I was browsing the shelves at Barnes and Noble recently and it got me thinking about what makes me pick up a book. There are some things that are instant "pick up this book right now" traits for me. These would be things mentioned on the book jacket or on the cover that make me want the book. I started talking to Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan about it and we have very different opinions on what attracts us to a book, so we decided to make this a co-post and discussion! So join in with your thoughts-we'd love to hear them!
GreenBeanTeenQueen: I'm a sucker for pretty dresses. If a cover has a beautiful dress on it, I pick it up right away. Chances are I won't even really care what the book jacket says, I'm going to just stare at the dress and pet the book and come up with ways to make the dress mine. Pretty dresses mean I'm going to pick that book up for sure!
GreenBeanSexyMan-No, no, no. No pretty dresses! I don't care who wrote it-it could even be Harry Potter and the Pretty Dresses by J.K. Rowling and I still wouldn't read it even though I'm eager for more Harry Potter. Give me a simple, elegant cover like the covers of George R R Martin's latest book. Simple, elegant, but also very visually interesting with the few elements that are on the cover. Save the artwork for the inside.
GreenBeanTeenQueen: See, I think that's boring and too simple. If I can't have pretty dresses, I like covers that have an interesting element to them. I'm really drawn to the covers of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Imaginary Girls because of the cool underwater effects.
GreenBeanSexyMan: Yeah, but those have dresses on them too.
GreenBeanTeenQueen: Umm...OK, yeah, I guess they do. I like pretty dresses!
GreenBeanSexyMan: I mainly read fantasy and sometimes I really hate fantasy covers. I hate animated fantasy covers. Those are the type of covers that make me embarrassed to read the book in public. If it has an animanted dragon on the cover, I have to force myself to read it. I also really don't want something that screams "I live in my mother's basement!" or Dungeons and Dragons. Fantasy is looked down upon enough, I hate the covers that make it look stupid.
GreenBeanTeenQueen: Animated covers aren't my favorite. But some are animated and they don't look so bad. I think the cover of Way of Kings looks good for an animated cover.
GreenBeanSexyMan: That cover's not bad. Like I said, simple is better.
GreenBeanTeenQueen: And I like more details in my cover. One of my favorite animated covers is for Kat, Incorrigible. It's animated, but it adds details to the artwork without looking cheesy, which I think can happen very easily with animated covers.
I'm not drawn to simple covers, I like covers that can give me details. I like when the details on the cover can help set the tone for the book. Another one that comes to mind that does this very well is the cover for A Spy in the House. It has a nice, mysterious tone to the cover which sets up the book nicely.
GreenBeanSexyMan: And both of those have dresses...again.
GreenBeanTeenQueen: Well, what can I say? I love my dresses!
What do you think? What draws you to a cover? What makes you hate a cover? And do you want to hear more-our talk kept going and we had fun!