My Favourite Book Covers

18/12/2018 Lists, Reading 20

My Favourite Book Covers

As much as we tell ourselves it’s the plot or the blurb that sells a book to us, I think a lot of us wouldn’t even bother to pick up a book in a bookshop if we weren’t first attracted to the cover. The front cover is the first chance a book has to impress is, and us bookworms want a shelf full of pretty books after all!

But what makes a good book cover? Well I have written an entire post on the subject, but to cut it short, the things I think makes a good book cover include:

  • Genre conventions.

A good book cover should instantly give you a good idea of what genre the book in question is in. It should be clear from the off what you’re getting when you read that book!

  • Relevance to the book.

You don’t want to be misled as a reader, which is why the cover should have relevance to the actual story.

  • Bold and eye-catching.

It may seem a bit contradictory to say a book cover should contain genre conventions but also be eye-catching, but I think a lot of the best book covers incorporate both. A good mixture of genre conventions and uniqueness makes for the perfect book cover!

  • Series consistency.

Books in the same series should have a consistent look to them, and it should be obvious that they are part of the same series. There’s literally nothing worse than publishers deciding to change the style of covers halfway through a series… I mean, how is that going to look on my bookcase?

However, at the same time, book cover preferences can by subjective, and what one person loves, another may hate. For example, I personally hate book covers with photographic images of people on them, but someone must like them, because publishers keep using them! 

With that in mind, here’s a few of my favourite book covers, and the ones I feel are most effective!

The Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E.Schwab

I love, love, love the black, white and red covers of V.E. Schwab’s Darker Shade of Magic books! In fact, most of V.E. Schwab’s book covers have a similar look and colour scheme, and I think it’s so effective and eye-catching. 

I also love that although the colour scheme remains the same, the main colour is changed with each book. It keeps the look consistent, but you’re easily able to tell them apart.

The A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

I love the vibrance of the ACOTAR covers, and the way the illustration of Feyre is cut off to give it a mysterious feel. I even love the typography, and the little touch of having the ‘a’, ‘of’ and ‘and’ in the ‘O’s’! There’s no way these covers wouldn’t catch your eye at the bookshop!

The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

Whilst these covers are much more muted than the other covers I’ve mentioned so far, I think they’re just as amazing! I love the parchment effect, and the blood splatters and medieval-style title font all work so well with the dark fantasy story hidden within it’s pages.

Six Tudor Queens by Alison Weir

Historical fiction covers can be kind of samey, so I love the bold covers Alison Weir went for on her Six Tudor Queens series. Whilst it still evokes a historical feel, it’s very eye-catching and I love the little details like the portrait of each queen, and the background patterns. 

The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

I love, love, love these covers! They’re so incredibly unique, and I especially love the gothic style of the writing, and how well it combines with the blocky imagery.

The Constellations series by Claudia Gray

I love anything with a galaxy effect on it, and these covers are like, galaxy-themed masterpieces! I love the purple, blue and orange colour schemes, and the chunky, grainy font works so well!

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

This is a beautiful cover for a beautiful book! I think the block black background really draws your eye, and the simple colour scheme works really well. It’s a shame this is the only book in the series you can get in this style…the others are all just available with the really old-fashioned, ugly covers!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I love the pastel green of this cover, and the cute little illustration really helps capture the feeling of the book and the characters!

The Wrath and the Dawn series by Renee Ahdieh

Is is me, or are these covers absolutely gorgeous? I love the rich colours and the golden accents, which really set it off. I haven’t seen may other book covers like these!

The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson

Like V.E. Schwab’s books, Brandon Sanderson’s books have a really strong look, based around a limited colour scheme. His Mistborn books had a nice, blue, white and grey colour scheme (and I really like the green, white and black of Arcanum Unbounded), but I particularly like the red, black and white colours of the Stormlight Archive books. Especially combined with the charcoal-drawing style images!

So what are some of your favourite book covers, and what do you like about them? What do you think makes a good book cover? 

20 Responses to “My Favourite Book Covers”

  1. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    Oh I love and need my series to look consistent, that’s why mid-series cover change frustrate me a whole lot haha. I love your picks here! I really like the ADSOM series cover and I am so in love with the wrath and the dawn covers, they look absolutely incredible <3

    • Laura

      Mid series cover changes are the worst! And the Wrath and the Dawn covers really are amazing! They’re definitely some of the most unique covers I’ve seen 🙂

  2. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    Oh, I hate it when the style of a series is changed partway through! It’s tough when there is a very long-running series, or one with volumes published many years apart – styles change and publishers want a fresh look. But I hanker for consistency. Great examples in your post!

    • Laura

      Yeah, I can kind of understand why cover styles sometimes change over the years, but it really is annoying isn’t it? I prefer consistency too! 🙂

  3. Angela

    I love those Alison Weir covers – the ones we have here in the States are pretty different! More typical historical fiction covers.

    • Laura

      I didn’t know the American versions had different covers. I’ll have to look them up and see what they’re like! 🙂

  4. Elley @ Elley the Book Otter

    Book covers totally matter!! I haven’t read Alice by Christina Henry yet because the cover looks like something I don’t want to read. But then the UK cover by Titan Books I like much better, and if I could find it to buy with that cover, I would go buy it. The same goes for her book Lost Boy – I hate the US cover, but I adore the UK cover and if I could buy the UK version, I would get it and read it, but since the version readily available to me is the (ugly and off-putting) US cover I just haven’t made it a priority to read it. Which is silly, really, because THE BOOK ITSELF IS THE SAME BOOK, but there it is.

    • Laura

      I know what you mean with this, I’m exactly the same! Even though the book is the same, I’m more likely to want to pick up and read the edition with the pretty cover! 🙂
      And I love the Titan editions of Christina Henry’s books! They really are pretty! I haven’t read any of them yet, but I’ve had both Alice and Lost Boy for ages.

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    I just love a good cover. The Shades of Magic series has some amazing ones, and I just love all of Schwab’s covers really. Fangirl has a really fun cover – very fitting for the book!

    -Lauren

  6. Cam @ Camillea Reads

    The First Law trilogy is just…wow. I love them! I also love the cover for Shades of Magic. I saw the French covers for the series…and what better way to learn French?! xD My favourite covers, so far, are the The Great Library series by Rachel Caine, and The Winternight series by Katherine Arden.

    • Laura

      I just looked up the covers for The Great Library series and they really are great! And I loved the Winternight covers too! I’ve actually had a copy of the Bear and the Nightingale for ages and still haven’t read it, so I really need to get to it soon! I’ve heard great things about the series 🙂

  7. makaylasophia

    My hopes for a good book over are mostly the same!

    I’ve been particularly in love with AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS by Margaret Rogerson, and I’m really excited about the cover for her upcoming book SORCERY OF THORNS! Both are standalones but have similar covers!

  8. Gayathri

    I love the cover of the Fangirl and VE Schwab’s books. As someone who never looked at the covers twice earlier, joining the bookstagram bandwagon changed it completely.

    • Laura

      Starting bookstagram really can change how you think about book covers. Some covers are really hard to photograph or to find props and things to go with!

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