Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cover Girls

Two of my agency pals, Miranda Kenneally and Jennifer Wolf, sold their debut YA novels last week! Check out their blogs for more info and to wish them well.

I was wondering what their covers will look like, and it got me thinking about the eye-catching images on Amy Reed's books. Beautiful features an attractive blonde girl who seems to be trying on an adult persona. It's a compelling shot to go with a compelling and thought-provoking story, but it also provides a specific model/actress for the lead, which may affect the way a reader sees the role. Clean, Reed's upcoming novel, is similarly striking.

In contrast, Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series and Courtney Summers' books feature young women whose faces aren't quite seen, allowing the reader to fill in the characters' looks for themselves.

Do you prefer covers that include specific images, or ones that only allude to an image? Does it change the way you "see" the characters in your head if the book cover provides a precise image?


  1. Aww thanks for the shout out! :)

    I prefer covers where I can't see faces.

    But I must say I hate covers that inaccurately depict how the main character looks (if the MC is not particularly likable or of a different race or something). You know, to sell more books or whatever?

    I saw the CLEAN cover today, and it's beautiful, but for some reason it made me feel exposed...?

    Cool post!

  2. Thanks for commenting! :)

    I agree, the CLEAN cover made me feel vulnerable -- so in that sense, I really dig it, but in general I think I prefer less precise faces.

    When a book is adapted into a film, and the publishing house re-releases the book with the film's actors on the cover, sometimes it bugs me.

  3. Sometimes I prefer the face not to be in full view so I can use my imagination, but those Amy Reed covers are great.

    Of course, I write romance, so really, I'd just prefer a shirtless guy on the cover. :)

    And congrats to Miranda and Jennifer!

  4. Hey, Roni! :)

    Yes, the Amy Reed covers reach out and grab you -- which is really the best thing a cover can do.

    I bet EXPOSURE THERAPY's cover will be crazy hot. Congrats on YOUR recent book deal, too!!

  5. Thanks for mentioning my book deal! Interesting thought about covers. When I do book trailers I'm careful not to show faces, even though my trailers are live action. Part of the magic of books is being able to paint pictures in our minds of what the characters look like. That's why there's such an outcry sometimes when a book is made into a movie and the characters don't quite fit. TWILIGHT comes to mind.

  6. Hey, Jennifer! :) Thanks for the comment. Putting together a book trailer sounds like a blast. And speaking of film adaptations, I know some people who weren't thrilled with the casting for THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE, though I thought the posters were gorgeous.

  7. I'm much more a fan of allusive. As a teacher, I do, however, spend almost every day getting asked by kids why Character X on the cover looks nothing like the descriptions in the I might be especially biased.

    Your question also reminds me of covers that have been "white-washed" like LIAR. A topic for another day, I suppose --

  8. My favorite covers have just one striking image, like the flickering light bulb on the cover of CITY OF EMBER or the hands offering the apple on TWILIGHT, (neither are favorite books, but I loved the covers). I don't mind faces as long as they aren't way different than the character descriptions.