One of the joys and torments of being an indie author is the fact that I get to choose my own book cover design. A joy because the cover design is another creative outlet that can extend to telling the story. Torment because doing it right is so so hard. Since this a topic I spend lots of time thinking about, I love browsing the blog The Casual Optimist, where captivating book cover designs get curated. A highly recommended read. A book cover needs to strike a fine balance between art and commerce. The point of the cover is to convince the reader to buy the book. However within that there is room for wild creativity to take place. It needs to grab attention within a split second, yet complement the story without revealing too much. I thought I would put together a list of my favorite book covers of all time. These do not reflect what I think of the book. Judging purely on the exterior. Until you actually read a book, you only have the cover to judge it by. I tried to mention the designer wherever I could. If you happen to know the designer to one of these where none is mentioned please let me know. I would love to give credit where it is due.
You Comma Idiot by Doug Harris features a stained crumbled piece of paper. The burned out cigarette hole is added embellishment. The cover design is perfectly suited to the humor of the story. More importantly it is the perfect match for the lazy washed-up personality of the protagonist.
The idea of placing a simple object in the middle over some textured image has been done many times before. However none appeals to me more than in this one. It immediately captures attention. I reviewed The Vegetarian in my Foodie Fiction Extravaganza. I didn’t appreciate the book very much. However my appreciation for the cover designed increased one I read it. The designer captured key elements from the story and combined them in an interesting way.
I could feel by heart fluttering the first time I saw this image.
Put aside the controversy and whatever issues you have with the author. This unique design by Rodrigo Corral is effective at creating an emotive image that makes you want to stop in your tracks and stare.
Eye catching design by Helen Yentus. Timeless.
I reviewed Carnival by Rawi Hage here. A kaleidoscope of objects reflects the feel of the story. A cover you will want to stare at long after you have finished reading the book. Design by Brian Morgan.
Strange. Beautiful yet disturbing. Almost the perfect book cover design. The remarkable cover is adapted from an illustration by the artist and surrealist writer Lou Beach
So what do you think? Do you agree with my list. What are some of your favorite book cover designs?