Top Ten Tuesday – Cover Trends I Love and Loathe

Top Ten Tuesday Cover Trends I Love and Loathe

Top Ten Fourteen Cover Trends I Love and Loathe

I thought this was going to be a tricky topic for me, and it was, I’ve edited this so many times!! OK, so I know there are a ton of things I like and dislike on covers but I haven’t consciously sat down and thought about it much before, I decided to actually think about it today so I could organise my thoughts and create a post that makes sense… I’m not sure I’ve achieved that! I wanted to do a rant-style post on this a while ago and saved it all up for today… and I’ve basically discovered that in most cases there can be exceptions to my own cover rules. Brace yourself.

Cover Trends I Love:

1. All About The Text – I’m a sucker for a book with a delicious font, or a large font that is the main focus of the cover. I love reading, so it should come as no surprise that I love words, and quotes, and that these things are even better when they are made to look awesome. Bonus points if the text is embossed or indented.

Cover Trends Words

2. Drowning/Underwater – It’s not as sinister as it sounds! I discovered in a previous Top Ten Tuesday (Covers I Would Frame as Works of Art) that I’m fond of having actual people on my covers; photography as opposed to illustrations. More than that, I’m particularly fond of people who look as though they are drowning or are underwater. Strangely, I have yet to find a mermaid cover I like (I haven’t actually read a mermaid book at all yet either).

Cover Trend Underwater

3. (Moody) Girls in Dresses – What is that I hear you cry?? Shock, horror! Yes. I seem to like the trend that everyone else hates. But only when it’s done well. Or at least, “well” in my opinion. There are plenty of “girls in dresses” covers that I don’t really dig at all (I’m looking at you The Selection).

Cover Trends Dresses

4. Wings and Feathers – I’m not entirely sure why I like wings and feathers on covers, but I do. As soon as I see a hint of a wing or the tip of a feather I’m drawn in to find out more. The images below also feature some other elements of covers I enjoy, like silhouettes and people who look like they’re falling (or just throwing some bad-ass shapes).

Cover Trends Wings

5. Random Body Parts – I know, I’m beginning to sound like I’m making Frankenstein. I only like this when it’s done in a particularly arty/moody way, I think it can be mysterious and emotive. I don’t usually pay attention to covers with full faces; they always seem cheesy or never actually match the character description, which is just annoying.

Book Trends Body Parts

6. Girls with Red Hair – Arghhh! I wish I knew why I like this trend but I can’t really pinpoint it! Maybe because red hair is associated with a fiery female character?? And I like those?? If a book has a red-haired girl on the cover I’m usually sold (unless it’s a red-haired girl on an overly illustrated or a boring high fantasy cover).

Cover Trend Girls with Red Hair

7. Steampunk-esque and Glitzy – I don’t know what else to call this random collection of covers that I really like and I can’t quite pin down what it is about them that makes them feel similar, some have a steampunk vibe, some have swooshes and symbols. If you can think of what the similarities are please let me know!

Cover Trends Steampunk Fantasy

8. Silhouettes – I can usually take ’em or leave ’em, but some of them are very well done – particularly The Sea of Tranquility below, I love it when covers are smart – when elements of the image make up something else and you have to look twice to see it.

Cover Trends Silhouettes

 Cover Trends I Can Take or Leave:

9. The Almost Kiss – I wouldn’t go as far as to say I loathe these, but they definitely don’t fall into my love category. I’m not a big fan of the almost kissing covers – they wouldn’t necessarily put me off a book, but I’d probably try to get my hands on a different variation of the cover, or read it as an eBook…

Cover Trends The Almost Kiss

10. Standard “Chick-Lit” Illustrations – I spent so many of my teenage years reading all the “chick-lit” I could get my hands on until I reached the point where I literally couldn’t take any more and the plot-lines all blurred into one. I pick up a good piece of chick-lit from time-to-time but haven’t immersed myself in it for quite a while.

