Hi there and welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week we could choose an old topic to revisit. I went with things I like and don’t like seeing on the covers of books. I start with a few dislikes, then move on to likes, then wax poetic about Exit, Pursued by a Bear because I’m obsessed with its cover. Also, just want to mention that the picture below features only covers I like. I felt weird about calling out specific covers I don’t like. On we go!
Models: Let me imagine the character how I want to imagine them! A lot of the time I try to stray from just assuming that characters are white, and it’s harder to do this when there’s a photo on the front.
Full body shots: There are so many books with boring shots of someone just standing and facing forward. If you’re going to include a person on the cover, give me some movement! Make it interesting!
Uninspired couple shots: This is probably my stance for all of my “dislikes” from this list, but basically if you’re going to do something clever with it, then go ahead. Otherwise, stop and give it a minute until you think of something clever. Don’t just slap a girl in a dress or a couple about to make out on the front and call it a day.
Just plain ugly design: This one isn’t entirely fair because it’s so vague, but it’s true. I love graphic design. I want to see clever, engaging design that makes me want to read the book. Nice covers are an asset! Make the cover help you sell the book.
Interesting type: Give me some interesting typography any day of the week. Actually, give me interesting typography every day of the week. There’s so much room to be creative here!
Accented neutral color schemes: I openly admit I’m a Plain Jane when it comes to color. I don’t like schemes with several colors or bright tones. My favorite palettes feature lots of neutrals with pops of color.
Clever illustration: I love clever designs. I always use the New Bedford Whaling Museum as an example because it’s my favorite logo of all time. The Six of Crows cover comes to mind as a book cover example. The edges of the wings turning into towers is exactly what I want to see more of. It is worth mentioning, though, that every square inch of this book is gorgeous and not just the cover.
Just plain prettiness: See the picture above. They’re all so pretty. I truly can’t help myself. I judge a book by its cover.
Getting creative with full body shots: Like I said before, I don’t mind my “dislikes” necessarily. They’re just often used in really boring ways. The cover for Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a great example of one of my dislikes used well. This cover is incredible. It’s eye-catching. It has a ton of movement. I can feel both the stillness of this moment and the action that comes after. The girl’s body makes an H for Hermione. It features a girl and still lets you picture her however you want. It tells you that the book features cheerleading. By showing you the hands of teammates waiting to catch her, you also get some insight into the story and themes within the book. It’s just such a good cover, guys. I love it so much.
Thanks for stopping by! If you have any suggestions for covers I should cry over, let me know!