Top Ten on Tuesday: Cover Trends

June 24, 2014 Features, Top Ten Tuesday 7

Top Ten on Tuesday: Cover Trends

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Onto today’s Top Ten on Tuesday feature sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish. Today it’s all about cover trends, the good and the bad. I can’t come up with ten trends that I like or dislike, but here is one type of cover I do like, and one I don’t.

I like blue covers (my friend Zoe says they sell better, makes sense to me). Here are a few examples which are all blue though I didn’t realize how different they are until I lined them up next to one another:

Leaving-the-Sea All-The-Light saving-lucas-biggstheminiaturist

I especially love the cover of Saving Lucas Biggs. It’s full of small story elements hidden into the drawing that only make sense once you’ve read the book. It’s a puzzle and key to the book — amazing! To a smaller extent the same is true for All the Light and The Miniaturist.

I don’t like YA covers with photographs of glamorous young, usually white women. Covers in this category are too over the top, too much like adult romance novels, to appeal to me. Not that publisher’s care, I’m not the target audience, but still, I might be missing some interesting reads. If people I know and trust tell me these are good, despite the covers, then I’ll give them a shot.

the selection the jewel strangeandeverafter queenofsomeday

What kinds of covers will get you to pick up a book or pass it by?

7 Responses to “Top Ten on Tuesday: Cover Trends”

  1. Zoe

    They say that blue covers sell best — interesting that the ones you’ve chosen are all blue!

    • Anmiryam

      I quoted you in the post body. I think the tendency to sell well is why there are so many of them these days. There are even more I could have included to illustrate the trend! How does your daughter feel about the tendency of so many YA books to have covers with gussied up girls in gowns on the cover? Or is most YA handled better in the UK, like so many genres and covers are?

  2. Nicole

    I also dislike the standard white girl face YA cover, and I do tend to avoid them. That said, since I am a YA writer I make exceptions sometimes. Rosemary Clement-Moore’s Goodnight Family series is pretty good, and I also quite liked All The Truth That’s In Me/Julie Berry. Oh, and Haunting Violet/Alyxandra Harvey.

    • Anmiryam

      I make exceptions too. I will always look past a cover if someone I know recommends it or if I have gotten hooked on the series. I am enjoying Lartin Leicht and Isla Neal’s Ever Expanding Universe series, despite some of the worst covers ever to be printed. I’ve heard good things about Haunting Violet — I think I have an electronic copy — and All the Truth That’s In Me. I need to check out Goodnight Family. Thanks for the head’s up.

  3. Bill Wolfe

    A few months ago, I noticed several books with the same font and general appearance as Anthony Doerr’s book. Check out The Steady Running of the Hour and The Blazing Hour for examples of what I’m referring to. It caught my attention because several of them showed up around the same time. It’s a good design, but it just seemed to be everywhere all at once. Also, I like blue books, too. But I have to say that the new books by Jean Kwok, Susan Jane Gilman, and Natalia Sylvester really jump off a display or bookcase.

    • Anmiryam

      I almost included Justin’s book in the set of examples I posted. I think it is a definite trend and one that seems for some reason to be invoked for historical novels — the blue haze of eras long gone? Of course, Leaving the Sea isn’t a historical novel, and in this case the design is especially apt given the title and how well it plays off the cover of his novel, The Flame Alphabet. I am looking forward to Jean’s book, but frankly I don’t like the cover. I also have to say that the cover of Susan’s book actually dissuaded me from wanting to read it. In both cases, the covers serve to ghettoize the books as being targeted at women and away from the kind of serious attention they deserve — the use of a woman’s feet in feminine shoes, or just the pink shoes themselves are big iconographic warning signs to me as a reader. Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but it is.

      I do like the cover of Natalia’s book and think it does a good job of evoking the setting and mystery that the book’s jacket copy reinforces.

  4. Sarah Laurence

    Fun post! I didn’t realize how much I like blue covers before I saw this sample. What I like even more than the palette is the originality of the design.

    I’m not crazy about these YA covers (although the Jewel one is kind of cool) mainly because I like to imagine the character, not see her face. Usually these are stock photos, and it’s not uncommon to see the same girl on 2 covers. I don’t avoid a book with a glamorous white girl on the cover, but I would like to see more girls of color on book covers AND well-developed multi-racial characters inside.

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