First and foremost, I think the cover of a book should represent the genre. Marketers will tell you most people stick to a particular genre. So, if you write mystery you want to catch the eye of the mystery reader and if you write romance you want to catch the eye of a romance reader. In many cases color alone will separate different genres. For instance: Dark, moody colors for mystery and light or bright colors for romance.
Personally, I have a couple things I don’t like. Book covers that simply show the location of the book bore me silly. :P One of my favorite writers put out an awesome suspense novel about human smuggling. The cover? A quant picture of the Chesapeake Bay area the story took place in. If I hadn’t already known the author I probably wouldn’t have picked it up.
I’m also iffy on the trend of putting a picture of what the character looks like on the cover. Sometimes it works, but sometimes I want to say, “That is not what the character looks like!” ;) I do know a lot of people who prefer the character’s picture to be front and center, however.
Below I’ve got a few of my favorite book covers and why I think they work. Here’s your part. Leave me the name of a book who’s cover you like! On Friday, I’ll put up a “Reader’s Choice” with a selection of your reviews. I can’t wait to see what you think makes a good cover! :)
The color pop is great, plus the image plainly says “Drama and humor!” ;)
The color and frilliness clearly say “romance,” but the designer also achieved a sense of intrigue. Frankly, it’s better than a lot of mysteries I’ve seen.
I really like this particular rerelease St. Martin’s did of Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Each cover is a simple, but eerie photograph that captures both the mystery and the vintage look Christie has come to be associated with.
This is the first romantic-western I was ever inclined to pick up. Why? It stood out on the display because every other book in the genre had a picture of a girl in a dress standing in front of some form of western scenery. I am not exaggerating. :P It gave me a "Hm, wonder what that one is about?" moment.
By the way, I would highly recommend all of these books.
So, what about you?