story) is going out. Now we're seeing the close-up of a face with a haunted look.

We all know that as authors we have no say (or in come cases very little say) about our covers. Each book is marketed to a specific audience, so if a prom-dress is what's selling, then I guess it makes sense for every book to have one.

What do I prefer? I like covers that set the tone of the story, that give us a hint of what to expect. I like covers that leave the looks of the main characters up to my imagination. The character in my mind never matches the one on the cover.

What covers do you love? What covers do you hate?

If you are already published, what was your experience regarding the cover of your book?


Jeff Hargett said...

Sometimes the character in the BOOK doesn't match the depiction on the cover either. Being a fantasy lover, I prefer covers that present the mood or feel of the story, a setting, artifact or structure, etc.

Yamile said...

There is a trend in YA, and I am glad the flowing dresses one is going out. A lot of the book covers look similar and, sadly, the plots are very similar too.
My favorite cover is this:

It matches the story completely. Sometimes covers don't do the story justice, and others, I acknowledge I've read a book because of its gorgeous cover and been deeply disappointed. It's kind of the same with titles, don't you think?

Taffy said...

I liked Unspoken cover.

What will your cover look like, Julie? What do you WANT it to look like?

Julie Daines said...

Taffy, I know what I want, and I'm dying to find out what they come up with. Fingers crossed that it's awesome!

Yamile said...

Now you have to tell us what you have in mind! I can't wait to have your book!!!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.