Dear Authors, STOP Putting Characters on the Cover

Most readers say they like the book better than the movie, why? Because we want to imagine them for ourselves. I can’t even read Harry Potter because I’ve the the characters in the movie stuck in my head. Seeing a book with the main character on the cover is starting to make me feel queasy. I don’t like how the covers make me feel.

What if we want this:

me-before-you

To look like this:

Now this might not be exactly what you pictured if you read Me Before You, but I think it gets my point across, just like in your writing, you don’t want to be too controlling, you need to give your reader room to picture it for them themselves.

Now it’s OKAY if you have the character on the cover, just as long as it’s pretty blurred and isn’t detailed. I think a cover like this is okay:

book-cover-example

This cover has a cartoon-like look and making the picture of the character pretty broad so it isn’t too controlling, but again I would still think this is an OKAY cover. To me, less is more, you don’t need the main character on the book to get the idea across. I think this next book cover is even better than this one:

brave-new-world

I didn’t like this book much, but the cover matches the books message perfectly. The person on this cover makes you think of a messed up human robot. Which is exactly what this book discusses. It talks about what life might be like if we didn’t have feelings for anyone and met our own desires as soon as we wanted to.

No matter how many times we are told not to, we will judge a book by it’s cover. I can’t tell you how many books I haven’t read just because I didn’t like the cover. To me, if you can’t convey your message through the cover, then I’m not completely sure you can convey it through your writing. Covers and writing are art, they both go hand in hand.

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One thought on “Dear Authors, STOP Putting Characters on the Cover

  1. Zoë says:

    I totally am with you. I don’t mind illustrative covers so much, (like in the case of Harry Potter), but I absolutely cannot stand covers with models/actors on the front! I’ll go out of my way to find an edition that doesn’t have that.

    Liked by 1 person

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