Cover Trends Chick-Lit

11. Stars and Galaxies – I’m not sure how I feel about these. Some of them can be pretty to look at but I’ve never seen one up-close-and-personal to know if I like it or not. They are kind of mesmerising though…

Cover Trend Stars Galaxies

12. General Contemporary – As it’s Summer, contemporaries are springing up everywhere. There are some contemporary covers I enjoy more than others, and in general they are pretty non-offensive, but they rarely wow me.

Cover Trends Contemporary

Cover Trends I Loathe:

13. Boring Classics – I’m taking part in the Classics Club and download many of the classic titles I want to read for free on-line. Sometimes I want to own one of the classics though, and that’s when things can get a little tricky. It can be very difficult to find a modern cover adaptation for a classic that isn’t dull, dreary and downright dismal.

Cover Trends Classics

14. Nudity – I enjoy some eye-candy as much as the next girl, but nudity on covers, mostly on Romances obviously, just really annoys me. Especially costume nudity for some reason, like pirates, or period drama romances. I just don’t see the point in these covers and think it makes the whole genre look seedy.

Cover Trends Nudity

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a very fussy Book Geek when it comes down to covers. I know what I like and what I don’t, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The absolute, total worst for me though are those covers that look like a 5 year old threw them together in Microsoft Word, what is that about?!

Harry Potter Special EditionI have to give an honorable mention to the Special Edition Harry Potter Collection that makes up Hogwarts Castle when the book spines are lined up in a row. I am dying to get my hands on this if anyone knows of a reasonably priced retailer in the UK? Let me know in the comments!

What do you love and loathe on your book covers? Do you agree with my choices? Or disagree with me completely??

About Rachel

Avid reader & #bookblogger. Lover of all things business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

51 Responses

  1. Brandie

    Fantastic post!! I loved reading all of these – you have some really lovely and interesting covers on the list. I especially love Shatter Me and Torment. I also love books with the fancy text covers. I can’t agree with you more about the classics…their boring and hideous covers never make me want to read them. Same about chick lit – they need to come up with some more eye-pleasing stuff. And as far as nudity on covers, I’m not a fan, either. Some of them are done well enough I don’t mind. I particularly dislike Abbi Glines covers (but love her books). I love those types of books but I’m always glad I read them on eBook so I’m not flashing their horrid covers. 🙂


      1. Brandie

        LOL. I think most of my friends know I love smutty novels and wouldn’t be surprised at what they’d find on my Kindle. It’s a shame that those covers deter people from reading because some of them are wonderful books with a lot more to them than sex (Hard Time by Cara McKenna is an example of a recent one – the cover is a shirtless man and it screams SMUT, but it was a really incredible and emotional read for me).

        I haven’t read all of the books on my post, either. A lot of them are ones I’m anxious to read soon! 🙂


  2. Love it, especially the book covers featuring underwater photography. I’m sorry to say I don’t read a lot of contemporary novels and it does have something to do with the almost-kiss/perky illustrations that give off that oh-look-a-boy-I-must-fall-in-love-with-him vibe. That HP collection is so pretty…
    My TTT


  3. Haha. I also like moody girls in dresses on book covers! And red-haired cover models are always a yes to me.

    And Silhouettes are on my TTT, too. I just love books with silhouettes!

    I usually like the almost kiss, and I don’t mind standard chick lit – although I don’t hate them either, like you.


  4. I have to say the majority of covers you showcase here are… ones i would avoid. They all have too much going on. I’m ALL for simplicity.

    Also, the only ones i would say i do like are the classics, ha! But that’s less for aesthetics, and more because i like reading classics. When i go to a bookshop, i will head straight for the classic lit section, which is full of covers like those, and it’s more for the sense of love i get for the books, being associated with the covers, rather than the covers themselves. Does that make any sense? :\

    I finally jumped on the Top Ten Tuesday bandwagon this week, and it feels pretty good 🙂


      1. Most of them, yeah. I don’t mind the typography ones. The underwater ones don’t bother me one way or the other. And the ones you’ve chosen for silhouettes are quite nice. Otherwise… not at all my style. I would avoid, avoid, avoid on a bookshop shelf.

