I Spied With My Bookish Eye: Busy Book Covers

Creativity has no limits…

…so they say.

Personally, I believe there should be a few limits when it comes to book cover art. The whole idea is to leave a positive lasting impression. Authors should want their books to have that wow-effect. It´s what triggers interest.

When I say `busy` I mean that a book cover image has more than one image. Most of the time there are story binding images of objects thrown into the mix for good measure.

While some authors/cover designers do a marvelous job at creating stunning book cover designs, others tend to over-do things. And more often than not, we´re presented with designs that raise questions.

As Coco Chanel once said ( and others before her ), ” Less is more.

Oh, I almost forgot- Before I continue I´d like to add a kind note:

KR Info opinion

GTK2

Alas, here are some book covers that could have used less.


#1

All In ( #2 Blackstone Affair ) – Raine Miller

All In

First Reaction: Confused
First Thought: They´re going to a casino now?!
Let´s Talk: It´s been a few years since I read The Blackstone Affair books by author Raine Miller. These romance books were a huge hit back in the day. The cover for ´All In` ( book #2 ) is, in my opinion, the least nicest to look at. Although the large black/white image on the upper half is okay, I think the details on the bottom half are a bit too much. Cards, chips and Big Ben? There are more than three fonts. All that´s killing my vibes a little. Back then I thought the cover was too busy. I haven´t changed my mind.

#2

Code Name: Ghost – Sawyer Bennett

( NR )

Code Name Ghost

First Reaction: Holy Hell
Let´s Talk: I haven´t read `Code Name: Ghost` by author Sawyer Bennett and I don´t think I will, either. The cover is extremely busy and quite revealing if you ask me. There´s an over-filtered guy looking like he has a headache, a city and… dog tags? Oh, come on. I mean- if this is what was chosen then by all means… but I think the image would have been a tad better without the photoshopped in tags ( it certainly wouldn´t have made the image less chaotic ). Personally, I think the whole cover is the definition of chaos. The fonts + the scenery + the guy + the dog tags… All that´s missing is a feather.

#3

Roustabout – Jane Harvey – Berrick

ROustabout

First Thought: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Let´s Talk: Jane Harvey – Berrick has been one of my favorite authors ever since I read her back then-controversial romance `The Education of Sebastian`. When I saw the cover for `Roustabout`I nearly fell off my chair. What is happening with that cover image?! A guy on a bike ( okay ), a blonde doing the half turn – off-shoulder leather jacket -move ( okay ), there´s a road ( hmm ), and those twinkling lights in the sunburned sky? I can´t tell you what to focus on first. The story deserves a less busy cover.

#4

The Consequence Of Rejection – Rachel Van Dyken

( NR )

The Consequence Of Rejection

First Reaction: Defeated sigh
Let´s Talk: I´ve read most of Rachel Van Dyken´s books but I haven´t read `The Consequence Of Rejection`. And from the looks of it- I probably won´t read it. The cover… Either someone wasn´t able to make up their mind or someone thought they were being creative. There are two too many images. Again, I´m not interested in the fact that the cover is story bound- It´s the visibility I´m after. And right now all I see is three faded images in a collage style and a font that doesn´t work with the whole thing. Someone should have remembered what Coco Chanel said.

#5

Make Me – Jessica Lee

( NR )

Make Me ( Romance )

First Thought: Is it alive?!

Let´s Talk: Seriously, is it? Jokes aside- What am I looking at? Book info says this is a Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifter, M/M story. With bondage? His ass is baboon red, the other half of the guy´s body is… Okay, so those are eyes on top. Oh, Jesus Christ on a popsicle… Someone wanted to win the creativity award with this one. When in doubt- Never mix images. Stick with one. Doesn´t matter which one just do it.


What are your thoughts on busy book covers? Do you like them/ dislike them or are you not bothered by them? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

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Book Cover Trends: Headless Romantics

Oh yes. We´re revisiting the headless party again. Imagine a life without headless people on book covers… It´s close to impossible.

When I talk to my friends about headless bodies on book covers most of them wave off the topic before it even has a chance to develop into a conversation.

