Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Cover Trends I Like/Dislike

Hey y’all!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blogging meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to post this week what with my publishing course being so busy, but I had some free time this weekend to pre-write and schedule my posts! No promises for next week though, because it’s the Book Workshop part of the course, and I’ve heard it’s the most intense-no-sleeping-no-eating-busiest part, so it’s not looking promising!

This week’s theme is Top Ten Cover Trends/Design Aspects I Like/Dislike, so I decided to do 3 and 7. I’m using the word trend pretty loosely, so it’s really mostly just cover elements, and I am in no way technical in the way I describe most of these! As always, cover images are from Goodreads.


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Headless woman syndrome – How many books have you seen where there’s just a pair of legs or there’s a woman without a head? A million right? I have a love/hate relationship with covers like this, but at the moment it’s leaning more towards hate. My mom is a big Elin Hilderbrand fan, so we have a lot of these books in our house, and the women has built a (very successful) career around books with headless woman syndrome covers. I understand the reasoning behind it (most books with headless women are chick lit that the reader is supposed to imagine themselves as the MC subconsciously), but I’m just not a fan.

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Related to headless woman syndrome is the super girly, essentially YA chick lit-esque cover with a headless teen on it. It’s not that I don’t like these books – I’ve talked on this blog before about how much I love Ally Carter books, but I’m not a huge fan of the covers. As a (semi?) adult who reads YA, I would feel maybe a little embarrassed walking up to a bookstore counter with one of those in my hand, where I wouldn’t be embarrassed at all with a John Green in my hand.

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Covers from the TV/Movie-Tie In edition – I don’t mind when books are made into movies – on the contrary, some of my favorite movies are based on books, and I like a lot of others. I just hate when I go to buy a book that has been made into a movie or a TV show and the only cover available has pictures of movie actors on it.


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As much as I don’t really care for the headless woman/teen, I seem to have a thing for the close up half face. Can’t really explain it, but I just think it looks cool.

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Simple/Typography based covers – Love it! I haven’t actually read the JoJo Moyes book yet, but I saw someone reading it in Central Park and fell in love with the cover. Upon further inspection, there are other Moyes books with similar awesome covers!

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Single iconographic image with pretty simple background – This seems to be the way a lot of dystopians get covers (probably because of the success of The Hunger Games) and I like it a lot. It just looks cool, and doesn’t pigeon-hole these books that often have female leads as “girl books.” We had a discussion about how covers can affect readership and how girls will read “boy” books, but most boys won’t read a book they perceive as  “girl” book in one of my CPC lectures, so I like how these types of covers won’t scare away young boys from an awesome story.

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Sarah Dessen covers – not quite a trend or a design element, but I have loved the way all her books are designed, and so far she’s one of the only ones I think can get away with the headless woman thing and still look good.


Silhouettes – As I’ve said before, I bought The Monsters of Templeton and The Night Circus partially based on their cool covers.

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Beautiful, painting-esque covers, often on historical fiction novels – Something about the old-fashioned quality of the cover design just adds to the history of the book!

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Folger Shakespeare edition covers – Again not a trend, but so beautiful none the less, especially when grouped together!

Have a great week!



4 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Cover Trends I Like/Dislike

  1. You basically hit the nail on the point about book covers playing a pivotal role in shaping readership for both girls and boys. I don’t even think it’s about a cover being too feminine or masculine for either gender but rather to simply ask “did this cover do enough to draw readers to the synopsis?” With symbols and emblems (or basically anything with no models), that door becomes wide open and books aren’t pidgeon-holing themselves into a specific niche market. I hope that made sense!

    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

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