Okay, so I know that I’ve been absent this week, but things have been a little hectic. However, I’m back and I’ve been thinking about covers. Again. This time I’ve been thinking about cover trends.
Regardless of old sayings, people can and do judge books by their cover. I know that I do it. I know the sort of covers I like, and I look at the covers as a representation of what I might find inside the book.
For instance, I first picked up a George Mann book, ‘The Affinity Bridge’ – see below, because the cover is a lovely embossed gold and bonze and blue and red creation like reminded of the old Hetzel covers used for Jules Verne. I’ve posted them below for comparison. Here I saw a cover that reminded me of a cover of another book I loved, and I made that association. It encouraged me to buy the book because it set up an expectation of genre and style.
Now, when we compare this with the other cover of the Affinity Bridge, posted below, which is a much darker and bleaker cover, that, to be honest, made me think of depressing war movies and books about concentration camps. Not the sort of thing I usually read, and so I wouldn’t have picked up the book to be honest.
Changing a cover can work wonders to revamp it’s image. For instance, which copy of Wuthering Heights would you be more drawn to as a reader?
Now, I have my own beef with the second and third covers, mainly because it’s a book about domestic abuse endorsed by another book about domestic abuse, all dressed up at twu lurve. But basically, none of these covers have anything at all to do with the book. Wuthering Heights was a very bleak story, but not gothic in the true sense, and certainly not as boring as the two classic covers would lead you to believe. Also, I feel that the striking image used in the second and third pics, was let down by the appallingly childish text – especially the third one. This is one instance where some delicate script or a solid and steady block letter would have been much more appropriate. I also object to the little red sticker proclaiming it to be ‘Bella and Edwards favourite book’ which I personally find a turn off, but more on that later.
While we are talking about Twilight, let’s compare the two versions of the cover. Which one would you have picked up? That said, I don’t like either of them. The first cover doesn’t fit the story at all, and the second cover is a very overused image and a clumsy attempt to shoe horn in a metaphor.
There can be no denying the splurge in black covers lately. On walking past the YA section in any bookshop or supermarket, you are faced with a wall of black. Regardless of the content of the book, it seems that black is all the rage, showing that either designers are incredibly market savvy and know what their reader are looking for, or they have a remarkable lack of imagination.
This was the point where I stopped looking, already slightly bored.
In one way it’s a useful tool to easily pick our your genre and find books that you might like based on your tastes, on the other hand it’s dull and unimaginative.
Either way, the cover is the first thing people see, and while it’s great to be a familiar cover, or to fit into a genre, it’s also a bad thing to be so like everything else out there that you are completely forgotten about, or, as is the current situation in YA, swallowed in a sea of black and red.