You CAN Judge a Book by Its Cover
In writing, we talk about "hooking" the reader from the first page. But book covers are a hook too. It's what initially grabs the reader's eye and causes them to open it. We only get one first impression so make it count!
Today, we are going to have a little fun looking at book covers, get some expert opinions, and see how much we judge books by their covers.
What makes a "good" book cover?
There is a lot of conjecture as to what makes a "good" book cover. Some studies have even tried to make the connection between book covers and nominations for literary awards. It's yet to be proven, but there's no denying that NYT Bestsellers and award winners have some stellar jackets.
"A truly great jacket is one that captures the book inside it in some fundamental and perhaps unforeseen way." - Kyle VanHemert, Wired
My super talented graphic designer, artist, fellow blogger, and dear friend, Sheryl has a lot of experience designing book covers. We were roommates for over a year and I loved when she invited me to look over her shoulder at the book covers she was designing.
As I was preparing to write this post, I asked her for her professional opinion regarding the designs behind books.
"I do judge a book by its cover," she said. "My favorite quote is from my former employer, John Peterson of Koechel Peterson & Associates. Someone asked him what makes a good cover. He replied, 'I’m not sure what all the things are that make a good book cover, but we all know a bad one when we see one.'"
Then, I asked Sheryl for her favorite recent releases...
Graphic Designer Top Picks
"I like these because of their colors, illustrations and great use of typefaces," Sheryl said. "Boneshaker has a steampunk design which immediately attracts me because I’m into that art right now. The piano book is terrific in the trendy typeface and simplicity of design and colors. And The Wingsnatchers has such great colors, illustration, and cool typeface as well. But taste is so subjective. What I might pick up is different from what you or someone else might pick up."
My Top Picks
I love the violet, smoky hairpiece of Glitter, the frothy fairytale vibe of Poison, and the delecatness of The Fox and the Star.
Most of them have just a touch of red or fall in the color scale with warm pinks and flesh tones. It draws my eye and makes me look closer.
I also prefer symbolic or object-themed illustrations and modeled pictures that have an artistic flair. But like Sheryl said, it's all subjective!
Terrible book covers
Now let's see just how sensitive our judge-O-meters are. I was laughing so hard at these and I just couldn't resist sharing.
Reader Top Picks
I asked my Facebook page followers to send in their favorite covers. Thank you to everyone so participated!
Do you judge books by their covers? What attracts you to a book covers? I'd love to know!