blo Teens Read and Write: Have You Noticed the Book Cover Trends? What Covers Do You Lust Over? +Giveaway!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Have You Noticed the Book Cover Trends? What Covers Do You Lust Over? +Giveaway!

Notice some recent cover trends? I have. 

Who thought this was a good idea?  Let me point out three books with the same Girl-Running-Scared-in-Pretty-Dress cover. 

THE GODDESS TEST (Australian Cover)

THE VESPERTINE changed the dress color. Wow.

 DARK ANGEL splashed on a wing and added an eerie background. Wow. 

HALF-BLOOD and BROWN EYES have the same cool image...

... just changed the color.  

While I like the images, seeing the same ones on different books somehow diminishes my positive impression. As an admitted cover junkie who often judges a book by its cover, I find it annoying that publishers can't be bothered to find something original.

Another trend, which I've talked about with The Book Vixen, is using a Models Face - and often the Half-Face.

DELIRIUM went from hiding a face behind the title... the Half-Face on the Special Edition...

...and the upcoming sequel.

REVOLUTION went from two half-faces... one full.

RECKLESS had some freaky-deaky face...

...and changed to hottie-hunk.

In general I don't like models faces on covers. That being said, I do prefer the second RECKLESS cover, but that's probably because I think the guy is cute. I admit there are books I haven't read because the model turned me off. Shallow, me? Pffffttt!

I often don't like the looks of the guys they pick, or with either gender, the model doesn't match up with my vision of the character. The Iron Fey did the Half Face well but I have an issue with THE IRON KNIGHT because it doesn't match up with my vision of Ash. 

I love this series but when I read THE IRON KNIGHT I'll shut out that version of Ash and substitute my own much hotter version. (And now that I think about it, I should pick someone for Ash for Missie @ The Unread Reader's Book Boyfriend meme. Then I'd at least have a start at having my own harem since unfortunately Melissa @ Books and Things is a greedy wench and won't give up any of hers!)  

But I've gone off on a hormonal digress...

I always adored the original NIGHTSHADE cover.

I even liked the WOLFSBANE cover a lot.

So the publishers completely lost me when they went to this... 

Ugh, ugh, and double ugh! In comparison to the brilliance of the original NIGHTSHADE cover, they look ordinary at best.

HUSH HUSH is an all-time favorite of mine.

And I currently lust over EVERNEATH

Now I'm curious about you...
What is your opinion of these trends?
Have you noticed other trends?
What do you like to see in a cover?
What are your favorite covers?
A contest?? 
Sure why not! You've stuck with me so far. So here's the deal...

- Comment with an answer(s) to any of my questions - I'm dying to know!
- Fill out the form below

That's it. Nothing else required. The prize?
Your choice of any book up to $15 from Amazon or Book Depository
 (so it's open to wherever BD ships!) 
Oh, and enter by Aug 29th

SIDE NOTE: Since I'm talking so much about covers, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that if you ever want to laugh so hard you snort coffee out your nose - And who doesn't? - check out Jenny @ Supernatural Snark and her Cover Critique. She finds some of the worst covers ever but her hysterical observations are the best! 


sRy_ said...

Thank you !

xlacrimax said...

The 'recycling' trend is not cool, really.
I fell in love with Across the Universe cover and I like the cover of its sequel, I love the cover of Everneath, too!

RRoxana said...

I love the cover of Fallen (Lauren Kate)! Also, I'm in love with Mortal Instruments' cover!

buddyt said...

I must admit that I don't pay to much attention to a book's cover.

From experience, I don't expect it to have much relevance to the story actually inside the covers.

An unusual or beautiful cover can attract my attention as can a really awful one but neither are going to effect my decision to buy or not to buy.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

titania86 said...

In regard to recycling stock photos, I think it's fun to see the different books that use the same cover in unique ways. The faces trend doesn't bother me. Some of them are really beautiful.

I have the same frustration with the Nightshade series. I love the green Wolfsbane cover and I was all WTF when I saw the new cover in the bookstore. I don't even get the Bloodrose cover. Does she go to Alaska and go eskimo or something?

Hush Hush has a good cover. Halo by Alexandra Adornetto has a GORGEOUS cover although the actual book was pretty horrible.

_yay_ said...

My favorite cover?
1) Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
2) Butterface by Gwen Hayes (short story)
You can find them (+ review) on my blog
Love them! They are so awesome.
Also, I noticed it's the same cover model on Annie Nicholas' "Bait" and Laura Kaye's "Forever Freed".

My choice (Book Depository)
Second Kiss by Natalie Palmer
Die for Me by Amy Plum


Vivien said...

I've noticed trends lately. It does get irritating when they follow the same formula for the same genre. I especially hate recycled photos. I completely identify a novel with it's cover.
I've noticed a water trend recently as well.
I love it when a lot of thought is put into the covers and that they work with previous books in the series.
I also love little extras. Like on Across the Universe. The razorbill bird is changed.
One of my favorite covers that I'll never get is disappointing.

Jana said...

You know I like almost every USA or UK cover because they are beautiful :) I´m from Czech Republic and i have to say that we have sometimes so horrible covers that it is a shame...
My favourite cover is Hush Hush- it´s so beautiful♥

I´m angry when I´m in bookstore and I see some ugly cover on book which I read and I love it. It is really bad advertisement for the book... and I think that some people also choose book according to the cover.

Munnaza said...

