Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thoughts on Book Covers

I've been thinking about book covers lately. I like to say the cover doesn't matter when I'm choosing what to read, because now I mostly discover books based on reviews or descriptions from other bloggers or publishers. But I don't totally ignore the front cover. It's a clue to what's inside. And when I'm browsing at the bookstore or library, I rely on a book's cover to catch my eye, even before I read the jacket flap.

When my daughters were reading middle grade books, they definitely made decisions based completely on the front cover. One daughter often rejected books because they had "bad covers", though she could never quite explain what that meant. The other one was more drawn to covers with subject matter that reflected her interests--books with animals or fantastical creatures.

The cover gives that important first impression. If I feel like the story is wildly different than what I expected from the cover, I feel a little disappointed. I like covers that hint at the mood or emotion in the story. How do you feel about covers? Do you "judge a book by its cover"?

One of the reasons I've been thinking about covers is because four of my writing group friends have books coming out soon! It's interesting how a unique cover captures the tone and feeling of the story.




Carmella Van Vleet has her middle grade debut with ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG FAT QUITTER! (Holiday House Books) on February 14, 2014. This is a funny and touching story of a girl with ADHD who must prove to others (and herself) that she can stick with something to the very end.

Here's the Amazon blurb:

In this uplifting novel about determination and the rewards of hard work, a preteen girl struggling with ADHD must stick with a summer taekwondo class to prove that she s dedicated enough to pursue her true passion: cake decorating.

Even if I hadn't read early drafts of this one, I could totally tell from the cover that it's going to be humorous and about an ordinary kid in an interesting situation.




Christina Farley has recently revealed the cover of her debut YA novel, GILDED (Skyscape), which is scheduled for publication in early March. Here's some more info:

When sixteen-year old, Jae Hwa, is uprooted from her home in L.A. to Korea, she thought her biggest problem would be fitting in with her classmates and dealing with her dismissive grandfather. But she was wrong. A Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

This cover really sets the tone for this mythological adventure! Christina shares her thoughts about the cover over at YA Books Central. And you also have a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite.




S.J. Laidlaw, author of AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE has a second book coming out in March 2014, THE VOICE INSIDE MY HEAD  (Tundra Books). Doesn't this mysterious cover get you asking questions? Here's the blurb:

 Seventeen-year-old Luke's older sister, Pat, has always been his moral compass, like a voice inside his head, every time he has a decision to make. So when Pat disappears on a tiny island off the coast of Honduras and the authorities claim she's drowned - despite the fact that they can't produce a body - Luke heads to Honduras to find her because he knows something the authorities don't. From the moment of her disappearance, Pat's voice has become real, guiding him to Utila, where she had accepted a summer internship to study whale sharks. Once there, he meets several characters who describe his sister as a very different girl from the one he knows. Does someone have a motive for wanting her dead? Determined to get to the bottom of Pat's disappearance, Luke risks everything, including his own life, to find the answer.



And last but not least, here's a book that I just know will be funny from the title and cover! Debbie Ridpath Ohi, created the cover and illustrations for NAKED! (written by Michael Ian Black, Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers), which is scheduled for April 29, 2014.



11 comments:

  1. Sad to say I used to do the same thing your daughter did. If I didn't like the cover-I didn't read the book. I'm so glad I grew out of that! I think covers are important in attracting the reader, but I think the blurb and the first page is very important in helping a reader to decide to take the book.

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    1. I often read a little bit of the beginning to see if I'm going to like it!

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  2. Thanks for the shout out! I love all of our covers - I'd pick up and check out each one if I saw them in the bookstore. :-)

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    1. I know, it's so awesome to see them all together!

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  3. I don't base my reading choices on covers but I certainly feel a good cover can enhance a reading experience. i will sometimes choose a particular edition of a book because of the cover..

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. Oh, that's true. I hadn't thought about different covers for different editions. But I know when my kids saw some of the Harry Potter different editions they had strong opinions!

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  4. When I was younger covers were very important to me. They still are, but I can look past a mediocre cover and buy based on the description or reviews.

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    1. Maybe it's a skill that develops with experience!

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  5. Very nice variety of covers, showing just how they set mood and hint what to expect. I try not to judge by covers too much, but I know kids do, so the cover is really a big deal.

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    1. Yeah, I think kids do use them. And as a teacher, I know we use book covers a lot too, to ask about clues to the story or to make predictions (especially for picture books).

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  6. I'm with Marcia. But I have to admit, covers do attract me. Unless I read good reviews, if a cover looks cheesy I'm not as likely to give it serious attention.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Andrea!

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