TTT: Book Covers

TTTTop Ten Tuesday, as if you didn’t know, is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. I have never taken part before, but am finally jumping on this very popular bandwagon. I don’t plan on taking part every week, but i will jump in when the topic strikes my fancy. Which this week it certainly does.

Book covers, and not judging books by them. Yeah, who doesn’t, though, really? I’m not saying a bad cover means i won’t read a book, but first impressions are important, and i have my own personal taste. A nice book cover can make me pick up a book, make me read the blurb, make me read some reviews. So, while i will read books with ugly covers if i like the sound of a book, a nice cover makes me want to find out if i will like the sound of a book.

And so, here are five things on covers that attract me to a book, and five things that make me avert my eyes and my interest…

+ Simplicity. Simple, but striking, covers will get me every single time. Without a lot to go on, but looking so stark, i am instantly interested in finding out more about a book.

+ Art. I much prefer artwork to photographs on covers. It gives me a feel for the book, makes it seem quirky and interesting in some way.

+ Colours. Not too many, necessarily, but used boldly. Either to a striking affect or in a lively way.

+ Lack of extra text. Just title and author. I can cope with a single tag line or praise quote, but i prefer it all to just be the cover.

+ Series’ with matching designs. Not exactly the same, obviously, but that they obviously belong in a set. The goes with a series of books from one author, or a set of books from a publisher.

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Complexity. Don’t overload my eyeballs with lots of text, different fonts, too many images. If i can’t get one clear picture from a cover, i just ignore it.

Photographs. This isn’t every time. I have seen photographs used well for book covers, but they are the exception, and usually used in a more art-y way.

Film tie-ins. I just hate this to the ends of the earth. If i wanted the film, i would go see the film; i am buying the book for a reason.

Extreme close ups. Half of someone’s face. The corner of a table. The handle of a mug. What the hell even is that?

Bad design. This is broad, but just a general lack of cohesion, clunkiness, mismatching, clashing horribleness.

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About Wendleberry
I'm odd.

14 Responses to TTT: Book Covers

  1. lynnsbooks says:

    Hah, welcome to TTT. I love this little weekly meme!
    My pet hate is when half way through a series of books – the covers change! How annoying, I like the books all to look like a set when I line them up next to each other! (Not that I’m obsessive or anything) and the worst is when the covers change to become a series tie-in – like the Trueblood books. I had about 8 in the series and then they all changed to movie tie ins! ANNOYING!
    Lynn πŸ˜€

  2. Nicole O says:

    I agree with just about everything you listed. The only thing I’d add (and I lamely tried the TTT thing twice I think) is that I absolutely hate book covers where the author’s name is larger than the title of the book. I get that some authors sell on name alone, but I want to be able to glance a book and know that it’s called “Daughters of Mars” and not Thomas Keneally (this is my most recent cover pet peeve). This sounds weird, but I’m leaving the reply anyway. πŸ˜‰

    • Wendleberry says:

      Yes. I did think about the size of author vs title when i stuck High Fidelity up there. I do hate that. It’s like a big sign saying, “Who cares what this book is called or what it’s about? It’s by NICK HORNBY!” Most of the time time, big name = author i don’t read.

  3. Rachel says:

    Oh wow, our taste is definitely very different! That’s a good thing though! I really like that looking for Alaska cover, though the others wouldn’t really grab me. You’re definitely a fan of clean, simple covers – the only one from your likes that would probably grab me is A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away, but that’s probably more because I have an aversion to white/pale covers than anything else – a lot of non-fiction and reference books I have would be white and for some reason it puts me off when fiction covers are pale… Strange, I know!

    • Wendleberry says:

      It would be dull if we were all the same!
      I quite dislike the Looking for Alaska cover. It’s not the worst, but i have seen some much more gorgeous covers for that book specifically, i have to wonder why they bother with that one. It’s a bit dull and blah to me.
      Brookmyre has some amazing covers. He got super lucky with cover art, and he has himself acknowledged that. The paperbacks of his more recent books have been more… conventional, and i don’t like them.
      I’m fine with pale, or any colour, so long as it’s simple!

  4. Rachael at The End of the Chapter says:

    I’m so happy you decided to start trying TTT. Dang it! I didn’t even think of movie poster covers on books, but I LOATHE them. I will go out of my way to find a copy of a book that does NOT have the movie poster as its cover. I have been known to not read a book because of this as well. I think it’s tacky and ugly and useless.

    • Wendleberry says:

      I just don’t understand it. By doing that are they trying to boost sales for the film or the book? Does it even work, when so many people i know hate the film covers? Baffled.

      • Rachael at The End of the Chapter says:

        I agree! Maybe they’re trying to market to people who haven’t read the book yet? But then again, how does that work? Most people that see the movie but don’t read the book are never going to read the book…

  5. Pingback: 2014 End of Year Book Survey | Marvel At Words

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