I could not resist writing a post about book covers, as I can be quite opinionated about them.
I do not buy books solely based on their covers, but I do believe that covers sway people to pick up a book that they know nothing about, of the shelf. It’s the first thing people see, so holds a degree of importance in my opinion.
There are always mixed opinions about book covers – it’s very subjective – and we all have our pet peeves. My personal pet peeve is people on book covers. I am not a big fan of models being used for covers. I don’t know what it is, but when a models’ face is used as the focal point for a cover, I find it really off-putting. I will always try and find another edition of the book which has a different cover, if I can.
The covers in the photos above and to the left are examples – these are definitely not the worse that I have seen, but are some examples that I had on my bookshelves.
It may be that models are used to put a face to the characters – although I think if the writing is good enough, you shouldn’t need this to visualise them. I often find myself thinking that the image on the cover looks nothing like how I visualised the character. As I said, I have seen worse covers than the ones above, but most of the covers I see featuring models on the front – and I really don’t like to use this word – look kind of tacky to me.
However, sometimes a models’ face is used in such a way that the cover looks good. It’s often when there is more to the cover than just the face on it; when the facial image is used in a more creative way than just an image of the model taking up most of the space. The photo below shows some examples of this.
Stormdancer features a person on the front; however, between the use of only half of the face, the grayscale background of the mountains and the red flowers and title, a truly beautiful cover was created. A Breath of Frost has a beautiful and clever design. It shows some creativity, I think. The We Were Liars cover is almost like a photo. With the image slightly out of focus and the sun shining, it is like a moment being captured.
I love the use of illustration and silhouettes! I think silhouettes create a bit of mystery and illustration like the kind used on FanGirl below, shows creativity and is just fun! I understand that it may not work for all covers, and that design work can be difficult (believe me I know as I have tried it myself) but surely there are ways to be more creative, right?