Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Go Ahead, Judge

Today’s RTW question from YA Highway is: What are your all-time favorite book covers?

Having sat in meetings where designers are presenting and tweeking and defending and changing their cover choices to editors and sales people, I know how much thought goes into book covers. Not one inch of the jacket is ignored—from the model’s left eyelashes to the curve of a letter in the title. There are plenty of jackets out there that are good and representative of the novel it’s covering. Then there are book covers that speak to me and make me pick up the book without knowing a thing about what’s inside. When you find a cover that does both, you’ve found a perfect cover. Go ahead and judge these books based on what they look like! My favorites tend to fall into three categories:

The pretty dresses:

I swoon for gorgeous, breathtaking dresses and covers like these tend to hint to my favorite genres, fantasy and historical (or even better, a combination of both!).

A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
Princess of the Midnight Ball
The Luxe

The iconic:

Something a little different that’s impossible to forget. The jacket for The Replacement, especially, is one that made me buy the book on looks alone.

Twilight (Twilight, Book 1)
The Replacement

The I’m-not-sure-what-technique-this-is-but-I-like-it:

Is this reminiscent of wood cutting? Block printing? I’m not an art or design person, but images like this really appeal to me for their deceptive simplicity.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls)
Pretty Monsters: Stories

What kind of book covers to do you like? How representative of the title does the jacket have to be? Or do you just want it to be pretty and eye-catching? 


  1. Oh, I forgot about Pretty Monsters. I love that cover, too!

  2. I almost put the Luxe series on my list. I've never been much of a dress person, but these YA covers just make me swoon for fabric and glitz.