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

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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: 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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Book Cover Talk – `His Banana`by Penelope Bloom

Have you ever heard of author Penelope Bloom before? I haven´t. Maybe that can be blamed on me not spending enough time in the rom-com department. Which is a shame. I love humor and I love romance. Hmm…

A few days ago I received a Whatsapp text from my book babe, Sabrina @Brina And the Books with this cover.

His Banana

 

I admit I laughed. I laughed so much that I had trouble breathing. Not because the cover is terrible – The cover is actually decent. It´s simple and… in combination with the title, I´d say it´s brilliant! It´s the title that had me cracking up. HIS Banana. What an amusing title- Amusing enough for me to want to read the synopsis.

It looks like the story has an actual banana in it. The banana at hand is HIS. I have tears in my eyes while typing this.

 

Part of the synopsis

`My new boss likes rules, but there’s one nobody dares to break…
No touching his banana. 
Seriously. The guy is like a potassium addict. 
Of course, I touched it. 
If you want to get technical, I actually put it in my mouth. 
I chewed it up, too… I even swallowed.
I know. Bad, bad, girl.
Then I saw him, and believe it or not, choking on a guy’s banana does not make the best first impression. `

 

I´m the type of person who LOVES to see the humor in everything. I make inappropriate jokes at uncalled for times, etc. So, my opinion regarding this hilarious cover ( and synopsis ) comes from a positive place.

I think I sent a 1:30 minute Whatsapp message back, laughing my ass off.

Now, back to the book.

`His Banana `is the first installment from the Objects of Attraction series.

 

HIS HER banner
Objects Of Attraction Series by Penelope Bloom

 

 

Here´s the deal – These images aren´t anything we haven´t seen on book covers before. I could, right off the bat, give you a list of 20 books that have cherries on the cover. Same with cupcakes, gifts/packages, and lipsticks. These objects are a staple in the romance genre. But, I have to say, I haven´t been seeing any bananas or… bushes on book covers lately. Especially a single bush ( would someone already bring me a cocktail? ). Let alone with a stark white background.

The subtle – not so subtle font is also a good match. It draws attention. It´s prominent but it still doesn´t distract from the objects.

Now, what do these covers tell me, the person who´s looking for their next read?

 

  • There´s a high possibility humor is included.
  • Double entendres, sexual innuendos
  • romance

 

This is a good thing! The less a cover tells me the better.

Knowing all this is fine but we still haven´t gotten to what´s important:

Do the covers excite me enough to want to read this book / the series? Not really ( The banana and bush ones do, though ). But the covers, paired with their titles do. When seeing this from a marketing point of view, there really isn´t anything wrong with the designs. This is perfection. The book covers for `The Objects of Attraction` are designed to leave a lasting impression. Mission accomplished, I´d say. I´ll definitely call my other book babes and tell them about these books.

Would I, as a dedicated romance reader, buy these books based on the covers ( and title )?  Sure, why not?  They´re not what I would consider out – of – this – world – fabulous, but I´m amused and interested.


 

What are your thoughts on this cover / the covers for the series? Are they a YAY or NAY for you? Are you a fan of the author? Let´s chat. xx

 


Go ahead and stalk Penelope Bloom!

Website   º   Facebook   º   Goodreads   º   Amazon

 

Purchase Links for the `Objects of Attraction` series

`His Banana`  Book #1

`Her Cherry`  Book #2

`His Treat`   Book #3

`His Package `  Book #4

`Her Secret `  Book #5

`Her Bush `  Book #6

 

I Spied With My Bookish Eye: Catchy Book Covers

`I need to check something out at the book store really quick.`

 

Only someone with immense self-control would ever say that. I don´t have self-control when it comes to book stores. In fact – I wouldn´t be able to keep a straight face while saying that. Twelves words – All a lie.

I´ll have you know, though, that my last book store visit was truly a quick visit. I was on a tight schedule and only had an hour to spare. Better than nothing, right? I agree. * waiting patiently for your approval * Besides- I truly just wanted to check a few books out.

