Friday, March 2, 2012

Book Cover Sterotypes

   Don't judge a book by it's cover. It's an age old adage that is mainly meant for real world applications, like giving the dread-locked, tattooed neighbor a chance to be friendly. Because it sure doesn't apply to books.When we see a book the cover is the first thing we see. It's what catches our eye and draws us into picking it up, or clicking on it. We judge from the minute we see it whether or not this book would be a good read.Never mind the countless hours poured into the words on the digital page.
   I have noticed a trend lately in a few genres that have left me a little confused at the lack of originality. Book covers used to represent the heart of the book. A pictorial example of the story inside. Now they seem to only represent which genre a book falls into. If you haven't noticed what I'm talking about just have a stroll through the digital shelves. Covers have become boring and predictable.
   YA, and paranormal romance are the front runners for this irritating phenomenon.Since when did they all involve a girl in a long flowing gown against a monotone background? Or two sweaty adult embracing over a scenic landscape? Here in lies the often painstaking decision for a self published author, Go with the flow? Or be original.
   As an author we all want our books to do well. We also want our brain child to be unique and original, an extension of ourselves. So why can't our cover be that way? As a self-published author I have tried going the road less traveled with some of my covers. I learned very quickly that if I want sales, the chance for the world to see my work, I had to conform.
   It seems that although as authors we are sick of seeing the same thing done over and over again, our readers however are not. Even I while deciding on an updated cover for a book took the stereotypical stance on a draft that was presented to me. I took one look at it and said, YA, not the cover for my book.
   Maybe the cover trend will die out, I hope so, but I doubt it. It has come to be expected that certain genre's have certain looks. To be successful in getting your name out there self published authors will continue to conform to the stereotypes. Maybe the day will come when we have enough of a following that the cover of our book won't be the seller. Just the mere fact that our name resides some where on there will be enough to make your readers buy. I'll be waiting for that day to come with baited breath. Wait maybe I should breathe, it's probably going to be a while!


CZ said...

I absolutely detest the covers with the flowing dresses.

Dawn Smith said...

LOL yeah me too.