Imaginative Discussions: Book Cover Confession

Posted April 2, 2014 by Kara in Imaginative Discussions, Lyn / 22 Comments


You know the famous catch phrase that demands that one should not judge the value of a novel solely based on a pleasant cover?

That saying has no say over judging a cover based on, well, the cover.

I know firsthand how dangerous it is to pick out books by the covers. I have touched that hot stove over and over, and I have the scars to prove it. However, that doesn’t stop me from completely LUSTING over covers! I have learned how to appreciate the art of a cover and not fall prey to the pretty trap set up for readers. Instead, I simply just save a picture to drool over later.

So what covers attract me? What do I secretly love that other bloggers and readers complain over? What do I not mind seeing over and over until my eyes pop out of my head? Needless to say, there are a whole heap of answers.  For this discussion, I will touch on 3 of my favorite cover styles.

(note: I am posting praise for the cover ONLY – this has no reflection on my opinion of any books and/or authors.)


I will not deny this. The industry is littered with ginger and fair redheads. And you know what? I don’t mind it ONE BIT!

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Fantasy Setting

For someone who doesn’t read a lot of fantasy, I find that the fantasy related covers draw me in.

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Illustrated Art

I LOVE a good drawing. I have a lot of respect for people who have such skills.  Many book covers tote illustrations, and I have a lot of love in my heart for drawn cover art.

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This is just the tip of the iceberg. As I collect and admire book covers, I’ll add to my growing list of love.

What do you like in a cover? Do you have a certain style that you find attractive?

22 responses to “Imaginative Discussions: Book Cover Confession

  1. Silhouette covers are my favorite, and then there are the ones with a lot of paint spilled on cover in artistic ways. Dark covers where a human face is shadowed, or covered by hair-wild hair on cover is also a favorite. But actual, human faces- nonononono. I hate them.

  2. Oh Lyn, I so agree on the redheads! I absolutely love them, and if they’re a red head, natural or fake, I will probably stick around to read the synopsis and some reviews. I’m a right sucker for that. The fantasy covers too draw me in, but a little less than you I think, but I also adore illustrated covers if they’re done brilliantly! They remind me so much of the comic and graphic novel style, and I think they just had that level of talent to a book. I will admit, I’m a sucker for covers, I fall into the traps aaaaaaall the time, whoops.

    • I know, right?! It always catches me, every time! I saw a tweet pointing out that redheads are taking over the YA covers, and I was thinking, “Good.”

  3. I absolutely adore illustrated covers. That’s why all the MG covers always look so appealing to me 🙂 I also love fantasy settings, like The assassin’s blade, gorgeous! I don’t really pay attention to hair colors on the covers, but I see some stunning red heads there (Winterspell is my favorite one from the bunch you posted)

    I also fall every time for a good fairy tale cover.

  4. I was just studying covers, because my mum is soon finished with her book and I want a great cover for it. So your article was just on point. 😀

  5. I love illustrated covers, they are so much more interesting to look at that covers with stock photos on the front, and for me, easier to paint, as well. Red haired girls always stand out on covers, too, and it’s nice to see them getting some love!

    I also love a good font, plastered over the front of a background and I’m a fan of bright coloured graphics/font over a plain white cover.

  6. Amy

    I am dying over all the pretty in this post!! I can’t resist gorgeous covers!! Girl of Nightmares is still one of my favorite covers!! I love illustrated covers too!!

  7. I definitely judge books by their covers! I know we shouldn’t, but I can’t help it, an interesting/beautiful/funny/intriguing cover will ALWAYS make me pick up the book and read the blurb. It has only really been since I started book blogging though that I’ve started to pay attention to covers from a purely cover point of view, and have been known to hold off on a purchase until I can get next installment of a series that matches the covers I already have, or wait to get my hands on a cover I prefer. Before blogging I had a bit of an extended break from reading and purchasing new books, and I think I definitely missed a trick – when I came back to it a lot of the covers were so much more “arty” than I was used to before. Back in the day there was a little graphic design and a nice font, an image if you were lucky. Today there seems to be a massive trend for an awful lot of work into these covers and a LOT of design. It surprised me at first, because I think if it isn’t done well it can make the book look cheap and self-published. Great post, I think I’ll have to take inspiration from you and discuss the kinds of covers I like over on my blog, we are all so different when it comes to cover tastes!! R x

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