Oops, did I drool on your book cover?

I LOVE book covers. As both a writer and artist, they are the perfect combination of my passions. Over time I’ve collected a bunch of cover art, many for books I haven’t even read; I just like gazing starry-eyed at them. Here are some favorites!

the crane wife

summerlong

reckless

the vegetarian

the gracekeepers

the ghost bride

six of crows

chaos of stars

the wilds

the secret horses of briar hill

the storm

the girl of ink and stars

the tears of dark water

the river of no return

a thousand pieces of you

While assembling this I noticed I have a few recurring themes: birds, branches, birds, blue, birds, and… birds. Sounds like me.

What are the best covers you’ve found?

~ Noel

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19 thoughts on “Oops, did I drool on your book cover?

  1. Definitely some recurring themes there! All beautiful covers though. I’ve been in a cover conundrum for my own book lately and reading about best practices. Sometimes the drool-inducing cover isn’t the one that sells, sadly.

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    • Yeah, I’m sure there are lots of factors that go into it. No matter how drool-inducing it is, it has to fit the story and tone. I’m interested to hear what you’ve learned about cover practices – anything particularly helpful or surprising?

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      • Some expected things, of course. Like you said, it has to fit the story and tone. It also has to be professionally done and not created in Word or something like you often see. It’s a good idea to look at all the current bestsellers in your genre and see what they’re doing with their covers. My book doesn’t exactly fit the genre perfectly so I kind of ignored that advice. I thought that if it DIDN’T look like all the others it might stand out. But sadly, that’s not true. People gravitate to styles that look familiar, covers that look like books they’ve already read and liked. I read an article (that I can’t find now) and the author had a beautiful cover, similar in style to some you’ve posted here, but it wasn’t selling. He changed it to a cookie-cutter couple with their shirts off and a bold title, and it started selling like crazy. Kind of depressing really.

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      • Ugh, that’s disheartening. 😔 Sounds like his book was a romance? I’ve heard that genre tends to be extra strict about their formulas. For what it’s worth, I’m usually drawn to the cover that stands out, so long as it suits the type of story it is.

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      • Ahh yes, I do see what you mean. The original cover is beautiful, but I get why the new one sold better – it communicates a more understandable tone. But I think communication can still be conveyed with beauty, it’s not an either/or. It just has to be done right.

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  2. Some of these are nice. I think you like whimsical looking covers!
    I just read a book called The Essex Serpent. I thought the cover was okay, but was surprised when reading the reviews on Amazon how many people commented on how much they liked the cover and may have been disappointed they didn’t enjoy the book more based on that! Still, if it got people to buy it..

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    • I do indeed like whimsical. 😀 I looked up the cover for The Essex Serpent – it’s pretty! That kind of cover is right up my alley. How did you like the story? Is it actually a fantasy novel?

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      • I wouldn’t say it is a fantasy no. It is about a widow in the 1890s and the myth of a serpent creature, but mostly it is about the relationships between the characters. I enjoyed it for the writing, some brilliant descriptions, but it wasn’t one that gripped me. I would give it 7 out of 10 if the helps!

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  3. Sooo JUST this weekend I came across this coffee table-type book that details some of the Penguin classics book covers (which are almost always GORGEOUS): http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/536775/classic-penguin-cover-to-cover-by-edited-with-an-introduction-by-paul-buckley/9780143110132/

    For each cover they feature, they include background info from the designers on the choices they made and why. It looked fascinating! I thought I’d strongly hint at a loved one to buy it for me for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like the silhouette ones you picked, especially how in Six of Crow the white space between the wings is also buildings so the whole picture has layers. Personally I’m disheartened by how many stock photo model covers there are on shelves these days. I’d rather see a pretty object tied to the story than immediately lose the option to picture the characters without being told how I should see them. But after reading through the other comments I can see how some books might not sell as well because they don’t convey the right tone or story.

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