“Meeh. I don´t read those types of books.” Some of them have said/will say.

A clear case of judging a book by its cover, if you ask me.

And that´s perfectly fine. I judge a book if it has a dragon on it, too. Hell, I´m about to judge the headless fools on romance book covers myself. So, I fully understand where people are coming from when they voice their dislikes for a book cover.

It´s not the image itself that´s raising awareness. I couldn´t give a hoot if I saw a headless character image on a book cover or not. It´s the repetition of an image. The fact that you can´t walk in any direction without seeing a handful of naked, well buffed headless bodies. Why not include the head? I can tell you why.

Many readers ( including myself ) don´t appreciate character images on book covers. They like to make up their own faces without the aid of an image.

While flowers or other objects on book covers are neutral, headless bodies ( clothed or not ) aren´t neutral. They´re genre specific. Made to attract the romance loving crowd.

 

Headless body = romance

 

In this time and age, sex sells. And there are many willing readers waiting to get their hands on some proper literary sex. So there is no need for heads. Do I approve? Continue to find out.

 


 

#1  Fit Without Heads

 

Headless Romance Sports

 

Would I think these are romances based on the cover image?

Definitely. The image focus is on the buff bodies. The bodies are, therefore, an important tool to lure in romance readers. Heads don´t sell as well as the promise of sex with a sex God.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore? 

Nope. Can´t say they would. I´d eye them on my way to the less revealing covers.

 

My personal thoughts:

Uhm, I´m really not a fan of hairless chests. Not a fan of extremely built bodies, either. So, these images aren´t appealing to me in any way. But (!!!) some of the stories behind these covers aren´t too shabby. No kidding. I often think some of these books would be better off with different cover images. As for the stories matching the cover images- A reader gets what they see. If you see a hockey player on the cover ( with or without head ) then there will be a hockey player in the book. The cover images are story theme revealing.

 

 


 

 

#2  A Headless Fantasy

 

 

Headless Romance Fantasy

 

Would you think these are fantasy romance novels based on the cover images?

I would. It´s no secret that many romantic fantasy novels are just plain ol´ contemporary romances with a sprinkle of magic included. I´m not surprised I´m seeing almost the exact same images as above.. They just have different colors and titles.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Nope. Not unless I´ve seen one of these books being praised online.

 

My personal thoughts:

Nothing´s changed for me. I´m still not a fan of headless, hairless, buffed bodies. No demon horns or angel wings could change my opinion.

 

 


 

#3   Mr. Headless Suit

 

 

Headless Romance Suits

 

Would I think these are romance novels based on the cover images?

Of course! A man in a suit is like a sexual magnet for some women. A properly tailored suit can say that a man is successful. And we all know how attractive success is. How does the saying go? `Success is sexy`? Sexy so happens to work as a lawyer, is a billionaire, a politician or is some drug lord running multiple businesses in romance novels. And besides- the focus here is on the suit. A dead giveaway that someone has money and power or some sort of authority.

The cliché with suit wearers: They´re cold, stand-off-ish, own a shit ton of buildings, properties or islands. They have black hair and piercing eyes. And when they´re dealing with emotional turmoil they have a three-day scruff. Or, they´re not rich but like to spank wallflowers who batted their eyelashes the wrong way.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

No. Although I´m fond of a well-fitted suit I can´t say I find them or the characters wearing them attractive enough. Especially without the heads.

 

My personal thoughts:

So SO outdated. The thought that designers/authors are still using these cover images baffles me. Either give them a head or put them in beige slacks.

 


 

If you think we´re done then think again. We´ve only scratched the surface so far. The romance world is filled with headless cover images. Headless men, headless women, and even headless couples.  There´s enough image decapitation to last us all two lifetimes.


 

#4  Mrs. Headless

 

Headless women

 

 

 

#5  Headless Romance

 

Headless couples

 

See? There´s more. * sigh *

 

Unfortunately, I don´t think this trend is going anywhere. Romance sells. Sex sells. Always has. Always will.


