Top Ten Tuesday: Covers We Wish We Could Redesign

November 12, 2013 Top Ten Tuesday 8 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday: Covers We Wish We Could Redesign

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by The Broke and the Bookish for list addicts. This week’s list is…

Top Ten Covers We Wish We Could Redesign

Now these aren’t terrible covers but they all have things that I think could be tweaked so that the books could really stand out from the pack. I love good covers and they have often made the difference between me buying a book or moving on. Books have to fight for space on shelves and it isn’t enough to simply be ‘nice’.

There are a few general things that irk me with book covers and rather than single out individual books, I’d like to address all books that feature these things. I know that art departments don’t necessarily have access to specific details of the books they are designing for and even if they did, they are no doubt under time and budget restraints. Sometimes this is where self-published books have the edge as the author is intimately involved in the cover design process (maybe even doing it themselves) and they know what their character looks like.

Series Covers I would Redesign

Always on My Mind

1. Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis
The publishers got the branding right as whenever you see the large expanse of white space and a couple embracing, you know that it is the Lucky Harbor series but unfortunately it isn’t easy to tell the books apart. Considering that Shalvis has created loose trilogies within the overarching series, I would love if the books were colour coded (even if it was just on the spine) so you could tell which trilogy you were looking at.

The Vampire and the Virgin

2. Love at Stake series by Kerrelyn Sparks
Sparks rocks the cheese factor with her vampire series so I would love for all of the covers to feature a topless dude. The grey colour of the male model above isn’t sexy but actually sort of creepy and this shows up on more than one cover. This guy (Robby) doesn’t exactly look like the red-headed Scotsman he is supposed to be. If I can’t have bare torso then I would love for the cover model to resemble the character just a little more.


3. Black Ops series by Cindy Gerard
Every book in this series features a different bright coloured cover with a guy missing part of his head. Although the font and the style of each cover links the books, Stephanie Tyler had the exact same look for her Hold series. Gerard deserves something less generic. I’d love if the series was re-released that showed something of the exotic locations Gerard favours in the background and the intense colour was toned down a bit or abandoned completely.

One Lucky Vampire

4. Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands
The biggest problem with this series is that it has been going for so long and over the years the style of covers has changed. Apart from the guy on this cover looking like he has multiple stomachs, I like the fact that the last 5 covers or so are stylistically similar. It is interesting that they have gone for such a serious and dark set of covers when the series is quite fluffy. Anyway, I’d love it if the all the books matched.

Romancing Mister Bridgerton

5. Bridgertons series by Julia Quinn
This series only started in 2000 but the covers look dated and fairly bland. I don’t get a sense of vibrancy or joy which Quinn tries to infuse her books with and that is unfortunate. Yes people are already buying the books because they trust Quinn as an author but there would have to be a slice of potential readers that just walks away because the book cover is boring.

General Pet Peeves with Covers

1. Headless or partially headless models

2. Fonts that are practically impossible to read

3. Cover model not resembling the protagonist at all in terms of ethnicity or hair colour

4. Cover models striking impossibly awkward poses

5. Floating animal heads


8 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Covers We Wish We Could Redesign

    • I have seen the wolf head done well a few times too but that has tended to be the exception rather than the rule. When it is executed well it is awesome but…

  1. “Cover model not resembling the protagonist at all in terms of ethnicity or hair colour.”

    This is my biggest pet-peeve. I get that designers that work with big publishers may not read the books, but at least get some basics from the author so that I can semi-imagine that the character on the cover is the person I’m reading about!
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Dead Dreams Blog Tour | Guest PostMy Profile

    • It definitely makes a difference to me when I pick up a book. Take the Sparks cover for example – there is no way that Spanish grey guy remotely resembles a red-headed highlander. The guy is called Robby Mackay which is hardly a Latino name.

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