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Calling all Cover Lovers!

You know who you are.

You can't pass up a good book cover when you see it.

You quite possibly cannot forgive a bad book cover, either. You know the kind I mean. The ones that have an image on them that has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CONTENTS OF THE BOOK! (I yelled this in print because it's the sort of thing that M and I yell in person when we find books like this). Maybe there's a girl on the cover of a book with a male main character (this didn't bother me in the case of John Green's Paper Towns, but holey moley, have I heard other people rant about that, both online and in person). Or there's a white girl or guy on the cover of a book with a minority main character.

Or the ones that simply don't convey the era/setting/content/tone of the book adequately - a cutesy cover on a serious book, say, or a Very Serious cover on something that isn't a very serious book, or a cover that skews too old or too young for what's in between the covers or, in some cases, a MISSED OPPORTUNITY (same disclaimer for the yelling). I mean hey - if you've got an awesome steampunk story in between the covers, wouldn't you want to see an image that says "steampunk" on the cover? Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan and Behemoth sure do. So do Gail Carriger's books for the adult market, Soulless, Changeless and Blameless. Not so the books by D.M. Cornish (at least the original coves), Ysabeau Wilce and Jenny Davidson.

So Leila over at Bookshelves of Doom is doing something about it, to whit: A MAKE YOUR OWN COVER CONTEST! Details can be found there, but the deadline is December 15th.

I, for one, cannot wait to see what you all come up with.

Kiva - loans that change lives

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
I know an artist who does book covers, I talked to him about those covers that don't fit the book - he said it's not a requirement that he reads the book he's working on the cover for! He just gets given a rough idea of what they want and comes up with something. I think cover designers should at least be given a synopsis, that they *have* to read to inform their design.
Nov. 13th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
That is interesting to know - and I think you make an excellent point. The thing is, the art directors and editors who approve the covers are supposed to know what the book is about, so the responsibility for the ones that really, truly don't fit ultimately falls on them, I think.
Nov. 13th, 2010 10:52 am (UTC)
Yup I agree it falls on the people making the decisions. The thing that bothers me is when they put someone on the front whose a different race to the main character, I think I read something somewhere about one book that they were worried the book would appeal to less people if they went with the proper ethnicity! *hits forehead with hand*
Nov. 12th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
We've had those discussions about bookcovers on the Green Mountain Book Award Committee, too. "That cover is way too young for this book!" "Why did they put such a boring cover on such a good book?" Those are only the opening salvos.

I agree, the PAPER TOWNS cover didn't bother me. Margot was so much at the core of the story that it worked.
Nov. 13th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
I do think that there were boys who didn't pick Paper Towns up because of the cover. And I didn't like them switching the other covers (paperbacks especially) to have girls' faces on them (Katherines and Alaska).
Nov. 13th, 2010 09:45 am (UTC)
Cannot abide the bad covers
Oooh, looks like fun! There are so many bad covers out there, this ought to probably be sent on to the publishers. :)

Nov. 13th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Cannot abide the bad covers
There are indeed too many bad covers out there. I thought it was hilarious that Leila's husband spraypaints them black!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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