Today's post was inspired by Down the Rabbit Hole's new feature called shelfmates. I thought it would be fun to point out things that work and things that don't. This will be a two or three part series on Mondays that focus on what makes a book cover memorable.
The Girl in the Pretty Dress
This kind of cover, I have to admit, has been way overdone, especially in the romance genre. It can be a turn off to some people, such as to boys and to those girls who want some hormone-free adventure. My theory is that the prom dress/ball gown connotes a romantic feeling, a sort of "look at me, I'm helpless but romantically lovable in this completely impractical dress". I might give a book with this cover a try, but only to be fair. I mean, I can't judge a book by its cover.
(I'm not picking this out because I hate the book - in fact, I've never read it - but it is an example of the type of cover. I'm not implying anything negative about it.)
The extreme close up of a girl's face
Again, sort of overdone. I honestly don't know why people love choosing this as a book cover - if they're implying something about the kiss-ability of a girl's lips, I am offended - but it isn't uncommon to walk into a bookstore and see a girl's face on even the books that aren't romantical in nature. Like Poison by Chris Wooding - no romance, just a close up of the MC's face. But that turned out to be one of those mind-blowing, crazy-and-surreal-but-addicting books. But in general, the only problem with it is the fact that it's way overdone.
Silhoutte of a person
I don't see this as much. It kind of makes sense, and it's less gender-biased. It gives off a much less romantic feel to it. I'm always reminded of Eon by Alison Goodman, because the action and intricacy of the novel is so different than the simple elegance given off by the silhoutte.
Those Abstract covers
You know what I mean. The Inkheart trilogy covers. The Twilight covers. The Hunger Games. Basically, this defines itself as "anything but an obviously human figure standing as the main focal point." As in, what immediately draws your eye is not a girl in a dress, or her face, or a silhoutte. It's the flowers, the skulls, etc. I happen to like these best, but that's a matter of opinion. To me, it shows through its simplicity that it's not all focused around human beings. It involves natural or mythical elements as well, sometimes as the central point. Or sometimes, that it's not all about the people, and more about political ideas/strategies, or those things in life that make humans seem weak (government oppression, disease, some natural disaster).
The Mythical Creature
Well, yes, you see that on the Eon cover up there. But I always focus on the dark silhoutte beneath the dragon. What I mean by this one is the mermaid of the Lost Voices book, or Saphira's close-up on Eragon. I really love these books, simply because of my obsession with magical creatures and myths. To me, it reminds me of a larger, deeper story than just "boy-meets-girl" or "boy/girl-strikes-back-against-the-government". It involves a higher voice, so to speak.
So, that is my basic overview of types of books. There are the overused ones and the unusual, and all of the connotations I think of.
Do you have a different opinion? Thought of an alternate connotation? Comment!