        There is a mostly black cover featured in my TTT, and it is definitely one of my favourite covers ever. So simple and striking. (Which sums up exactly why i like simplistic covers!)

        I would recommend trying some of the republished classics by Penguin. They do some gorgeous cover sets for classics.

        If i was an author i think my biggest fear would be getting stuck with shitty cover art. Definitely a rantable topic!


  5. Rachel, I am with you on the special fonts/text on the front of a cover; have you ever seen the cover for a book called The Art of Fielding? One of my all-time favorites! Yours are great! Also, love that you added the Harry Potter box series; I hadn’t seen that…makes me want to get a set, even though I already have all of the books – ha! Great post! Thank you for visiting mine today, as well.


  6. starryeyedjen29

    Love silhouettes and the covers with special font treatments. I also loathe the almost kiss and scantily-clad cover models. Great picks for this topic!


  7. Oh I like the wings/feathers trend. But I’m also drawn to that motif in decor and clothing too. It’s interesting that some of these trends might transcend book covers and find their way into clothing or furniture. I think the stars and galaxies are likewise showing up in different arenas.Great list!


  8. I agree with all of your likes and most of your dislikes. Especially the almost kiss and nudity. I still like stars/galaxies and I guess classics can be whatever because we pick them up for their history as a good book, not because a cover catches our eye. I can’t really pinpoint what I like or not. I just do or don’t but contemp and chick lit are usually blah!


  9. Rachael at The End of the Chapter

    Great post! I agree with your last two dislikes. No one wants to see the goods on the front cover. In fact, I would never buy a book like this because it’s almost too embarrassing. Also, I really liked your number 2 pick (drowning in water). I never thought about it as a book trend, but now I notice a lot. It adds a sort of mystery and whimsy to the cover, and it makes me want to find out what is going on in this book. Also, NEIL GAIMAN! That is all 😀


      1. Rachael at The End of the Chapter

        Yeah, if you don’t like fantasy then Neil Gaiman may not be for you. Although, he does his fantasy a little differently than traditional fantasy authors. He likes to take a real life story and inject fantasy and magic into it. The closes book to true fantasy he’s written was Stardust.


      2. Rachael at The End of the Chapter

        Definitely try Stardust if you liked the movie. It was a lot like the book. You might also want to try reading Coraline and The Graveyard Book. Those are young adult/children’s books, but they’re easier to get into and might give you an idea of his writing style. I think where a lot of people go wrong with Neil Gaiman is they try to jump right in by reading American Gods or the Sandman graphic novels, and those are definitely some of his more adult works. He also wrote a graduation speech that has been turned into a book that’s supposed to be really good (although, I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet). It’s called Fortunately, The Milk, or if you’re into something more artsy, there’s his Make Good Art speech. He’s a pretty versatile fantasy author.


  10. This is a great list! I totally agree about the boring classics- I think this is why I shy away from them in general, (and why in high school everyone thinks they’re awful) because the cover looks super dated. I do, however, love me some stars and galaxies 😉 And I am totally with you on the font thing, it makes or breaks a cover!


  11. Cait

    That Harry Potter collection is just too awesome for words there!! I would so totally buy that… *Swoons a little*
    AHEM. So absolutely yes on the half-naked covers. Ugh. They’re just embarrassing, frankly. And I also hate chick-lit covers because they make me feel the book is going to be fluff even before I start it. (Though, well, I guess chick-lit IS usually fluff…right? >_<) I'm actually a bit sucker for galaxy and also the dresses. The dresses are BEAUTIFUL! How can I not love them?!


  12. Fantastic post! I like that most of the trends I dislike are ones that you like. Underwater made my dislike list but there are a few covers that I really like. I think it’s becoming more popular now and that’s what’s putting me off. Love the Ten Tiny Breaths cover though. The naked/half-naked covers bug the crap out of me, not a fan at all.


  13. […] gonna cheat a little and link to my Top Ten Covers I’d Frame As A Piece of Art and my Top Ten Cover Trends I Love and Loathe. These took quite a bit of time to put together and a lot of my favourite covers are included in […]


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