 

Have you noticed naked bodies on cover images before? What is your take on the images? Yay or Nay? Do you think this trend needs to pass or would you like to see more? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

 

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I Spied With My Bookish Eye: Large Fonts

I know what you´re thinking. `She´s spending more time at the bookstore than anywhere else.` Meh. I wish. The truth is: I spend enough time to check out what grabs my attention in a positive or negative way, take a pic or 10 pics then leave again.

So, my bookstore visits are pretty sober and uneventful. Unless I end up buying a book. That´s always celebrated in the store, on my way out of the store, and when I come home.

Two of the many books that made me stop were these two gems with oversized fonts.

 

What I found

Large fonts aren´t uncommon for books. You´ll see this style a lot with thrillers and non-fiction books. When the title dominates the image then it´s a clear sign that you should read the title instead of admiring whatever´s in the background. That´s not to say there isn´t any great image to look at with large fonts. This just means you´ll focus more on a subtle or cryptic hint of what the story is about.

With my findings, I can say that it was the fonts and the colors that caught my attention.

No!: The Power Of Disagreement In A World That Wants To Get Along by author Charlan Nemeth and What She Found In The Woods by Josephine Angelini. Both are very bold in color. Both have large fonts with quite a bit of wording filling out the blank spots.

I was tempted to buy these but ended up placing them back on the shelves I plucked them out from. Because I wanted to be sure about these reads. I can´t just go buy everything I like, right? Book purchase takes time.

What She Found In The Woods happens to be a YA thriller. The taglines were sort of a giveaway for the genre. The reason why I picked this one out is that it looks appealing. The yellow, white and matted teal is a great color combo. Mix cold colors with warm colors and you´ve got yourself an eye-catcher. Also, I think the title is interesting. Who doesn´t want to know what someone else found in the woods, right? To this day I´m hoping some people will find common sense in the woods but that´s another bedtime story for a different night.

As for the other book… No!: The Power of Disagreement in a World That Wants To Get Along is a psychology book that focuses on how vital disagreement is.

Personally, this book spoke the loudest to me. Cover color and title are what pulled me in. The synopsis sealed the deal. As a firm believer in healthy disagreements, I would like to know the psychology behind its necessity. Something´s telling me this would not only be helpful for future businesses but also book bloggers. I could be wrong though. I guess we won´t find out unless we read it, huh?

With that being said, let´s get back to the design.

 

Are these book covers timeless or trendy?  90% timeless – 10% trendy. Large fonts and colors are timeless. It´s a color combination or depth of a certain color that´s often trendy. Think back to the early 90´s and try to remember the bright and bold colors paired with neons. Separately- Awesome colors. Color combo – Not timeless.

 

Do I think these covers will generate sales? Without a doubt, they will. They´re eye-catchy. They were able to stop me.


 

 

Let´s talk:  What do you think about these covers? Are they a YAY or NAY for you? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. 


 

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed.

XO´s

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I Spied With My Bookish Eye: Lazy Book Covers

As an avid reader, I´m always on the lookout for new books to read. From romance to horror to fantasy to the good old cookbooks… There´s an endless supply of books that often call my name.

Books are the Pied Piper for me. They lure me in with their smell, their covers and the promise of entertainment. Thankfully, books only have the power to ruin me financially instead of trying to drown me in a nearby body of water.

But not all books have that kind of power. There are many books who call to me in a negative way. Like these did the other day in the bookshop:

 

Lazy Book covers
( notice the floral cover on the right? )

 

 

Pillow Thoughts  by  Courtney Peppernell and The Princess Saves Herself In This One ( Women Are Some Kind of Magic #1 ) by Amanda Lovelace. Both books carry collections of poetry.

Pillow Talk is more about love and life and The Princess Saves Herself In This One is emotionally charged. I´d even say a little angry. But hey, I´m not going to be judging the poems today. Today I would like to talk about the laziness of these loveless covers.

My respect goes out to the designers who chose these lifeless color combinations. Very bold choices for a genre as deep and emotional as poetry.

