Despite the old adage about judging books by their covers, I have to admit, I do it all the time! Covers give a lot of information about what kind of story a particular book is telling, and almost every genre has a cover shorthand. So this week’s topic is: Which cover trends do you love, and which do you loathe with a fiery passion? Here are
ten eight of my favorites and least favorites:
1. I like covers with one bold color that catches the eye. I love bright colors in general, and something bright on a book cover really makes it stand out from the crowd! For example, I adore the Flavia de Luce covers.
2. The juxtaposition of modern fonts with old-fashioned images is really fascinating to me. I almost bought this copy of Bee Ridgway’s The River of No Return based on the cover alone!
3. Most of my favorite covers use a fine art image as their basis. For instance, I loved the cover images for the first few Pink Carnation novels, but now the publisher is using photo-based imaging instead, which isn’t nearly as pretty!
4. I love it when all the covers in a series are thematically tied. All the books in the Charles Lenox series of Victorian mysteries have covers with a triple image on the front, and the overall effect from one book to the next is striking!
5. Covers with photographic images. They seem to be all the rage now, but to me they just look cheap and inauthentic. For example, this book is supposed to be set in the Edwardian era, but there’s nothing Edwardian about that model (or, I’m guessing, her dress)!
6. Movie tie-in covers. I expect this one is on everybody’s list of dislikes, but I still need to say it! I can see why they’re a good marketing ploy, but I’d much rather see a cover that required some creativity than a mere snapshot of the lead actors! Last year I read the Richard Pevear translation of The Three Musketeers, and I had to carry around a book with this cover!
7. Another pet peeve of mine — and everyone else’s, apparently! — is the headless or faceless girl. It was cool the first few times I saw it, but now it appears to be everywhere! Like here, and here, and here…
8. And finally, I really hate those skimpy little outfits women always seem to be wearing on the covers of urban fantasy novels. These ladies often kick some serious ass, and why would they be doing that in nothing but a miniskirt and a bra?