I, like many other Potter fans, was very excited to hear that J. K. Rowling was releasing her new adult book. When the cover image was unveiled a few weeks ago, I was underwhelmed. Look below:
Fairly blah colors (almost grating), plain visual image and a dated font for the title. When you compare the cover to what her books used to look like (see below), it’s really hard to get excited.
Sure, different genre, different type of book, and adult to boot. Perhaps the designers were trying to distance us from the book series we all grew up loving. But what it made me think of was simply a cheap 70’s paperback.
The weird thing is that this bland style is becoming common in adult books. If you look at the top 200 2012 publications on Goodreads, you come up with 2 adult books that look roughly the same to Rowling’s blah cover:
While not visually appealing, both of these book covers at least have a better color scheme. I am not sure what started this trend, but I don’t like it. When most readers pick out a new book to read, if they do not have a recommendation from friends, many of us will not get past the title and cover without something to grab our attention.
If you want to have a simple but intriguing cover, take a page out of Alif the Unseen.
Plain color scheme, but the texture of the green background draws your eye and gives you a bit of hint towards the story. It was actually this interesting cover that got me to put it in my audiobook cue.
Another of my most recent audiobook listens is Some Kind of Fairy Tale. An adult book, but it proves that you can still use a beautiful cover to bring your audience in. With its fantasy elements, the cover matches its book’s themes and lends clues to the plot inside:
Let’s be honest – publishers know that we all look at book covers. Just take a look at this (disgusting) Twilight-style cover for Pride and Prejudice I found at a Books a Million a couple weeks ago:
While this disgusts me in so many ways, it is a way to get Twihards to read a much better book and transition them into a higher class of literature. But the fact that we have to pander to young women readers to read Jane Austen through a Bella and Edward, black/white/red cover makes me cry inside.
What about you? Do you find yourself picking up a certain book because of what is on the cover, or are you able to transcend the images? (If you say yes, you’re probably lying!)