 

Let´s break down this whole cover & content issue

Poetry belongs to one of the four main genres for literature ( with drama, fiction, and non-fiction being the other three ).  It´s sort of a wordplay ( for lack of better term ) where poets use words as a voice channel to express their feelings. Think of poems as indirect messages from a person who has a blooming imagination and the ability to use words as tools. There are people who love poetry and people who´d rather scratch their eyes out before getting near a poem.

I´m just going to say this without feeling an ounce of shame: I don´t always understand poetry. Hence the reason why I don´t enjoy the genre as much as others do. But I will appreciate a nice cover package for a poetry collection.

Which brings me back to the lifeless things on that bookshelf.

Gloomy and bland.

 

 

Black. Black is and always will be apart of my general style. But… No. I´m against black this time.

I don´t have these two on my bookshelf but I did borrow them from a friend shortly after publication. I see what was done here with the covers. The marketing strategy isn´t all too complicated. Poetry is art. The art in these books is not completely uplifting or positive in the traditional sense. The cover art ( and/or lack of ) mirrors the emotions these books hold. Also, the titles wouldn´t be the main focus with an image. They wouldn´t be as powerful as they are with color/designs/objects. The jellyfish image, I find ridiculously misplaced. What a waste of image. The other cover is too simple and looks like it was made by someone who was too tired to think.

 

Do I think more could have been done with the book covers? Absolutely. The phrase `Less is more` has clearly been misinterpreted. Less doesn´t mean non-existent, devoid of everything except a boring font ( that´s also in white ). My textbooks from uni had more spark to them and they were also full of meaningful words.

Would I buy these books based on their covers? No. If you ask me- Marketing failed miserably with these. Unless I´m dying to get my hands on poetry I don´t see myself wanting to add these to my book collection.

 

There will always be people who´ll appreciate this cover style. Simple. Monotonous. Extreme minimalistic. Expressionless.

But wouldn´t it be nice to be able to have one positive thing to say about a cover instead of having nothing to say at all? Poetry or not – An effort could have been made. Especially in the name of art.

 


 What are your thoughts on these covers? Do they speak to you? Have you read these poetry bundles? Let me know in the comments below so we can chat book covers. ❤

 


 

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed.

XO´s

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Book Cover Trends: Floral Designs

Floral prints on book covers are nothing new or special. They´ve been around for quite some time now but it seems like the book marketing department has set a new trend for book cover art.

Florals. And the floral trend is growing like wildflowers.

From pastel to bold, simple or chaotic… Flowerets are slowly dominating book covers. Gone are the tough cookie Heroines standing on a cliff from our beloved YA fantasy novels. Long forgotten are the days of having to see a cover image of cute couples cuddling against a fence. It´s all about the secret language of flowers nowadays.

But why use floral designs for book covers? Why use a lilac, a rose, or a baroque bouquet image? Well, as you may already know, flowers symbolize different things such as happiness, wealth, beauty, positivity and even death. In literature, though, flowers are often associated with love and passion… Basically what you´d most likely find in romances. It´s 2019 and we´re seeing floral images not only on romances but on nearly all kinds of fiction ( and even non-fiction) books. These days designers are using florals for a few reasons:

  • They´re story bound
  • They symbolize a theme ( depending on the flower type )
  • Marketing wants to keep it neutral and exciting
  • They´re trendy

 

For me, floral designs on book covers tell me I´m about to get my hands on something romantic.  It feels like a dead giveaway. I mean- For a non-flower expert like myself, a flower/flowers symbolizes love. And depending on the color theme and flower type on a book cover you can sort of tell in which direction the story will go. Unless I´m standing in a different genre section I´ll associate floral designs with romance.

Personally, I´m not a huge fan of floral book cover art but I´m also not against seeing colorful flowers on a book cover, either. It truly depends on the cover art and color theme for me. I have my favorites. I´ve also seen some hideous designs. Remember- A book cover should always look inviting.

