Books by Craftie Ladies

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THAT BOOK COVER?

Linda Goodnight here. I’ve been thinking about book covers. One of the tasks of Love Inspired authors is to give the art department ideas about what to put on our covers. So far, I’m batting zero. They never use my ideas so obviously I need some help! What kind of cover appeals the most to you as a reader? What is it about a book sitting on a shelf amidst dozens of other perfectly lovely books that catches your eye? Is it something in particular, like a dog or a baby? Or are you captivated by a certain color or a pretty scene? Do you like people on a cover? Or are you drawn to still life covers? I'd love to know your opinion.

13 comments:

anastasia said...

I use books to escape reality; I want to get lost in whatever I am reading....the cover's help me decide where I want to go! Hope that helps!

Merrillee said...

I like book covers that have great scenery. I don't really like to have the characters depicted because I like to have my own picture, although my January book this year has the hero, heroine and her daughter on the cover. The art department did a terrific job capturing the people I had imagined. I didn't even send photos.

PatriciaW said...

I don't mind people, as long as they mirror the descriptions the author wrote. The worst thing is have the author describe the heroine as blonde, and the cover art to show her as brunette.

I like scenes that are wistful, and those that give me a sense of the story's setting.

squiresj said...

Covers that attract me are as different as night and day. Like right now I am reading a book with a picture of a lake, snow on grass and mountains. I just finished one with a woman on it. I have enjoyed books with chairs, sunset, etc. I thinks sometimes it is the mix of colors that attract a person. However I am attracted by the author's name.
jrs362(at)hotmail(dot)com

Linda Goodnight said...

Hi Anastasia,

I read for the same reason!

Linda Goodnight said...

I'm with you guys about people on the cover. It makes me crazy to describe a character a certain way in the book and have the hair or some other major feature entirely different on the cover. I had that happen on an early book in which the heroine was redheaded and the cover model was blonde. EEK

Linda Goodnight said...

It seems most of us like a scene or colors more than people on the cover. Is that right? I like something emotive of what's inside but I've never really liked characters on the front, though I still buy the books. Hmm. Sounds like no consensus, even from myself! ha!

Sherry Kuhn said...

I agree with all the posts. Sometimes it's just a matter of what hits me at the time. Depending on what mood I'm in. But I do like to see a cover that says something about the story. It is a complicated issue but I must say I have seen some beautiful covers emerge! To me a beautiful cover enhances the story.

Linda Goodnight said...

I think you may be right, Sherry. What makes a great cover is elusive and maybe different for each of us. There must be a pattern somewhere on what readers actually buy, since we see so many 'look-alike' or 'type' covers.
I was noticing the three covers just below this blog. They are all different but really lovely. I'd pick up any one of them.

I'm always attracted to a cozy Christmas cover! What about the rest of you?

Missy Tippens said...

I've loved the Christmas covers, too, Linda! They put me in the spirit for the holidays.

My tastes vary. I think it depends on the type book. For Love Inspired, I want something comforting. For a chick-lit, I want something cute or funny--something unique. For an historical, I want people in period dress. For suspense, I want dark colors, maybe something scary.

I'm not demanding am I?? :)

MIssy

Linda Goodnight said...

Ha! Of course, you aren't demanding. You're 'discerning'!

I suspect most readers are exactly like you, but it's been interesting hearing everyone's take on the topic.

Squiresj, I think a great cover enhances the story, too.

I think a cover can make or break a book, don't you?

I once had a cover that embarrassed me and I never promoted that book even though I thought the story was one of my best.

Merry said...

I loved Missy's descriptions. I do think color, soft and dreamy or sharp and exciting can reflect the story. I kind of like the covers with only part of a person showing now, they let my imagination fill in what is suggested. Covers really can draw me into investigating what is in a book.

Linda Goodnight said...

Merry,
I'm impressed by your insightful comments. Like you, I'd rather use my imagination for character descriptions and the picture of a partial person is perfect for that.

Color is a big, big draw for me. When I saw a rich, bold, or emotive color scheme, I HAVE to pick up the book.