Sheena blogged yesterday on how to make your book go viral. She focused on self-publishing, but I think this advice is great for all authors. So many traditionally published authors have to work on self-promotion too, so either way you go, you should read Sheena's post.
One thing she talked specifically about was to make a great cover, which inspired me to blog about covers.
Okay, I’m really hoping that this develop into a nice discussion in the comments because I’d love to know what type of covers influence you too. All I can present here are covers that intrigue me, and I’m curious if others feel the same way. So please leave a comment. :)
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
I’ve learned this lesson well because when I started reading the Fantasy genre, none of the covers really appealed to me. There are so many books that I loved that I would have passed on if I had judged them solely on their covers. For example:
These covers are fine, but they don’t really do it for me. I don’t want to make this a male or female thing, but most of these books were borrowed from my brothers’ collections. So I can’t help but wonder if, in general, these covers appeal more to males than females. I believe these books were marketed more to boys than girls back when I was a kid, so I wonder if they worked for the audience the publishers were targeting.
The most important thing for a cover to do is to represent the story being told. A cover should attract a reader who enjoys that specific type of stories. The covers that speak to me generally do represent the kind of books I enjoy. Although there a lot of books I love with covers that don't draw me in.
I’ve noticed that I’m attracted to covers that seem to focus on one character or more iconic covers with an object or symbol. I’m going to show you examples that I love. These are not all books that I have loved, and honestly some I haven’t even read (they are either in my TBR pile or the story itself didn’t appeal to me even if the cover did). These are only books that I gave a second look based only on their covers.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I know Twilight is so over-done, but seriously, this cover is just gorgeous. I love the color scheme with black and white with a splash of red. It just screams paranormal romance, especially passion and temptation, which makes it perfect. I loved all the original covers in the Twilight Saga except Breaking Dawn. They are all just so pretty.
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
This cover does look a little similar to Twilight with hands holding an object, but it gives a completely different feel. The color scheme is not as bold, and the intricate, gold design around the title gives it more of a second world fantasy feel. Since the title is thief, it is pretty clear what the story is about. Very well done.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This cover has a very sleek design which gives it a very totalitarian feel to it. I love the color scheme, black, white, gold and a hint of red. Very eye-catching.
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Like The Thief, this one has a second world fantasy feel with a very interesting medallion hanging over a beautiful landscape. I’m not too fond of the writing going up the page, but the rest of it is so beautiful, I’ll let it slide. :)
Covers with a Girl
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Girl wearing a beautiful dress crying in the forest definitely gives the impression of heartache. I love the color scheme and the way the light comes through the trees suggesting either sunrise or sunset. Very Beautiful.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Yes the girl isn’t alone in this one, but the other person isn't really seen. I can't help but wonder if the guy is trying to help her or hurt her. The cover is very disturbing, but beautiful at the same time which is intriguing.
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
I’m not sure how well this cover works with the story since everyone has to wear uniforms, and I can’t remember if anyone ever wears a cape, but still this cover is gorgeous. It suggests a second world fantasy and spying which is on par with a story that has a lot of political intrigue.
Firelight by Kristen Callihan
Love how the setting is shown in the scenery and the dress and how the girl looks like she is on fire. I love the vivid color scheme, gives the impression of passion. Just awesome.
Covers with a guy
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
I think it is clear by now that I love black and white color schemes. I think it fits well with paranormal romance. I love how there is only a touch of red. Besides that, hot angel guy falling, what is there not to love. Yes guys, us girls can be shallow too. ;)
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
This cover is just gorgeous (yes the model is pretty gorgeous too). I love how you can see the runes drawn on the hot guy and how light seems to come out of them. I like how bright the guy looks in comparison to the bleak city below. Very fitting of the novel, IMO.
The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
I think this cover is pretty awesome. I like the contrast between the white background with the dark clothes the guy is wearing. Besides, it promises ninja assassins, what could be cooler than that?
White Cat by Holly Black
Yep, another black, white, and red color. I really love that combination. But this cover just screams mobsters, and that is exactly what this story is about. Really awesome cover.
So those are some covers that really appeal to me. I definitely see a trend. So do you agree or disagree. What kind of book covers appeal to you?