What is your opinion of these trends?

I think the trends in these covers, especially because they aren't really trends at all but literally the same image with minimal alterations (if any at all), just show laziness. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but honestly, if I see many books with the same covers and they aren't at all related, I'd feel like... if the people supporting the book don't care to make it stand out or promote it in a significant way, then why should I bother reading it? I know it's psychological and not at all fair to the book, but I can't help it.

Also, thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to enter. (Just submitted my form!)

Ivana said...

Yeah, I'm also a sucker for covers, and I'm more likely to pick up a book with a wonderful cover than a killer blurb. I don't like faces or animals on covers. It feels as if the image of the character is imposed on me and it's interfering with my own image...The Half-Blood/ Brown Eyes kind of cover is my favorite. Something abstract, maybe a motive from the story that will make full sense when you finished reading. For some reason, I have an affection for black covers...what does that say about me? :D

Thank you for the contest!

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

What is your opinion of these trends? I'm not a huge fan of recycling covers, I find it rather uninspiring. It doesn't appeal to my want of reading the book.

Have you noticed other trends? Lips on covers seems to be a hit right now.

What do you like to see in a cover? Something a bit unique, standing out against all the cover trends.

Gaby G said...

I don't like the recycling covers trends. Is it so difficult to make a cover, and maybe choose another picture?

I noticed dress are a big trend right now. I love the cover of Everneath!

Also, I don't dislike covers with faces, but sometimes I don't like them because it show a character's face totally different to what I imagined.

Kemendraugh said...

Agree Agree AGREE about the multiple books using the same cover art. I even get sick of books using the same classic painting, though that's a little more forgivable.
And I totally support you and your dislike of models. I think it can be done well, but most of the time comes off as affected and trite.
I WILL disagree on the new Reckless cover though. I loved the old one too much! So creepy! It's one of my favourites :D

Ayanami Faerudo said...

I definitely noticed. That's why the new cover of The Goddess Test was so familiar since I've already seen it in The Vespertine. I also noticed the half-faces... and what's driving me crazy right now are the redheads!

As a side note, I totally agree with you on The Iron Knight. I'll stick to my version of Ash, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

I only really started caring about book covers after I started blogging and had a massive TBR pile, before, I just judged it on the blurb but now I grab a book based on its cover.

I don't really mind books using the same image if it's edited, like The Dark Angel cover and I'm not a fan of half faces.

I also am getting sick of an image of a girl laid on the ground staring into the camera, the UK cover of Before I Die by Jenny Downham, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, the US YA cover of Poison Study by Maria Snyder.

Another cliche is girls hiding behind bushes, it's in so many books and ruins the originality.

My fave cover at the moment is Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, the face image is overused but the colours make it original.

least fave? The UK paperback of Delirium by Lauren oliver; it does not express the book at all...


Evie said...

I love YA book covers. My favorites are: Wither, Delirium and Fallen.
Thanks a lot for the chance.

Virginia C said...

"Cookie Cutter" covers don't make the cut with me! I know that it may be cost effective, and some readers say that they don't care about covers, but I do! I love my books from cover to cover and everything in-between : ) Too many ebooks have horrid covers, and they are used over and over again. However, the "big name" publishers are just as guilty of using generic, though lovely, cover images which don't always match the characters and story line. A bad cover can ruin a good book!

US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

layen said...

My favourite covers at the moment are both by Sarah Addison Allen - The Girl Who Chased the Moon and Garden Spells.

Maidenveil said...

I actually enjoy recycled covers because I sometimes make a habit of thinking where else have I seen this cover/image, and it's just like a personal challenge to find out. :p
and it's kind of cool because of how an image can be turned to another book cover with a different feel. just show creativity to match the writing.


Ricki said...

When the same image is used for different books, it feels a little like plagiarism. Whichever book had the cover first seems like the only real cover and the rest feel like copycats.

Melissa @ Mel's Books and Info said...

I really dislike the recycling. It is sort of tasteless--like they couldn't afford to put an original cover on the book. I have to agree with you about the Nightshade covers too. The first ones were so original and beautiful--now they are just blah. I don't mind the models usually, but that isn't how I pictured Ash either, and seeing him look like that is kind of disappointing. All in all, I think they need to rethink their covers. They need to be original and stop following the trends if it doesn't suit the book.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the recycling trend at all. I don't understand how that's even allowed. I'd be seriously ticked off if I was the author of the book that was copied.

As far as faces on the covers goes, sometime I like them and sometimes I don't. I think it depends on how invested I am in the book and the characters. Obviously, the model makes a big difference too. I especially hate it if they switch cover models part way through a series.

Anonymous said...

I wish publishers would go a more original way of creating covers. I LOVED the covers of Nightshade and Wolfsbane and I DON'T understand why the publishers changed it! Now the books look normal and unordinary...and bad.

Pawing Through Books said...

The faces don't bother me, but I'm not a fan of them reusing the covers on other books. I love the new Delirium though compared to the old!

Unknown said...

I love it when a cover stands out, but the half faces and the girls in pretty dresses with their backs to you does seem to be getting overdone.

Lyssa Anne said...

I loved the original covers for Nightshade and Wolfsbane. They are too pretty. I'm super sad that they were changed, cuz I'm not too fond of them.

I totally love the Everneath cover too! I added it to my TBR cuz you had it on here. Thanks!

Angie said...

What do you like to see in a cover?

