Friday, March 11, 2016

When Cover Pictures Don't Work

I've been noticing a trend in cover art.  It's been around for a long time, but I suspect it's overused now, that people aren't liking it as much.  It's the 'floating heads above a scene' idea.

Here's an example of one of mine, that my daughter did a LONG time ago:




See the floating head/face in the upper right?   Don't get me wrong--I love the cover (even though it's a bit dark).  But the floating head with a blend between the other parts and the face has been done--a lot.  I find it mostly on romance novels, but it's used in other genres as well.

So if that's not effective, what's next?  What big cover idea is hot now?

I went to Amazon's top 100 for literature and fiction and noticed that very few had floating heads on the cover.  I did see this one (The Thought Readers (Mind Dimensions Book 1) but other than that, almost ALL of the books had a simple picture or just color.  They're also not as dark as the older covers used to be, at least what I thought they were.

Even if you go to the romance page of top books you don't see many floating heads anymore.  It's all simple.

When covers don't work or are out of date, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and redo the cover.  When I worked on 'Death's Sidekick,' my sister told me the cover wouldn't work.  I said 'we'll see,' and put it out anyway.  She was right.  I recently redid it, and it looks a lot better.

Here are the before and after shots for that book:

Before (too cluttered and childlike):


After:



Which one would you buy?  I also learned to put a border around any white or light-colored cover.  That way, you can tell the boundaries for the cover for placement on blogs, etc.


I guess the point is to keep an eye on the trends.  No use sticking with old trends if they're not selling.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

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