Creating great book covers, an insider's view

June 19, 2013

14gass-cover-articleInlineI enjoyed this short article because it provides insight into book cover creation from the book designer’s perspective. Before and after choices with text are presented in a slideshow. NYTimes writer John Williams says this is the first in a four part series.

While an effective cover may greatly enhance a book and whet our appetite to read more, a nondescript one may cause us to disregard the material. Quite a daunting task to convey the essence of a book and capture our imagination in a few seconds!

Link to another article on favorite book covers of 2012. See this link to the Book Cover Archive for a collection of thought-provoking choices.

Shira S.

Book Covers that "Have Legs"

June 21, 2012

A while back I noticed (you may have, as well) that many book covers  were featuring feet, legs, and even shoes! I recall specifically The Paris Wife as one of these. Sure enough, there are observers out there who have compiled collections of book art to document this trend. See this link for a brief treatment of the foot/leg theme, but you must check out the rest of the entry which touches on the “Tiny Men Walking into the Distance” theme- quite funny!

Then I found this link which offers quite a comprehensive list of foot/leg covers. I don’t know how this writer found all these covers, but she claims they are worth reading, regardless of the cover art!

Shira S.

Beautiful Books are Back

December 5, 2011

Now that e-books are becoming more convenient and more popular, many publishers are concerned that paper books will be ignored this coming holiday season.  To increase their value, old-fashioned print books are getting a makeover with new and beautiful covers. ” If e-books are about ease and expedience, the publishers reason, then print books need to be about physical beauty and the pleasures of owning, not just reading. ” Read the rest of this NYT article here.


Book Covers: Amazing, Arresting, and Artistic

November 1, 2011

It’s time for another look at standout, beautifully designed book covers. I’ve gathered examples that are attention-getting and cleverly convey a message about the content of the book.

What I have seen in my recent forays into cover art is that some              designers opt for simplicity. I find that a portion of the simpler covers are very effective and the rest leave me feeling about as blank as the cover, wondering what the message is or why there’s an such an abundance of empty space. (To the right is the cover for One Red Paper Clip. )

Others, however, offer intricate and involved art, graphics or collages of different elements arranged with skill.

Here are my favorite fairly recent covers and links that will take you to current articles about book covers. (There are links to much older outstanding designs, as well.) The comments from artists on the Huffington Post provide insight into the process of creating book covers.

Links to a few places comparing cover art.

Coolest Book Covers 2011

Coolest Book Covers 2010

Book Cover Archive

Smashing Magazine

Shira S.

Noticing Trends in Book Covers

January 27, 2011

Recently I noticed that several adult novels seemed to have very similar covers and I wondered about this and what the publishers are trying to convey. In my case, the theme was the backs of women’s heads (see below). To me, this represents mysteriousness- any other thoughts out there?

Sure enough, there are people out there who research and comment on such things. See an interesting short article with a great collection of YA covers.

The following website has some interesting discussion and analysis of graphics, composition, and effectiveness of various covers, as well as 2011 trends. It also has samples of rejected and accepted versions of covers.

This site features very striking covers- see what you think!


Shira S.

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