When I was a teenager, book covers looked like this
but now, thank goodness, book covers are GLORIOUS. I tend to judge covers on whether I’d cross a bookshop for a closer look and these covers all pass that particular test. I haven’t read all of them, so I don’t know if the outsides match the insides, but does that matter? (That’s a genuine question, by the way. I tend to think it does, but I know some industry professionals disagree!)
I mean, look at this one for Simone Elkeles’ Rules of Attraction. Would it bother you if you read the book and there wasn’t a scene in which two hotties kissed through car windows? In the rain? I’d prefer if they did, but I still think the cover’s great even if they don’t. And it’s so sexy! Have another look at the cover for Kiss Me, Creep. I know which book I’d rather be reading…
And while we’re on the subject of sexy covers, there’s Kristen Tracy’s Lost It. Yes, parents may not like it, but who really wants to read a book their parents would approve of? I haven’t read this one either, but between the title and the cover I think I can guess what it’s about. (The boy’s lost his wallet and the girl’s helping him look for it, right?)
This cover for Daria Snadowsky’s Anatomy of a Boyfriend caused a bit of a stir, I believe, but it’s just so clever. I particularly love ‘Terra Incognita’ and ‘Ready to Run’ – definitely a cover that makes me want to read the book.
Now this was my favourite book as a teenager. The cover’s not at all inspiring, right?
Elizabeth Scott’s cover for Bloom is sort of similar – green background, thoughtful, possibly shy girl – but about a million percent better, no? The Bloom cover is just so lovely and evocative in a way Thinking of You isn’t. In fact, I bought Bloom on the basis of the cover alone and LOVED it, as I’ve loved every other Elizabeth Scott book I’ve subsequently read.
I do have slight issues with covers featuring headless girls or just parts of girls (legs, back of head, back pocket of jeans) although I understand the thinking behind them, so I am ALL FOR a cover like this one from Arlaina Tibensky – from a design point of view, I just love it. In fact, I’d like it as a poster for my office wall.
So what about you? Do you judge a book by its cover (doesn’t everyone?) Share your cover loves and hates in the comments.
Keris Stainton is the author of Della Says OMG and the upcoming Jessie Hearts NYC. You can visit her website here