I love book covers. I’ve never gone by the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” for a few reasons. If book covers weren’t important, publishers could just print all books on a black cover with the title in white and call it a day. Instead, tons of people work on book covers because they really are marketing tools. A great book cover should be both eye-catching and true to the story. Sometimes, book covers are aesthetically pleasing, but not representative of the actual story, and that can sometimes be almost as bad as a terrible cover to begin with. I have a friend who loves book covers and such as much as I do, and we spend a LOT of our friendship time analyzing book covers, which led me to create this feature. . . COVER CONVERSATIONS.
I know a lot of bloggers have cover features. Some that immediately come to mind are Do! Judge a Book by Its Cover at Pop! Goes the Reader, and Judg(ing) a Book by It’s Cover) at The Novel Hermit, so I’m under no impression that I am trailblazing here, but I really wanted a feature where I could analyze covers.
Today I wanted to talk about a cover trend I’ve been seeing that I absolutely LOVE: When characters or illustrations on the cover interact WITH the title! I love this! And if you need an example, one of my favorites is. . .
I think I like the cover for Fangirl so much because in a way, it’a a bit of leaning on the fourth wall. It’s like the characters have to acknowledge the presence of the title as they hang on the edge of the letters. Besides the cool look, it just really appeals to something inside of me. And Fangirl has a LOT of interaction with the title–Cath’s sitting on one of the letters, her laptop is perched on the edge of another, and Levi is just leaning over so casually. It is illustration perfection(Rainbow Rowell gets the best covers). Then there’s Cath’s thought bubble, which amuses me to no end. I like that the computer has the words “A NOVEL” on it because you get the impression right away that Cath is writing a novel about the boys. I also like how it’s sort of a play on words, because Cath is writing a novel, but Fangirl is also a novel. It’s reminiscent of those books that are titled “SO AND SO: A NOVEL”. The colors for Fangirl are also gorgeous(in person. . . they don’t render quite the same on a screen). The mint green and light pink isn’t a color combination I see often on colors.
Love letters to the Dead
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira also showcases this concept well. First, this cover is stunning through and through. Even without the girl, the font chosen for the title and stunning sky background that fades from dark to lighter would catch my eye immediately. But her addition really gives the cover an extra POP! The girl is pale–almost ghostly–which is fitting considering the title and the synopsis of the book. You can’t see her face, but we get enough details about her to have a pretty decent idea in our head of what she looks like. And I like that it’s clear she’s writing as she hands there on the letters. I think it’s interesting that she’s also slightly covering up the bottom portion of some of the letters in the word “Letters”–mainly the second T.
The Winner’s Curse
I have mixed thoughts on the cover of The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski as a whole. I know many people love it, but I despise the sideways title–yes it’s original, but it’s hard to read. I’m all for pretty covers, but clarity over confusion any day. That being said, *besides* the sideways title, I think this cover is stunning. It’s a pretty dress cover done right. The angle feels fresh, and look–the girl is grabbing the ornate R of course, just like we’re talking about today. I love that it’s almost dead center in the middle of the cover, and your eyes can’t help but to be drawn to that area. I also love how we’re sort of seeing her through several of the letters.
Side Effects May Vary
For today’s last cover, I wanted to spotlight something slightly different. The Side Effects May Vary cover doesn’t have any people or characters interacting with the title, but it does something similar–the ballet slippers are hanging off the word “side”. It’s subtle and not the focus at all–you could easily miss it–but for the purpose of today’s post, I thought it fit this concept well enough. I really love the cover–it looks classic and timeless, and you get all the major players up front. Pill bottle, a checklist, ballet slippers. And I don’t know if it was done on purpose, but I love that the ballet slippers are “hung” up–as in, Alice wants to hang up her ballet aspirations after her diagnosis.
Let’s chat: Do you like this cover concept as much as I do? Know any other recent covers that play with this? Which one of the four featured today is your favorite?