Misjudging a Book by Its Cover

First of all I want to thank Kelli and Natalie for letting me take over their blog today! I quickly begged them to let me be a guest blogger when they asked for a few volunteers, but then sat at my desk for long stretches of time trying to come up with something to write that wouldn’t bore everyone to tears and result in my banishment from this blog in a gown of shame. Hopefully I came up with something that will prevent that situation from coming to fruition:-)

Since I work in the graphic design field, the cover design for books is always of particular interest to me. I thought for my guest post I might discuss just a couple of the covers for books I absolutely adored but probably wouldn’t have picked up because the design left me wanting.

Hm. Why do we just have Etienne’s shoulder and hand when we get to see Anna’s face? Are we supposed to be projecting our own dreamy thoughts onto this shoulder in order to imagine what the face of a man with such an arm would look like? If that’s the case, I really need more than a shoulder to work with. Give me a shirtless headless torso, that always gets my, um, creative juices flowing. I can say with complete sincerity that never once in my life have I ever said “what a sexy left shoulder you have sir”. But maybe I'm the only one who hasn't. Maybe cotton-covered shoulders and arms are all the rage and I’m just out of the loop. Entirely possible.

And can we just talk about the fact that they match? Why do they have to be wearing matching white shirts? It’s all a little too-cutesy for the broad spectrum of emotions we as readers go through when following Anna and Etienne’s story. I must have passed by this one dozens of times in the bookstore, discounting it due to the weird shoulder action, but continuing to ignore it would have been a huge mistake as what’s behind the cover is full of win.

Okay. This cover is certainly not ugly by any stretch, I just have one problem. I feel like I’m looking straight up her nose. First I see the bright blue eyes, then the tear guides my eye down to the giant cavernous space that is her right nostril. Good heaven. There could be things living in there it’s so large. I keep finding myself leaning closer to it as though proximity will reveal something hidden in that great expansive space, and my curiosity is undeniably piqued. I’m not sure what I think I’ll find if I look closer, but I half expect something to leap out at me from its hiding place up her nose.

I’ve got you all staring up her nose now don’t I? Well done me, now we’re all attempting to find meaning in the nostril of some unnamed cover model. Awesome.

I know, I know. Many of you are going to disagree with me, but I’m not overly impressed with this cover design, and let me tell you why. First, there’s a little too much going on with the type treatment for me. We have huge flourishes off some of the letters but then we also have an image running through all the type, so things combine and blur together until my feeble designer mind short-circuits and I just stare blankly at nothing. I think perhaps if just the word “Delirium” had the image and the flourishes and Lauren’s name was given a different treatment, then this cover would have been met with more success.
I will say the printed version is much prettier with the metallic sheen to it, but all I see when I look at this is a swirl of flesh tones and random facial features that don’t actually tell me anything about the book itself. And I can’t help it, but the little offshoots on the flourishes (like the horizontal squiggles on the top swirl above the “r” and “e” in Lauren) look like tiny mustaches to me. Now that that thought is in my head, I can’t escape it. They’re taunting me with their mustache-ness. I see little curved pieces of facial hair all over the type and it just makes me giggle. I am clearly very mature and adult-like.

What about you guys, are there books you wouldn’t have picked up as a result of the cover but are so glad you did?

A BIG THANK YOU to Jenny from Supernatural Snark! I love to visit and read her blog, it is always so well written and in line with what I am feeling :) 

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  1. Thanks so much for having me on your blog today ladies:):)

  2. I wondered why we don't get to see Eitienne too.

    Yeah I agree with looking at the nose but love the eye colors.

  3. I feel the same about Delirium! For such an amazing book it deserves something a little better. It's not ugly at all but everything's just too busy for my tastes and it took me several times of seeing it before I noticed the girl's face.

  4. I've never been a fan of the ANNA cover. It's definitely too cutesy for the book, and the shoulder thing is weird. I don't mind not showing an entire body on a cover, but a shoulder? Weird. Plus, the model just doesn't look like St. Clair to me. I don't know. Weird.

    I kinda like the INFINITE DAYS cover, though. The nose thing never really bugged me, though now I'll always look at it that way. haha

  5. Great guest post! I love these when Supernatural Snark does them on her blog! I like Anna and the French Kiss cover but I think Jenny brought up some good points, especially the matchy-matchy shirts. I happened to agree about Delirium's cover. It is much nicer in person but I'm not overly wild about the design.

  6. Great guest post, Jenny! I agree the cover for Anna and the French Kiss didn't totally impress me, but the book is oh, so amazing!

    I had the same problems with the Infinite Days cover as you did!

  7. Fantastic observations. I've been thinking of reading Anne and the French Kiss but the cover totally turned me off at first too.

  8. LOL! Jenny, you never fail to make me laugh at covers. I actually don't hate the Anna and the French Kiss cover, but the matching shirts really are a bit much. I never noticed how, prominent, the nostril in Infinite Days is, but yeah, thanks a lot. I don't think even those radioactive eyes will be able to draw my attention away from her nostril. I agree 100% on the Delirium cover. The ARC was a million times better.

  9. One book cover that I had issues with was "Nevermore" by Kelly Creagh. Even though I thought the cover was interesting and overall-awesome, when my husband saw it on the coffee table, he picked it up and said in a high, whiny girl's voice, "Oh, isn't he so dreamy? I love his hair and his eyeliner!"

    That totally ruined it for me. Then, when I actually started reading it, it was AWESOME! :)

    - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines

  10. I will now forever be looking up that girl's nose! LOL

  11. Now all I'm going to be seeing is mustache! Thank you so very much lol.



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