The only thing I fully appreciate about floral cover designs is the fact that they´re semi-neutral. Not as in genre neutral. When I say neutral I mean that I´m not having a character image shoved in my face nor can I predict the story ( including its ending ). You know you´re getting something but you can´t read anything more into the cover.

Since this trend is spreading like weed wildflowers I decided to share some floral art from a few genres. Are you ready?


 

#1  Flowers For Fantasy

 

floral Covers Fantasy

 

Would I have thought these were fantasy novels based on the cover art alone?

Not really. If it weren´t for the book titles I would definitely think all six were romances. Okay, the crown on the fourth cover does indicate that it´s a fantasy novel but the rest? Nope. Not without the help of the titles.

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore? It´s hard to say. Although they´re all cool and beautiful to look at… The images are also very busy. Maybe if one of these were between simple colored covers.

 


 

#2  Flowerful Historicals

 

Floral Covers Historical

 

Would I have thought these were historical novels based on the cover art alone?

Yes. No. I´m leaning more towards possibly. Again, some of the images are modern and pretty neutral so the help of a title is needed in order to pinpoint the genre. And not even that is fully possible with these historicals. The fifth cover image is a dead giveaway without the title but the rest could easily pass for contemporary romances or even thrillers.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

The second and third cover images would. Because of the stronger color contrast. The rest looks beautiful but I don´t think they´re powerful enough to stand out from other covers. Too dark and mundane for me.

 


 


 

#3 The Romance Flowers

 

Floral Covers Romance

 

 

Would I have thought these were romance novels based on the cover art alone?

Yes. This flower arrangement is typical for romance novels. A close up on a single flower with a contrasting background ( #1, #2, #3, #6 ). The floral design on #4 is a wildflower bouquet in the shape of a human heart… Yes, please!

( ignore the fact that `The Stationery Shop` cover doesn´t really belong in this genre as it´s historical, cultural fiction )

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Some would. I have 4 of these beauties already on my bookshelf. #3 is my favorite book & book cover.  If I´m honest- the cover for #6 looks a lot like a book on how to garden ( and I avoid those books with a passion )

 


 

#4  Erotica Florals

 

Floral Covers Erotica BDSM

 

Would I have thought these were erotica novels based on the cover art alone?

Oh, absolutely. These images / the designs represent the erotica genre. I could tell from a mile away that these are erotica novels. These covers are clean and simple in a very feminine way… Nothing like the complicated stories they´re trying to sell.

Many are used to seeing other objects, such as pearls, bedsheets, bedposts, lingerie, silk, lingerie, handcuffs and whips on erotica book covers. Anything that can be associated with relationships or sex. A single flower with a black background will always be apart of the long list of favorite cover images for this genre. Do I think the flowers have anything to do with the story? Or are there any flowers in these erotica novels? To be honest- I have yet to come across an erotica novel that mentions a flower, flower arrangements or even has a bouquet in it. So, I don´t think so.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Yes, but not in a positive way. While these cover images tick off all the right boxes for me ( color contrast, easy on the eyes, etc ) I do think they´re outdated. There are other sensual color themes that can be used for the genre. I would like to see something less blunt.

 


 

#5  Thriller & Mystery Florals

 

Floral Covers Thrillers and Mystery

 

Would I have thought these were Thriller / Mystery novels based on the cover art alone?

Most of the cover images here are obvious. For me, #1, #4 and #5 scream Thriller or Mystery. Thriller cover art often has a specific filter over the images to make them look more mysterious. So, yes. I would have thought some of these floral images were for thrillers or mystery novels. If you look at title and image then you know what you´re getting ( almost ).

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Yes! Even if I´m not much of a thriller reader I can still appreciate beautiful, eye-catchy covers. If it were up to me every romance would have this type of design because I find it appealing. I think I´m going to put cover feature #4 and #5 on my TBR list.

 


 

So you see… Florals are everywhere.

All in all I´m not mad about flowers on book covers. As long as I don´t have reals ones in the house then all´s good.

 


 

What is your opinion on floral book covers? Do you like or dislike them? Do you think they work for all genres? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat with you. ❤

 


 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed.

Many hugs,

 

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