Cover Design: What Entices You?

I was thinking today about the books that catch my eye and the books that don’t.  Do you ever think about the marketing of the books that you decide to read? And the one you don’t? Obviously the most important thing in a book is its content, but the care that a publisher takes with its book’s cover can be the thing that makes or breaks my decision to buy.  Here are a few examples of covers I love:

Beautiful colors, lots of ornate detail, fantastic theme. Love everything about this cover art.

Stylized in great colors.

Oprah’s Book Club seal is NOT part of the appeal of this cover

This cover captures the whimsy and novelty of the whole book.

Gorgeous cover both visually and texturally: it’s embossed and the dots are gold foil.

All art is done by the author himself. Cornish is a genius.

A few of the things that I hate on book covers are sloppily-done computer rendered images:

Ugh. So ugly.

Random body parts with the face usually cropped out:

…what is she wearing?


I hate everything about this. The colors don’t work together, the random doorway to nowhere, and those hideous boots she’s wearing. Even the font is boring.

or this:

No they didn’t.

What catches your eye about book covers? Art? Quality of said art? A certain color/color scheme? Fonts? Texture?


2 thoughts on “Cover Design: What Entices You?

  1. Jen Mendenhall says:

    I have thought about this before. I think what actually draws me in first is the font on the spine. Then the cover art. Marketing is so interesting.

  2. Rose Herbert says:

    The cover art has to be beautiful. I don’t care what the title looks like (except perhaps if it is embossed – in which case, yes, tactile is good), but the cover art has to be well designed and detailed if I’m looking for a fantasy novel. Alternatively, if I’m looking for a human story, I want the human on the front to be realistic, and not totally dumb looking.

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