So I rushed through the aisles and let my eyes scan through the rows of books. I figured that there would be a book cover that would catch my attention. There had to be. There were actually two covers!

This is what caught my attention.

 

 

 

`City Of Girls` by Elizabeth Gilbert and `Stay Sexy & Don´t Get Murdered` by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark.

The cover for `City Of Girls` is, for me, more about the colors than anything else. I like the combination of a saturated pink and a cool teal shade. The feathers- Well, I´m not too fazed about them. Many book covers have decorative feathers. Many fantasy novels use feather images for their covers. `City Of Girls is historical fiction, though.  Who would have thought?! See how deceiving book covers can be? This cover could easily pass for a contemporary romance but it´s not. I totally love this.

The reason why I grabbed, `Stay Sexy & Don´t Get Murdered` was because of the stark contrasts. Black is always an eye-catcher. And when the title fills the cover, substituting an image, it´s an even larger eye catcher for me. I like these types of book covers because they´re not too revealing. You are forced to use your imagination. And with a title like that, your mind will most likely run wild. The story possibilities are endless. `Stay Sexy & Don´t Get Murdered ` is a non – fiction/biography I can´t wait to purchase.

Yes, I haven´t bought either of these reads. Not yet. Don´t you remember? I was in a hurry.  Ain´t no one got time to purchase books on a whim and on a tight book budget.

Maybe next month.

Would I buy these books based on the covers? I would.


 

What do you think of these covers? Would these book covers grab your attention? Let´s chat! ❤

 

Sending out much bookish love.

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Welcome To Simply Book Covers

Hi and welcome.

What a pleasure it is for me to introduce you to my newest project – My baby. My soon to be pride and joy –

SBC banner

 

The name pretty much gives you all the information you need. This project is Simply about Book Covers. It´s as simple as that.

 

What can Simply Book Covers offer you that hasn´t already been done before?

Aside from my personal take on book covers my goal is to discuss all things book covers. From the trends to the cover/story compatibility… There´s lots of ground to cover when discussing book covers.

 

First impressions matter, for good and bad –

Even when it comes to book covers.

As much as we don´t want to, we all judge a book by its cover. We only need a few seconds to decide if we´re interested in a book or not. It takes just as long to develop a negative or a positive response towards an image, colors, style, and quality.

 

Book covers have power.

A book cover design is probably the most important marketing tool for books. Because cover designs have the power to make or break a book. A great, eye catchy image can attract readers and push sales. And the opposite can happen if a cover design lacks creativity.

 

You´re not only paying for the story.

Books from traditional publishers have teams who deal with cover images. Self-published authors often create their own cover art or they hire a designer. Is there a difference between covers for self-published and traditional ones? There most certainly is. But the bottom line is- You´re not only spending your hard earned money on a story. The money also pays for the cover image/design.

With Simply Book Covers I would like to offer the three E´s.

 

Entertain

Educate

Expose

 

I´d like to reveal What´s Hot and What´s Not. To explain the power of colors and designs and the effects they have on consumers. And last, but not least, spill some Tea on how cover images are chosen.

Book covers are, for the most part, a matter of taste. But that doesn´t mean we can´t discuss them, right?
How will Simply Book Covers judge book covers online?

I thought you´d never ask! Of course, how much or how little I have to say about a book cover depends on… well, a cover design.

Are the colors vibrant or dull? What effect does the design have on me as a potential reader? Is the cover too revealing? What´s the main focus, imagine or title?
And to top that off I´ll add a short two-point analysis, including a 1 – 5-star rating. Let´s not forget revealing pictures.

Trust me- All this sounds more complicated than it is.

And maybe, just maybe, I´ll include a BookTube book cover review.

Sound good?

 

On a positive note: Please remember that Simply Book Covers is about the product and NOT the person behind it.

Please keep in mind that everything I write/say is my personal opinion. My opinions are not facts. Should there be disagreements over any opinions I ask of you to be as civilized and mature as possible. If you feel you can´t do either then I kindly ask you to come back at another, less emotionally charged time.

 

Let´s have fun. Let´s take a look at some bookish eye candy together. Let´s chat.

 

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