I guess when a cover stands out, it makes the book look like 10 times better. I first didn't want to read Reckless by Cornelia Funke because if it's weird and disturbing cover. But I now officially love the book and the second cover.

I totally prefer covers that are simplistic and not too messy. The Gallagher Girls covers are an example. They only have a model on the cover and her pose explains everything. But if a book has a cover that really stands out, I will take a look at the book.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

(I was going to comment without the contest, anyways, since I'm such a cover freak, but thanks! :))


1) RECYCLING, ugh. If you can't spare the effort to find an unique picture, it's hard for me to justify why I should spare the effort to read something that looks - and may actually be - just like every other _____ book. That being said, the girl is pretty... but generic.

2) I was so, so sad over the Wolfsbane and Nightshade cover change. Before it was unique, now its just one of the crowd... and after all the blogger outcry against it, I'm a bit surprised the covers haven't changed back.

3) Now that you mention it, THE IRON KNIGHT's cover model doesn't really match my mental image. I imagined a guy with more delicate, elfin features, though at least his coloring is about right. I'm pretty sure I'm still picking it up though, since, you know, it's Ash and all. ;)

4) For the face trend, I usually prefer models on the covers (as long as they help me envision the characters) -- but with their bodies. And I think I would go to cover heaven for an extremely intricate, beautiful model cover. <3

Jenny said...

From a design standpoint it's always frustrating to see an image repeated on different covers with only minor things changed like the dress color. Especially when these are covers of fairly popular and visible books. I was so disappointed in the design change on the Nightshade books, the first covers were beautiful and eye catching! And Everneath has a stunning cover, LOVE IT:) Thanks so much for the giveaway too!

Alyssa Kirk said...

Hey everyone! I woke up this morning and checked the site and was wowed! I am loving all these insight and thoughtful opinions! I've got to get to work but will be checking back when I have time to read more and respond!

Thanks and keep it coming! Have a great day!

Unknown said...

Completely agree on the Nightshade covers however I do like the Bloodrose cover. Even though it is a little plain I still like the colors :] Thanks for the giveaway!

Ashley Suzanne!
ashleysbookshelf at gmail dot com

Enter my contest here!

Tiffany Drew said...

I hate when multiple books have the same cover. I want to see something original and tied directly to that book, not the same image used over and over again. I'll admit it, I totally judge books by their covers. They are what I see first and if you have some really horrible cover, I am not even going to bother reading the blurb on the back to see what the book is about. It really turns me off. One of my favorite trends right now though is the girls underwater, like Imaginary Girls. I love that cover. I love that trend.

Thank you for this awesome giveaway!

aqtbenz said...

A trend I'd noticed is the similarity between the Matched covers and The Hunger Games covers--in Hunger Games, the mockingjay goes from completely enclosed in the pin to flying free, and in the first two Matched covers, the girl is completely enclosed and then starting to break out in book 2. Interesting, seeing as they are both dystopian novels!


Blodeuedd said...

There are always the half face/no head ones, but then those comes from saving money. Still they are a trend now and I do not like them.

And yes lots of women running or standing with flowing dresses

Rhianna said...

The recycling thing is something I would like to see happen less but when it's done well (and in your examples it is NOT) and it's not immediately obvious I don't mind it.

My big cover quibble is exactly what happened with Nightshade/Wolfsbane. The cover for Nightshade was soooo gorgeous. Then they showed the Wolfsbane one which wasn't as pretty but I liked it. Then they completely switched it. I like a consistency in covers through a series. If it's a series that's been written over a decade I could be forgiving of changes but books all coming out that close together? No.

Ah well, the only time I've ever heard of readers influencing the art department was when they redid the covers for Holly Black's Ironside (etc.) the old covers didn't have people on them and the new ones were cool but the readers didn't like the look of the guy on them, said he was too old looking, so the publishers did something about it.

Great topic Alyssa!

always.and.never AT gmail DOT com

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

If I don't like the cover, I'll only buy the book as an ebook. And I have quite a few cover trends I dislike
1. girls lying in the grass
2. half naked men with abs of steel and leather dusters (I mean, who dresses like that for a fight?!)
3. crouching half-naked women holding a gun/sword like they don't know what they are doing - it's totally ridiculous)
4. Enormous amount of make-up and totally non-related images...
The list can go on...
I really like Blood Rights Covers, Anna Dressed in Blood and Archon by Sabrina Benulis - these are unique.

Kristen said...

I love Fallen's cover. I remember one librarian pointed out to me that the new cover of Mockingbird was the same as another cover. I told her it had been recovered, but that I agreed it was silly to see such duplicates.

Melliane said...

My favorite cover is Everneath by Brodi ashton, it's so beautiful, i just love it !!!
It's always very interesting to see the trends , thank you !


Tore923 said...

I don't like the recycle trend. There are so many beautiful book covers out there. It just makes you want to buy the book for the cover.

Anonymous said...

I honestly never noticed the face behind the Delirium text before you pointed it out. Now I feel stupid.
The trend nowadays is to have a pretty girl on the cover... EVEN if the book is about a BOY and has a male main character... I tell you, which boy is going to pick up a cover with a pretty girl that isn't dressed like a skank?
I love covers that don't 'gender' a book. A symbol, like is used on The Hunger Games, is really good marketing. Both boys and girls will pick that up.

Laurie T said...

