1. What are your 6 favorite book covers?
Nearly impossible to limit it to 6 favorites. What I did was pick the last six covers that led to me buying the book before I even read the blurb on the back. Not something that happens often.
Also, I’ve been giving book covers a lot of thought lately, because I just worked with designer Mishi Bellamy to create the cover for my first novel. This forced me to consciously consider what type of covers “work” for me. Here they are by type, with a favorite for each one:
Photographs combined with art can be fantastic or just pathetic. This one works very well:
This is another style I like, where you have letters with images visible through them:
I bought this book almost on the basis of the cover alone. It's very hard to make a convincing historical cover with photographs:
I love steampunk covers but the tropes are getting repetitive. This looked like a new direction for steampunk, although I haven't read the book yet so I'm not sure if it is steampunk or not:
The recent trend in underwater pictures:
Pure artistic vision:
2. What’s your opinion of morphed covers (in a series the publisher changes the cover style in the middle of the series)?
Sometimes they actually get better. I thought the change from the first to the second in Nancy Holder’s Posessions series was a huge improvement. But the change in the Vampire Academy series to just letters on the covers was a serious mistake.
3. How important is the book cover?
Very important. It better not condescend to me, it better tell me what I need to know (specifically, what the genre is), it better not mislead.
4. What types of book covers draw you in?
The ones that promise something and then deliver on their promises.
5. What are your book cover pet peeves?
I hate, hate, hate headless bodices and headless torsos. Even shirtless men who still have their heads on are getting a bit tiresome. Like most women I love me a good-looking’ man who has mislaid his shirt, but I’ve gotten tired of seeing the same set of eight-pack abs on cover after cover. We want characters, which means a man with personality. Who just happens to have mislaid his shirt.
Sexist and racist covers put me off, although I have a fondness for vintage pulp covers and I’m willing to forgive them quite a lot.
6. Do you like short descriptions or long ones?
I’m usually in the bookstore without my glasses on. If I have to dig for my glasses to read the blurb I probably won’t buy the book. So, short text that doesn’t give it all away, high contrast layout, readable font. And if the story is about a character with a strong voice, let’s hear that voice!