So, I recently did a post about judging books by their covers, because lets face it, a lot of us do it. What is it though that you are looking for when you do that?
Another recent post was about different editions where I said that I basically pick the edition that is prettiest, but what makes a book “pretty” or not to you, what matters? Big words? An unusual font? Bright colours? Realistic pictures? More cartoon like pictures? Is it more just the general overall look rather than a specific thing you look for?
I think for me it’s more the overall look that makes me like a cover. I guess I wouldn’t be very helpful in a publishing focus group! If I compare the books I have with covers I love they are all actually really different. Most of them are all quite colourful but the colours really vary, as does the general artistry. There is one thing they have in common though….none of them have photos of people on the covers. The only ones that have people in any sense are the Penguin deluxe editions of the classics and some of the Harry Potter books.
As well as what you do like is there anything you specifically don’t like? The lack of people on my favourite covers I guess is a hint that I don’t like movie covers. If it is the only option, or by far the cheapest option I will get the movie edition but otherwise I really will try not to. I think in the book community the movie cover thing is a pretty common “dislike” and I read somewhere once that J.K. Rowling refused to let them do movie editions of the Harry Potter books so maybe she feels the same!?! Why then do publishers make book covers with photos from the corresponding movie when so many of the more “hardcore” readers hate them? To make them recognisable would be my guess. Movies seem to have better publicity than most books and getting more people to read is always a good thing, even if it means you need to put a celebrity on the cover.
So, what is it you like and dislike on book covers?