I love the covers for The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices and Beautiful Creatures series. I also like the cover for Dearly, Departed and believe that dress might actually have to deal with the story's time period. Divergent, like The Hunger Games, uses a symbol and I like that.

Thanks for the contest!

(: Isa :) said...

I think the whole models on the cover thing is really easy to ruin too. The whole Hearts At Stake books were like that and I don't think I could imagine any of the characters looking like the people on the covers. I tend to judge books by their covers also and if it gives off a "recycled" vibe then I probably won't bother to even give it another glance. I agree with the others that symbols made unique by the story is much better to make a cover stand out. :) Cool post!

Suz said...

Thanks for this amazing giveaway and your comments about covers! I never really payed much attention until you pointed it out but I do think it's a little confusing when covers change because I've gotten used to seeing the book with one cover! I don't like covers that look too much like other covers or that have people on them. I prefer ones with that are mysterious like the one on Wildefire by Karsten Knight. Makes me want to read the book!

susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

Kate said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway! I too love Everneath and Hush Hush. They're both stunning artistic covers! I also completley agree with you about the Nightshade covers. I was totally confussed when they changed the covers. I thought they might at least keep the mind blowing original covers as the hardcovers and just change the paperbacks, which I would have been happy with. Oh well, there's nothing we can do about it now. Although I would still like to know what the reasoning behind the change was.

Faces sometimes bother me too. Like Ash's face. Not really what I picture. And once you see that face on a book or in a movie it's kind of hard to not imagine that person as the character. Well...that's more for movies. Anyway I don't mind faces but they do need to look like the character. And I know that not everyone is going to be happy with the model but I really hate it when the model doesn't represent the character at all. There's such a gray area for faces on covers. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Holy Crow! That is a butt load of recycling. How the heck did that happen? No bueno.

And I've always hated the half-face/chopped off faced thing. Why?

The hottie-hunk on Reckless is a vast improvement. :P

Please do an MBB for ASH! I'd love to see who you'd cast for him. and your right, Melissa is a greedy girl.

I hate that they changed the covers for the Nightshade series. Seriously. Who in their right mind thought that was a good idea? WHO?

My favorite cover to date this the cover for the Aussie version of The Piper's Son! I simply LOVE it!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I'm with you on everything you said. I've never liked the recycling thing. I mean there are so many good artists out there... why not do something different?

I also loved the first covers of the Nightshade series. The new ones? Ugh.

Hee... and yes... I am a greedy wench! ;D

My fave covers are the ones by Dan Dos Santos. I want to get whatever he paints a cover for. Fan girl much? Yep. ;)

Sniffly Kitty said...

I don't really like the recycling, but sometimes it's hard for companies to see all the covers out there and pass all that information on to the individual designers... and not everyone has the budget to shoot their own images.

Lindsay Cummings author said...

recycling bothers me. alot!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

A HUGE trend seems to be pretty girls with dresses on the cover. Never mind if the girl in question ever actually wears a dress in the book, she must look runway model-like and be fierce. And it pisses me off. I want a cover that actually relates to the book, or is at least omg gorgeous and not recycled.

Like you, I'm not a fan of faces on covers, so seeing them everywhere is a little annoying. I think it puts an image into the readers head about what a character is supposed to look like and most of the time it is completely different from how that character is described.

I was told that B&N has a lot of say in final covers and they like faces because, apparently, faces on covers sell. Just not to me, I guess.

Unknown said...

Photoshopping the same photo over and over again is such a turn-off!

I'm with you, Iron Knight cover disappointed me. It's not as other-worldly as the others somehow. It's too heavy.

I was just discussing the paperback cover of Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin. The original cover seemed too Middle Grade, and had nothing to do with the story. The paperback is more in-line with the story, but isn't nearly as eye-catching.

When a cover gets it right...the art director should be given a round of applause!

Dazzling Mage said...

NO to recycling trends! You want a book to stand out a little, not tweaked from another one. It's like two people wearing the same outfit at a party. Big NO! >_<

As for the faces, I've just come to accept it. I kind of miss the old trend though- drawn cover, or just an object that means something significant in the book. My favorite is cartoonish covers though. It's..cute. =p

A Canadian Girl said...

*high fives Alyssa* You're not the only one who hasn't read books the models have turned you off. I like the new cover of Revolution but loved the old covers of the Nightshade series; I can't believe they changed it.

My favourite covers tend to have pretty dresses on them like Everneath or Shatter Me or suggest that there's going to be a sweet romance like that of Catching Jordan.

Elizabeth Morgan said...

My favorite cover of the ones that you posted is Wolfsbane. I can see a trend in the covers that they all of have some sort of black.

Maureen said...

It is so annoying when they recycle covers. It makes it seem like the story isn't original although I realize that the cover often has nothing to do with the story.

Linda: Book Ninja said...

Recycling is Why can't they find a picture in the millions of other photos in the world to make a cover. Changing the color just doesn't cut it with me.
Omg! Someone agrees with me on the Nighshade covers! That face and wolf combo just looks stupid and the third one just looks like they slapped a picture of a model and wolf together and said done.
I'd prefer to think of my own faces. It kinda sucks to close a good book and have a face stare at me when I don't even know how they fit in the book. The Iron Knight cover was practically glaring at me, chanting and laughing "Haha! I'm Ash, the ugly idiot you'll look at every time you read me."
But being a girly-girl, I fell in love with Everneath! That is cover genius! Crazy rant is :)

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

wow i love that everneath cover!! i like the orig nightshade cover too, but i do like the bloodrose cover.

