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Judging a Book By Its Cover
Don’t try to hide it because we all know. You’re a book cover-buyer. We’re all sneaky and callous book cover-buyers!
When’s the last time you picked up a book because of its cover? Oh, just yesterday I bought a book I knew nothing about but the cover was just, sigh, beautiful. It’s okay to admit that 80-90% of the time your book choice is decided by what the cover looks like. Don’t feel bad! It’s simply the intention of cover artists and publishers to lure you in just by the cover. There are specific elements that we look for when you’re buying based off of the covers. If there’s a face, we except to see no awkward angles and a “pretty or handsome” face, for a lack of better terms. So even if you’re not a book lover, you’ll surely be captured by these YA book covers!
People tend to be much pickier when it comes to seeing faces on book covers. It can either go terribly wrong or look like a masterpiece. Let’s take a look at some examples!
A.G. Howard’s Splintered Series features faces on all four of the book’s covers. Her eye contact doesn’t falter, and she’s looking directly at us. She is garnished with face makeup and details that relate the story. It’s much more interesting to look at a face that tells half the story. From this cover, we can somehow deduce that she might be getting married (shown by the white) or that she’s a princess. Her striking stare intrigues readers and we want to know more about why she looks so angry.
Jennifer L. Armentrout is hands down one of my favorite authors, but her book covers just have me shaking my head and saying ‘no no no’ sometimes. The first thing I think of when I see this book is zombie. He looks like a zombie, right? There’s no emotion in his face and about the only thing I notice is his hotness. What does this cover tell me about the story? How does this face relate to the story? Other than the fact that he’s a character in the story, it tells me nothing.
When we look at book covers, our eyes are diverted to the typography. In fact, the hardest part of making book covers is choosing the perfect typography because there are just so many fonts that exist.
Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is the perfect example of typography-only covers. The cover is dominated by this futuristic-looking, large block font. The letters look like something you’d see in a video game, which is exactly what this book is about. I specifically love how they made the font stand out with a light-toned background that doesn’t bother the eye. I can’t stop looking at it!
As for School Spirits, There’s nothing particular about this cover’s typography that stands out to me. The girl on the cover gives us a small hint as to what this book is going to be about but the title gives me nada. IN fact, this cover would look better without the title! It isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not impressing either.
I can’t tell you not to buy books based on their covers because I know you won’t listen. It’s book-lover nature! When our eyes are drawn to a cover that book is destined to fall into our shopping carts soon enough, however, there are different standards to what we believe looks good on a cover. I believe a great cover requires some eye-catching typography and a mysterious face. What makes your perfect book cover?
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