Books I Almost Didn’t Read: A look at cover design

We’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but we do. I’ve noticed that I actually have some pretty strong feelings about covers, so I’m going to blog about them today and next week.

For today’s post, I’m going to talk about books with covers I didn’t love. Now I know, I have a no book-bashing policy. Which is why I’ll say upfront that I liked all of these books. A lot. And the covers aren’t bad, they just didn’t grab me.

So in no particular order, some books I almost didn’t read because of the cover but ended up liking anyway:

Winnerscurse

Normally I’m a sucker for books with girls in pretty dresses, so I don’t know why I was turned off by this one. Maybe it’s her kind of weird position. I don’t think the sideways text worked either.

I will say the covers for this series got progressively better, and I actually liked the cover for Champion quite a bit. This is sort of blah though.

I will say the covers for this series got progressively better, and I actually liked the cover for Champion quite a bit. This is sort of blah though.

There's a cover to this book that's really beautiful. But this is the first cover I saw for the book, and I just... What even is going on here? The other cover, apart from just being more visually appealing, fits the tone of the book SO much better.

There’s a cover to this book that’s really beautiful. But this is the first cover I saw for the book, and I just… What even is going on here? The other cover, apart from just being more visually appealing, fits the tone of the book SO much better.

Another that has a perfectly good cover, but this is the one on the copy I read. Once I had a cover designer tell me that people on a cover should face toward the right, rather than the spine because it invites the reader to open the book more. I've been kinda obsessed with that idea ever since. Otherwise, this cover is fine.

Another that has a perfectly good cover, but this is the one on the copy I read. Once I had a cover designer tell me that people on a cover should face toward the right, rather than the spine because it invites the reader to open the book more. I’ve been kinda obsessed with that idea ever since. Otherwise, this cover is fine.

Lots of design elements I like here, like the silhouettes. The cover scheme looks dated, though. The other books in the series look a little better.

Lots of design elements I like here, like the silhouettes. The cover scheme looks dated, though. The other books in the series look a little better.

This actually has two alternative covers that are much better. Truth be told, I don't hate this cover. I just don't think it does justice to the story.

This actually has two alternative covers that are much better. Truth be told, I don’t hate this cover. I just don’t think it does justice to the story.

Moyes has a lot of books with similar designs. Sometimes the work (Me Before You) other times I think they feel cluttered, like I'm not really sure where to look. Also I'm unsure about the font choice on this one. Which is critical when there's no image to distract from the font.

Moyes has a lot of books with similar designs. Sometimes the work (Me Before You) other times I think they feel cluttered, like I’m not really sure where to look. Also I’m unsure about the font choice on this one. Which is critical when there’s no image to distract from the font.

So there you have it. Some covers I didn’t love. Next week we’ll look at some I DO love.

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3 thoughts on “Books I Almost Didn’t Read: A look at cover design

  1. I haven’t seen your new blog design! I like it!
    I agree with you on these covers. I’ll add that the JoJo Moyes book has too many fonts—there’s no cohesion. 90% of design is typography, and none of those covers do the type particularly well.

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