Alisia said...

i hate that the cant get their own covers. Make something new and fresh instead of changing the colors of someone else's cover.

Unknown said...

Wow, I had no idea they recycled covers like that!! I really like the cover of Everneath as well, and like you, I feel that the original Nightshade cover is best.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Mariee said...

Recycled covers is a big turn off for me. I'd be less inclined to buy a book if I recognized the picture from another cover.
I'd like to see more covers that's different and original. Love the cover for Hush Hush!

marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

Golden Eagle said...

I don't really like seeing the same image on more than one book cover, unless it's actually related to, say, the hardcover and it's the paperback; it tends to confuse me. :P

One trend I've noticed is of the girl on the first Maximum Ride cover (, which I've seen on a few other books.

I actually like the second Nightshade cover with the wolf and the girl better than the original. I always found something strange about the other one . . .

Book Sake said...

I don't understand how the publishers get so far with a book and then don't realize that image has already been used. I recall seeing the same chick in front of a motorcycle on two different books (urban fantasy I think), the only difference was that one was a mirror image of the other. If I was the author, I would be pretty pissy!

Jenny N. said...

I was going to say that I don't mind books with the same cover but after thinking about it I wouldn't want two different books with the same covers on my shelf. Call me cover spoiled but if I'm shelling out money for a book I would want a unique cover.

Totally agree with the Nightshade covers. The old covers had the wow factor that made them stand out and with the new covers I feel like I've seen it done befoere.

Hush, Hush is probably my favourite cover too. Another one I really like is the cover for Shiver which I thought really matched the tone and feel of the story.

Bookish in a Box said...

I wish they hadn't changed the Delirium cover. Personally, I liked the shiny blue.

I love graphic covers without people on them (think Incarceron or The Hunger Games) because I like to be able to imagine the character without being influenced by the front of the book. However, I'm also a sucker for a pretty dress (like Fallen and Unearthly).

Tales of Whimsy said...

Yes! I know what you mean. I hate seeing the same cover with the colors changed. Blech!

What do I like to see in a cover?
Creativity, a cover that applies to the story, and vivid colors

What are your favorite covers?
A Million Suns is probably my current favorite cover.

GREAT question!

Katie said...

I totally agree with on the Nightshade and Wolfsbane coves... i can't believe they changed them. they were totally unique before . But also about Everneath... oh my gosh can you say heaven... that over rocks!!!!!!!

Bekka said...

I really hate the face/half face trend. I like to imagine the characters on my own, and then I get bombarded with these images. Not to mention I don't really want a bunch of girls' faces all over my bookshelf.

The other trend I really hate is the prom dress trend. I first noticed it when Fallen by Lauren Kate came out, and then it just took off. IMO if there is no ball, then there should be no ball gown.

I miss the days of the beautiful abstract YA cover art.

My favorite covers include Choker by Elizabeth Woods; Looking for Alaska by John Green; the Wolves of Mercy Falls series; and finally the Harry Potter books, just because before the movies, you had some sort of visual.

This was a great post! I love seeing what other people think of the covers I love/hate.

Tara said...

I was really sad about the change in the Delirium covers. I was really looking forward to the series looking similar. Now it just looks....kinda blah and boring. Doesn't really stand out.

You are totally not shallow for liking the Reckless cover now! I had the exact same reaction! lol! Before I didn't really think it was MY type of book...but it looks wayyyy more interesting now!

TaraTagli at gmail dot com

angel said...

recycling is annoying, i love the cover of The Goddess Test, and Revolution

Cassandra! :D said...

I don't really have specifics, but I do love covers that do have real people on them. It makes me feel a little bit more connected to the book, I guess...
If it's just a plain color, or it only has some inanimate object, I'm not as interested.

Small Review said...

Completely agree with you! On everything. I like that girl in the Vespertine cover, but once is enough please! I really don't like cover recycling. I strongly associate books with their covers, so it just feels wrong when the same picture is used multiple times.

I actually really like faces on long as the face looks like how *I* picture the character. The new Delirium covers don't bother me and I love the Nightshade covers (the old ones were so much better!), but you already know how I feel about The Iron Knight. Barf. So NOT my Ash. You definitely need to do a book boyfriend post so I can print out the pictures and stick them over that horrible cover :P

Oh, and um, yeah, I'll totally read a book pretty much only because I think the cover model is hot. And ugly cover models turn me off too. Reckless is a great example. I had zero interest in reading it because of that ugly weird green thing on the cover, but that new cover? Oo lala! Adding it to my TBR :)

elaing8 said...

I am getting tired of the recycling trend.There are enough images out there,why do they have to re use the same ones over and over.In romance novels there is one model in particular that is used over and over again,although they are different just gets annoying to see the same face on all these books

Llehn said...

I would actually love to see covers that reflect what the story is about, not just a picture of a gorgeous model.

hopping-bunny said...

I don't really put much attention to book covers, but when I do I notice the differences from the characters and sometimes don't wanna see the cover because I picture them as the ones who they're supposed to be representing when I read.

I'm pretty much in love with the Vampire Academy series. They use models on the covers since the first book and the models definitely don't do justice to the characters(to me, at least). The models they put on the covers are gorgeous and all, but they miss the details of the characters. Like how Dimitri should have shoulder length hair, or how Rose should be tanned, etc.

