Things I hate in book covers

~ Photographs of people’s faces or entire bodies. I don’t mind partial faces (an eye, from the nose down, a mouth, etc.), but I hate it when a complete face is shown. I want to picture the characters for myself, thank you very much.

~ Photographs of obviously modern people on the covers of historical fiction. I don’t care how well you costume someone; a model from the 21st century very rarely looks as if she could be an Edwardian milkmaid.

~ Pictures of women’s feet dangling in water. It’s been way overdone.

~ Nothing but stark text. I want something more than just words on a cover. If the text is somehow creative or demonstrates something about the book, that’s different.

~ Couples about to kiss.

~ When a style of cover changes partway through the series. If I own a series, I want the covers to match. Sometimes the change is for the better, but it still makes me mad.

What about you? What are your book cover pet peeves?

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25 Responses to Things I hate in book covers

  1. Melissa
    Twitter: avidreader12
    says:

    Oh my gosh, changing the covers mid-way through a series drives me nuts!

  2. Julie@my5monkeys
    Twitter: aprilmom00
    says:

    nods head about changing a series midway too :(

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Julie – I have a feeling this is a common pet peeve.

  3. Helen
    Twitter: hcstringer
    says:

    Uh oh. Does that mean the Paradigm cover is a no-no? It’s here: http://helenstringer.net/paradigm/excerpt.html. The back cover has a picture of the actual Paradigm Device, which I made with my own fair paws.

  4. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    See, headless women drive me crazy. For awhile, every third cover was a headless woman. I don’t mind just seeing the back of her head, with a nice up-do or something. I guess my biggest pet peeve is if the picture is absolutely representative of NOTHING in the book. Book has “fat girl” in the title and they show someone with skinny little bird legs? A skin color issue, or even if the protagonist is a blond but the woman on the cover is a brunette. One book I read had a beagle in the story, but the cover showed a Great Dane. Argh.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – I agree – sometimes I look at the cover and wonder if the cover artist or team even bothered to read the book!

  5. Helen
    Twitter: hcstringer
    says:

    Don’t even get me started on all those romance covers that consist of nothing but a male torso. Mind you, authors don’t usually have much input on their covers. I didn’t like the hardback covers of Spellbinder or Midnight Gate. They didn’t really reflect the tone of the stories. The UK cover had Belladonna with her hair dragged back in a ponytail (which she’d NEVER do because she hides behind her hair) and wearing hightops, which was also wrong. I complained, but they paid no attention. When I said that I thought Steve should be on the cover as well, I was told that it didn’t matter “because boys won’t read it anyway.” It wasn’t until the UK paperback that they finally got the cover right. (US publisher used the UK paperback cover too). BTW, this ingrained attitude about boys not reading is why I’m self-publishing Paradigm!

  6. SuziQoregon says:

    Yes to all of these!!! I hate movie tie-in covers too. I don’t like the actor’s faces and voices to interfere with my ability to create a face and voice for the characters in my head based on what the author tells me.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      SuziQ – Oh, how could I forget movie tie-in covers? They’re the worst!

  7. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks
    says:

    I am so upset by mid series cover changes! And I understand you point about faces but find that no matter what the cover looks like my imagination does it’s own work anyway.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Melissa – Mine usually does, too, but it bugs me that the way I picture the characters is so different than the cover artist. :)

  8. bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    I’m with Sandy on the headless women. Another thing I think is overdone is the photo of people from behind. I don’t like it when they change the covers of a series either.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – Oh, yeah – the photo of people from behind – usually walking on the beach of something. Ugh.

  9. irene says:

    headless women, changes in mid series and certainly torsos are a good start, but I really hate when they have movie actors form the movie adaptation on the cover, like you I’d like to do my own casting. I think Hollywood should take my advice, of coarse then Aidan Quinn and Jake would have way more work than they could accomplish. I really try to read a book before the movie comes out for that reason alone. And yes, author rarely have a say in what is on the cover, I know of one author who said the cove had absolutely nothing to do with the book and she was furious but…

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Irene – I think if I was every published that having no say over the cover art would be the hardest part of it. Not that I ever will be, just saying…. :)

  10. Susan says:

    Movie tie-in covers that change the original classic cover? Or just covers that are text are too boring!

  11. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads
    says:

    The thing I hate the most is when the style of the cover changes mid-series. I too want them all to match!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Candace – It always makes me wish I had an unlimited book budget, cause I’d purchase the books again with the covers that match.

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  13. Lola says:

    When there’s people on the cover. They’re always the characters in the book and I hate the fact that you want to imagine the character in your own way but once you see the cover you can’t get the image of that model, supposed to be a certain character, out of your head.

    -When the cover has nothing, NOTHING to do with the book.
    -When the book has a thousand covers and versions.
    When the people they pick are nothing like the characters in the book.
    -People from behing

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Lola – I really hate it when the cover has nothing to do with the book, too.