I read, I write, and I majored in German and Muggle Studies. my favorite genres are historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. Lookout for reviews of the YA and MG persuasions!
What do you look for in a book cover?
Last November I tried my hand at making covers for fellow NaNoWriMo participants’ novels, and had quite a lot of fun doing it—granted, it was a challenge, since I only used my own pictures and the default fonts that came pre-loaded on my laptop. I read through a synopsis, considered what the author wanted to convey on the cover, and went to work. I’ve had no design experience besides what I’ve made on my own time with my humble, out-of-date Photoshop Elements software, so I don’t really have a frame of reference as to design theory and why certain trends may have emerged.
I remember when I was much younger that I grabbed books that had dragons on them (or “dragons” in the title, for that matter) but now that I’m older, I’m drawn to books with elegant typography or eye-catching colors. Someone I know works in a school library, and she tells me over and over again how she will recommend a book with an older, dare I say “untrendy” cover and the kids will turn their noses up at it. Depressing, but so it goes.
I adored Diana Wynne Jones’ delightful fantasy works. Howl’s Moving Castle was (and is) one of my absolute favorite books, and I remember clearly when I first checked the book out from the library—it was a hardcover edition with a terrifying fire demon and a red-robed wizard (viewable here). Compare that cover with the Amazon-provided image accompanying this post—it certainly looks like tastes have changed!
What are some of your all-time favorite book covers? And if you have written something, or are involved in that process, what are several key elements you would find necessary for your “dream” cover?