Now, they use models on the covers of VA's spin-off series, Bloodlines. If I'm not mistaken, Sydney's hair is supposed to be shoulder length--unless she decided to grow it. And her lily tattoo? It's not supposed to be as big as the one on the Sydney's cheeks on the cover.

LOL. I guess my rant's is enough.

Arianne said...

I like to see possible character representation in covers. For example, in the Vampire Academy series, in one of the many covers of the third book, my favorite is the one where the main character's best friend and secret love (Lissa and Dimitri) were pictured. The guy portraying Dimitri was definitely HOT. Just as he was described in the book (except maybe for the hair) but I love him the way the picture was.

mimz said...

Ugh, the recycling trend is so annoying. Google is full of images, find something else if you can't come up with a whole new concept. Also I'd rather have a hand-drawn cover than any of the model shots, although some of them look good, still there are too many. :)

Nina said...

Great post! There are so many trends going on that are just horrible. The one I love are the covers with girls on them with beautiful dresses. Those dresses are awesome and I don't mind owning a few of them. But then seeing them on each new book that is being released is a bit boring. ;)

The Model shots covers are at times very good, but it reminds me of those fashion magazines with beautiful people on it. Do we really want to see those georgous people (think of photoshop) on our books too?

Margay Leah Justice said...

I'm not too crazy about the recycling trend or the half-face trend or the no-head trend. If you put a person on the cover, use their whole face please. Anything else is disconcerting.

Margay Leah Justice said...

I'm not too crazy about the recycling trend or the half-face trend or the no-head trend. If you put a person on the cover, use their whole face please. Anything else is disconcerting.

FreakChiq said...

I don't mind the recycling of stock photos. It's quite interesting to see how similar and at the same time very different the covers can turn out.

Did you see the covers of the House of Comarré trilogy? I know this aren't YA novels but the covers are stunning (especially the 1st one).

Btw, thanks for the giveaway! :)

Aik said...

I don't like seeing same images on different book covers. It makes them feel less special.

I've noticed the cover of Evermore is similar to North of Beautiful,and they probably used the same model, but I prefer the version of Evermore.

I like to see beauty, creativity and originality in covers. I dislike copy covers.

My favourite covers are Hush, Hush, The Goddess Test, Lily of the Nile, Fallen, Poison Study, Die for Me, Wicked Lovely series, Prophecy of the Sisters, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The King's Rose and the Iron Fey series.

danya said...

The faces-on-cover trend really depends on the book for me. I think the original Delirium cover gets points for creativity (although it's difficult to tell that it's a face behind there at first glance) but the special edition & Pandemonium covers I'm not a fan of.

I really like the original Nightshade and Wolfsbane covers, and quite dislike the ones they've changed them to. The mystical beauty and vibrant colour is gone, and they blend in with all the other dark paranormals out there, which is a shame.

As for the recycled depends how much they're altered. I agree, The Goddess Test and The Vespertine are very similar. I mean, if you bought both of those you'd end up with practically the same covers on your shelf, but completely different books! With Dark Angel, though, I think they've changed it a fair bit from the original, so you couldn't mix those two covers up as easily. (Although you'd think they could have changed the colour of her dress while they were at it!)

Oh, and I love the Everneath cover too. The dress-into-smoke thing happening there is fantastic. The only thing I'm not a fan of is that half her head is gone :(

bookbitereviews said...

I honestly HATE the cover's with the same image, especially when i like the image. What if i read all three of the books with girl running away on the cover and love them and want to put them on my bookshelf? I won't want to, because they all look exactly the same!

I have been noticing that a lot of people are doing things sort of, not copying, but sort of like Hush, Hush's cover, which i also LOVE! Thats the whole reason i bought/tried hush, hush was for its cover.

On covers i usually don't like to see models, because sometimes i think their ugly, like on Vampire Academy, i HATE that cover. What i do like is things that are different and intriguing that make you want to buy the book based sole-y on its cover like Hush, Hush, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Hourglass, and Twilight. Those are also my favorite covers.

Asenath said...

I don't like the recycling--it just shows that publishers don't want to invest in their authors. Instead of spending the money to create something original, they just but a stock photo and then edit it. You'd think publishers would know what the other ones are up to though--I'd be embarrassed about The Goddess Test/Verspertine cover.

I'm wary of covers, because too many bad books hide behind them. I really liked the cover of Matched and Imaginary Girls though. I don't like it when the characters are super visible on the books, because I like to imagine them for myself.

Anonymous said...

my opinion of this trend is that it's a bit cool and funky. I love the covers because they're unique but some of them are way too much.

Sarah said...

You are soo right! For the most part, as shown with the covers above, the originals are soo much better! Nightshade's original cover made me really want to read it, but the new cover makes it look like a bad romance. :/

Dani' said...

I don't like duplicate pictures. Some covers with models are ok but they have to go with the content of the book. It really annoys me when a book describes a person and the picture on the cover looks nothing like them! The original Nightshade pic looks better. contestd(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jill the OWL said...

I don't like the recycling trend either IF I see the other books with the same covers. It makes it seem cheap! And it makes me feel silly for liking it.

There aren't really any trends I don't like although I do prefer covers that are "real" pictures not artwork. I don't like ones that are drawn especially if they are YA. OH and I don't like plain covers where really it's pretty much just the title. Can't think of one off the top of my head right now.

