In this day and age, when we have thousands upon thousands of reading options at our fingertips, the book cover is often the one and only chance to grab the reader’s attention. The cover makes the first impression and the book is judged before even getting a chance to present its blurb. This is especially true with e-books.
When e-readers became popular, many had trouble with the idea of replacing their beloved books with a tiny computer. How could we possibly forego the smell of a freshly printed book – or even the smell of an old, dusty book pulled from the back of the shelf? How could we give up the way it feels in our hands, the way it crinkles as we turn the page, or the way it bends exactly to our hands’ size? Furthermore, what in the heck will we do with our favorite bookmarks?
The entire experience of reading a book is an escape for many of us – a treat. And when we finally cross over to e-readers, we still need our ‘treats’. Book covers serve this purpose, offering up some of the best eye candy out there.
For myself, most purchases are made solely on the first two-second impression I get from the book cover. Call me shallow, call me impatient – but I love me some good eye candy! I actually have a hard time with faces on covers. A snapshot of a turned head, or a shoulder can be intriguing, but I prefer physical traits of characters to be left to my imagination. I have the same issues with music – I can quickly become disenchanted with a singer or band after watching them perform. I love nothing more to take a sweet, sweet voice, whether it be from a singer or even a fictional character’s words, and make my own fantasy out of it.
Below are some of my favorite book covers I have recently come across; all on my ‘to be read’ list on Goodreads.
Ritesh: Click on the covers to go to the Amazon book page.
I love, love, love these covers. And talk about branding – no doubt these books are a part of a series. Another thing I love is the elements, of course. Totally not biased here. Finally, the tag lines, which don’t always work well on covers, is perfectly intriguing! I’ve read the sample download for divergent and can’t wait to read the rest!
So do I have to say it again with these? Branding! I do have to comment that there is almost too much going on here, but they are still super cool. And the faces are cut off in exactly the right places (wow – don’t see that phrase too much, unless you are reading a very morbid book). First book was great. I need to read the rest just to see how the author resolves the awkward love interest she has created.
Eye-catching and intriguing and freaky! I don’t usually read murder mystery type books but the cover drew me into the blurb and I was like: Get. On. My. TBR List. Now!
These are a few of my honorable mentions. Tempest Rising – because I am doing my research on mermaids, though the $9.99 e-book price tag gave me pause so I haven’t read it yet. I know what you’re saying – you can see her face, but it is still a beautiful cover! Seed – can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about this cover. The colors, maybe? Also possibly the subtle repetition with the roots and the branches. Partials – another great tag line!
So, my favorites have been revealed. But everyone has their own tastes. Are you a book cover fanatic? Comment below and let us know your favorites!
My own journey with book covers was… interesting. I went through a few versions, as well as a few graphic artists. One night a few months ago, we had several friends over. There was plenty to drink, but no matter how much alcohol I consumed, I couldn’t get, well, drunk. So instead of watching everyone else around me have fun, I decided to work – and it was…fun. Luckily, the second graphic artist I hired for my novel ‘Water’ was also working (she is Mormon, and therefore doesn’t drink – also lucky for me). I stumbled across her a few days earlier in the Kindle Direct Publishing forums. So, while the party raged on above me, I sat in my basement collaborating with Keary Taylor via e-mail. We (and by ‘we’ I mean mostly ‘she’), were able to come up with the final design. Soooo glad I decided to ditch the first cover and start from scratch with a new artist.
No offense to the original cover artist. The first cover was a product of my imagination – I just kept thinking of more stuff the cover should have and telling the artist to revise, revise, revise. She did everything I asked her to do; her mistake. After seeing the final product I sat back, looked at it, and thought, “What was I thinking?” I paid the artist anyway, and then hired Keary. My decision was validated by a friend’s opinion, “It looks like a vagina.”
The second cover is a product of the artist’s imagination. I gave her all the same instructions I gave the first artist, and she said, “No.” I tried again, simplifying my instructions, “Water. Fantasy. Go.” And …. voilà. A vagina-free masterpiece. She came up with an attractive cover that pops against the black background. It is simple enough to view even as a small thumbnail and the design can easily be mimicked for each book in the series, thereby creating an identifiable brand for my fans. The moral of the story is drink heavily, hire Mormons, do good art:
I couldn’t be happier with how both ‘Water’ and ‘Air’ turned out. In fact, I’ve already asked for the final two books of the series to be done so I have them in my arsenal. Besides, a finalized book cover does wonders for an author’s motivation! I also hope to use certain ‘elements’ of the cover in my next graphic adventure; the series book trailer.
Many of us have a good story to tell, but all of us need a good story to read – and it starts with the book cover. Leave your comment with a link to some of your all-time favorite covers!
And here are some of our bloggers’ favorite covers:
Natasha at Dreamland: A Teenage Fantasy:
One of my favourite covers of all time is Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. They are simple yet gothic, just my kind!
Alexia at Alexia Chronicles:
My favorite cover for this year is Dark Matter by Christie Rich. Kresley Cole is my all time fav author and Demon from the Dark is my all time fav book. I lurve the story line and characters in it.
Ritesh aka. me:
I personally love all the covers of the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, and there are so many! 13 books with multiple covers for each! The model on the covers, for me is just perfect for Harry Dresden.
Jennifer at Can’t Put it Down:
My favorite cover this year was was the Vampire Shift by Tim O’Rourke cover. Why I love this: The character, Kiera Hudson, is gorgeous. The cover is dark and mysterious and beautiful. Not to mention it is the first book in my favorite series and I have a signed paperback copy!
Don’t forget to leave a comment with your all time favorite book cover (remember the added bonus entry for comments!). And finally, here are all the awesome covers from the post!
This post is part of ‘Terra Harmony as featured author for an entire week’. During the week we will be having a number of posts by Terra. You can find the details here. There will also be a giveaway happening for 10 copies of Terra Harmony’s novel Water, which is the first book in the Akasha series. You can enter the giveaway here.
Those Veronica Roth covers are gorgeous, and I really dig the Beautiful Creatures series covers — even though I’m not usually a fan of overly elaborate text for book covers.
I completely agree; it’s all in that brief moment when one’s eyes first see that cover art! Sad, yes, but oh so true! Great idea for a post!
I LOVE the revised cover for Water and the cover for Air is great too. A good book cover can make all the difference. I love looking at all the different styles, so much so that I’ve made a separate page on my blog just for book covers at http://katheryn-lane.blogspot.com/p/food.html
http://ialwaysjudge.tumblr.com/ has some amazing covers, as well!
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I love the Water and Air covers. I think they are beautiful! Second artist did an amazing job. And being Mormon myself, I appreciated your story.
Thanks to Alexia for mentioning my cover for Dark Matter. I absolutely love it! I honestly have no idea if Amber McNemar is Mormon, but she was able to capture the feel of Dark Matter perfectly. She is currently working on an updated cover for Five and I am so excited!
Thanks, guys for all your comments! Spread the word and keep them coming – I have a mad sweet tooth and I need more eye candy to hold me over for the weekend!
@Christie – checking out your book ‘Five’ now, especially since Alexia gave ‘Dark Matter’ such a great review!
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I love your covers :). They are gorgeous and the brand fits well.
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