Book Covers

No updatage last week because I couldn’t think of anything to say. But this week, I’m thinking about book covers.

Now I feel like I’ve done a blog on this before, but I’m not sure. In any case, I will write on it again. Perhaps I’ll say something new.

So, what makes a good book cover? I couldn’t really tell you as an expert because I’m not an artist and I haven’t been trained in graphic artistry (I think that’s what you learn to design things like covers). However, I have a few ideas.

First, I think a book cover should say something about the book. I’ve noticed that many covers lately tend to have a model on the cover that depicts the main character. That’s good. Other covers have a logo or something that’s important to the work (Hunger Games, for example). Also good. My favorites (although I do primarily read and write YA and middle grade fiction) are drawn covers rather than portraits of a person or place, but that’s my preference.

I also think the cover should have meaning. For instance, book I’m currently reading has a blue, snowy background with a red dragon claw on it. The title? No Such Thing as Dragons. You can pretty much tell what that book is about just by looking at the cover and the title.

Color is also an important aspect. Between my friend who is an artist, the few art classes I’ve taken, and watching HGTV over the years, I gleaned a little bit about color and mood. Red is harsh, passionate, aggressive and powerful; blue is cold; yellow is cheerful, etc. The primary color on the cover can set the mood of the picture and perhaps the mood of the book.

Although, there’s one thing I’ve noticed . . . I hardly ever see any black book covers. I’m really not sure why that is. Or maybe I have, and they’re reserved for older books . . . hmmm . . .

A cover should also engage the reader and make him pick up the book. I’m not sure how that works, though.

Anyway, all this is my opinion, and I may be wrong about all of it. So let me have your opinion.

What do you think makes a good book cover? Do you like portraits of the characters, an important symbol in the book, or a drawn cover? Are there any other styles/themes you like? What about comic/graphic novel covers? What part does color play in designing a good cover? In your opinion, how can a cover engage the reader before they even pick up the book?

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