And I was in the minority. I didn't like Nightshades purple cover. I did like the original Wolfsbane one, but not Nightshade.

My current favorite??? Entwined. I just love that dress!

alovelywriterxo said...

I'm not liking the recycling trend. I dislike when two or more covers reuse one picture. It's a waste of my time admiring a (what I thought was an original) cover when it was once used before. Can't publishers find their creative side and use covers that have never been since before? Some can be uniquely different than a previous use of the cover, but still. :P


Anonymous said...

Wow. I never realized those three novels had all the same image. I've seen other books with the same cover just pizazzed in different ways that also annoyed me(Example: Stick by Andrew Smith & Harmonic feedback by Tara Kelly). I feel terrible for the author. Imagine getting a cover that they recycled :/

I half agree with you about not wanting models on the cover. I like it because it brings the cover to life but I dislike it because it obscures your vision of the character. I also feel that not having a model will make the trends on covers more alike because they would only be able to have images. At least people look different.

One thing that really bothers me is when they choose a model that doesn't match the character. You would think that a publisher would want a cover that matches the book. I also wish there were more diverse models on the covers. Not enough YA covers have models on it that aren't caucasion.

Some covers I adore that have models on the cover are My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. I think the publisher got those covers perfectly.

Also, thank you a ton for posting this. It's so true!

Robyn @ Robolobolyn's Universe said...

I really enjoyed this post! I agreed with a lot of what you said! I am a fan of the original Nightshade cover, and I hate the new one. (The green one is okay, much better than the newest!)

As for the cover copiers? I really think someone should get creative and come up with some new ideas. Same with this new half face trend. Works with some books, but it doesn't really fit with a lot of covers and what the books are about.


AmburHostyn said...

I always feel bad when two books have the same or very similar covers because I'm guessing when they were made they were original, but then another one comes out and uses the same stock photo. I don't think they're lazy, to be honest, I think that wherever they're getting these images from should be more open with the publishers or authors buying them. They should say that they've already sold the stock photo for a cover or something...but I'm guessing they won't because it means more cash for them if they sell it to multiple purchasers, I'm guessing anyways.

I like faces on the cover sometimes. Some of them not so much. I love The Iron Fey covers, although, I agree, Ash on the front and Puck on the back cover don't fit how I pictured them at all. And everytime I look at The Iron Knight's cover I can't help but wonder why they gave Ash a coat with fur around the just looks weird. I love the new Reckness cover though, you're right, that guy is cute. ;) haha

I also agree about the new Nightshade covers. I don't like them at all. I loved the old ones! The new ones...ick. :( I'm not even a big fan of the Bloodrose one. I just don't like them.

And, finally, I totally agree about Hush, Hush and Everneath. Both covers are gorgeous! I love all of the Hush, Hush series' covers though. Crescendo, and now Silence! They're all so gorgeous! :D

Awesome idea for a post, Alyssa, and thanks for this fabulous giveaway! :D

Pamk said...

I agree if its not the frail ethereal looking girl its a heroine in leather with some for of weopon on her in her hand or leaning on. Usually the leather is black or red. Sometimes she's walking othertimes she squatting. But the cover doesn't make the book for me. Its the blurb in the back that hook me or not. but the cover does make me take a second look sometimes.
scrtbpal at yahoo dot com

Spaz said...

I like big sprawling epic covers, but then I mostly read epic fantasy, so I guess that makes sense. See Michael Whelan's fantastic cover for THE WAY OF KINGS by Brandon Sanderson.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Laura Ann Dunks said...

I'm not liking the recycling going on at all. It seems lazy to me.

I am definitely a book-cover whore though!

Laura x

mendy said...

I have to agree with you. The recycling trend just takes away the uniqueness of a book.

Unknown said...

The recycling is really irritating, even though it is such a beautiful dress. (personally I think The Vespertine did it best.)
There seems to be a trend of girls in pretty dresses with their backs to the camera. An example of this would be Die For Me by Amy Plum. It is a beautiful cover and a great book, so I don't mind that trend all that much. :)

Thank you so much for directing me to Jenny, I have been snickering for the past hour!

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I don't like the recycling and it really pisses me off when they totally change the style or model that they are using on a series cover. There are so many awesome artists out there and I love to see what visions of beauty they offer us.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Unknown said...

I love the Iron Fey Series, but I'm with you, Ash has longer hair with piercing blue eyes, so not in love with the Iron Knight cover.... I've been tempted by Cornelia Funk's Reckless because, well, it is Cornelia Funk! But, love the second cover so much better than the first. It is odd that so many covers get recycled, with a few tweaks... always strange when I see a cover with a duplicate image, under a new title. And Nightshade's original cover so much more appealing than this new wolfy one, but what do I know? LOL

Thanks for a great giveaway!

Dottie :)

poisnivyred said...

there are SO many amazing covers out there! Right now, my favorite is Fury from Elizabeth Miles (I have long red hair.. haha).

I also love the cover for Siren Song and Possess.

poisnivyred said...

there are SO many amazing covers out there! Right now, my favorite is Fury from Elizabeth Miles (I have long red hair.. haha).

I also love the cover for Siren Song and Possess.

andrea b said...

