Pretty isn't it? I confess. I have a file on my computer dedicated to book covers. Mostly Romance book covers with good looking guys, true; but I'm an artist! What do you expect? I am a published Illustrator and art teacher of 30 years. I like pretty pictures and good looking guys; so, in addition to Romance, I also have Science Fiction, and Fantasy covers. The only requirement is that I like it. Often I will lift one of these covers that I like, and use it for a while as wallpaper. Helps me keep a smile on my face. I heartily recommend the therapy.
There has been a controversy in recent years about book covers and author branding by publishers. First there were the clinch covers that gave birth to the pejorative "Bodice Ripper" epithet. Then there were the flower and jewel covers that, if not extremely pertinent to the plot, were real snoozers. Now, publishers think that they must "brand" their authors. Every book by one author must look similar enough that any myopic shopper will automatically recognize their favorite author from a hundred yards away. Not a bad idea... if the author likes the cover, and the cover truly represents the book.
Unfortunately, readers blame authors for poor covers. ATTENTION! Authors have almost zero control over their covers. Publishers, specifically marketing departments, make the decisions as to what cover an author's work gets. An author can only pray.
This morning I read an excellent article on covers and reader perceptions. I thought that I would pass along the URL if you are interested.
I like the idea of branding with composition and fonts; however, for me, there are only two real questions: 1) Is it a good looking, well composed, eye catching cover? 2) Does this cover tell me something important about the story in an accurate manner? That brings me to the picture above. It is the original cover of Susan Grant's THE STAR PRINCE. I think that it succeeds superbly on all accounts. It's beautiful, eye catching, tells me it's about space, and tells me that two people are in love. After all, that was what I wanted to know.
Let me know what some of your favorite covers are.
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future