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Today we are talking about things we like and dislike on book covers!
Things We Like:
Jamie likes....amazing typography. I'm a sucker for covers with great typography whether it's the sole focus or blends in perfectly with another subject on the cover.
Jamie likes....when the cover cleverly ties into something in the story. Recently Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu did this and I was reminded how much I love when a certain scene or detail is somehow incorporated into the cover.
Julia likes... when book covers clearly show what genre the book is. So when I am browsing the romance section and I see a cover like My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster, I can clearly tell this has an edge of Steampunk.
Jana likes... when the book cover is illustrated (Like Shadow and Bone) more than when it uses photos. It just comes off as being more creative to me.
Jana likes it when cover designers get clever/bold with color. So many books are dark. If I look at the spines on my shelf, they all kind of blend together in a dark glob. And then BAM: a hot pink or bright yellow cover! So fun.
Things We Don't Like:
Tahleen doesn't like.....Whitewashing. Obviously. I hate it when this happens, but I'm glad people are noticing and calling out the publishers/book designers when it happens. In some cases, like Jaclyn Dolamore's Magic Under Glass and Justine Larbalestier's Liar, it's enough to get it changed.
Tahleen doesn't like..The half/partial face thing, especially if there are two faces kissing. I just don't want to look at these. There is usually nothing interesting about them, except for the rare occasion when the cover is cleverly done, like What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang.
Tahleen doesn't like.....The girl in the ballgown. Especially if the book doesn't include a ballgown. This trend is really going to date the books that sport those kinds of covers.
Jamie doesn't like....when the people on the cover don't match the description of the characters IN the book. It's bad enough if I'm seeing faces (because than that's how I'm picturing them) but seriously...why would the blonde MC being a brunette on the cover?
Jana doesn't like pretty much all movie tie-in covers. I like the original cover! I don't care about pretty celebrity faces. The book is always better anyway.
Jana does not like the trend followers. Like Tahleen said, there's a lot of half/partial faces and ballgowns on covers. There's also a lot of the same cover models, the same stock images, the same conceptual ideas (like pale hands holding various non-pale items like apples and flowers...), the same color schemes, etc. I love it when a designer chooses to be different.