I don't like the Recycling trend. It's very unoriginal to use the same picture more than once! I was stunned some weeks ago when I saw a book (Descansa en Paz that has the same cover picture as Rot & Ruin!
I also really dislike when they change the cover style on a book series when you already have some of them! Then even if you buy the same edition they won't match :(
This happened to me with the Bartimaeus trilogy and with the Artermis Fowl series...
I also agree the the first Nightshade cover is better than the new covers...

Mary Preston said...

There are some beautiful covers around that put others to great shame. Is it laziness or budget you wonder. Don't they look to see what is out there first?? A BAD cover is a turn off.


Ivana said...

Here's two almost identical covers I stumbled upon in the meanwhile, Shifting by Bethany Wiggins and A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton. The same girl with her back turned to the camera and her hair morphing into a snake. I know nothing about them and haven't read the yet, though. Sorry if someone already mentioned it in the comments above.

Faye( Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm) said...

I totally agree w/ u on the nightshade covers. I like the old ones better! why did they have to change it! :(

sablelexi said...

Wow, I hadn't seen the new Reckless cover, but I really like this new cover more. I also preferred the original Nightshade over the new covers for the series, they just don't do anything for me.

ArtemisG said...

About the Trend #1, I think books have almost the same cover.
The new cover of Delirium is amazing and I agree with you about Nightshade series covers and Hush Hush.
My favorite cover all-time is Fallen series.
Lately I saw the cover of Incarnate by Jodi Meadows and is amazing!

Thanks for the giveaway.

Unknown said...

I am such a cover whore. I admit it. And I've noticed this 'recycle covers' trend, and I think it's pretty lame. It sounds... cheap, I guess. The book may be fantastic, but with a cover already in use... it's very weird.
I prefer covers with nice landscapes and crazy designs (like Sisters Red, Shiver/Linger), I'm not a big fan of models on covers (with the exception of really hot guys, of course. I really liked The Iron Knight cover, even if Ash is not much like him. hehe). I like my Delirium copy with just the pretty blue cover, no faces on it, thank you very much. :P

Thanks for the chance. :))

kah_cherub at hotmail dot com

- Melissa - said...

It's rare for me to noticed a recycled cover, but when I do it annoys me to no end!

Thanks for the give :)

Silmeriel said...

I dont like the recycling image in books. I really hate when they reuse one picture because I confess that often judges a book by its cover.

I really Love Fallen Cover and "Everneath" cover is so beautifull...i love it!

bye! and thanks for the giveaway!

Cheryl said...

I'm not a fan of recycling, but understand that it's an affordability thing.

I don't mind people on covers as long as they look like the character(s) in the book. I hate it when it seems like whoever was in charge of the cover never read the book. And if you do have a model, don't change from book to book (Chicagoland Vampires and the Cal Leandros series); get pics of the models for the cover artists.

Covers I love, basically anything Chris McGrath does and I like Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles. No, it has nothing to do with the fact that the guy on the cover is super hot, heh-heh.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Kristin said...

I personally like people on the covers, especially when they're hot and actually look like the characters described in books. And I really hate the recycled stock photos. And once you use one model, don't change them (I'm talking to you Cal Leandros and Chicaoland Vampire series!)!!!

My favorite covers are those for the Iron Druid, Iron Fey, Cal Leandros (actually, anything by Chris McGrath), Need and Strange Angel series.

Though I absolutely hated it, after I read the book, the cover for My Life As a White Trash Zombie is perfect for it, if not pretty.

A cover can really make me pick up a book, which can turn out to suck, but some of these independent books, which may be good, have the most awful covers that look like they're drawn by not very talented grade school kids. That's another trend I'd like to stop. Please, by all means, use the recycled stock photos!

ant_solo said...

EVERNEATH is a great cover for me (:
I've seen that the last years the covers have a more worked tipography with bowed lines. It's a great surprise to see a good cover.

sRy_ said...

I've forgoten to say my opinion about the recycling covers trends. I don't like it very much, I prefer the original ones. I love the cover of Everneath, really like a dream :)

TheReadingOwl said...

What is your opinion of these trends?
Have you noticed other trends?
What do you like to see in a cover?
What are your favorite covers?

I agree that they should do more research before they use a stock photo for a book cover. Although the one with the girl running in a dress is GORGEOUS, 3 times is way too much. I also hate with all my heart the new covers for the Nightshade series. They are really ugly and look very amateurish. It's like they discovered Photoshop for the first time and started playing around with it. I really wish they would stick with the original covers, or at least keep them. Let US pick which version WE want! I want another version for the third book!

I don't mind covers with people on them. They have never affected the way I imagine the characters. I just look at them as a cover and nothing more.

Meredith said...

I don't like the half-face trend. I also don't care for the covers that reuse and reuse the same photos for different stories. And don't get me started on covers that have nothing to do with the story!

I do like that Hush, Hush cover, and the ones that are creative and make it look like the artist really read the story.

Orchid said...

I don't like the recycled image covers, it tends to make me think that the books with similar covers will all be the same. Plus it just seems kind of lazy/unoriginal.

I've never much cared for having some model grace the cover of my books, which might explain why most of the books I love don't have them on the covers.

I actually liked the original cover for Reckless more. Maybe because it just seems a little more creepy then the new one.

One cover trend I'd like to see go away, would have to be partial faces. They drive me crazy. =)

Liz R said...

I'm not of fan of the recycling trend, it kind of throws me off. I really like the trend of having beautiful dresses on the covers. They're always so pretty and sometimes the cover is the first thing that attracts me to a book.

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