I confess: I am quite fond of book covers with plain white backgrounds, depicting a black-costumed assassin or mage in all his cloak-swirling and weapon-flourishing glory.
Like the cover of Brent Weeks’ The Way of Shadows
I like the swirly purple smoke/magic/gauze, too
Or Trudi Canavan’s The Magician’s Apprentice
David Dalglish’s Shadowdance trilogy
The contrast of white background and dark figure, and the swirl of a vibrant color, makes these covers visually striking. The Way of Shadows, for instance, really stood out from the rest of the books when I first saw it on the bookstore shelf.
This cover is different from the rest, but I couldn’t help but share it. Again, there’s the black and white contrast, coupled with a clever and imaginative concept. And great execution.
What styles of cover do you particularly like? Or dislike?
Check out my cover artist posts:
I like the one for Blackbirds – that’s very effective.
Generally I don’t pay much attention to covers (or titles). I used to like the old Penguin plain covers which didn’t attract or detract. There was something gloriously simple about them. Strangely, I disliked the Gollacz yellow covers – simple, and I like yellow yet detested these covers.
I enjoy the art of book covers, but they very rarely persuade me to buy or not buy a book. That’s the blurb’s job. (Unless, of course, the cover clearly shows that it’s in a genre I don’t read, like urban fantasy, most romances, horror, vampire books, etc).
Linda Adams says
I find myself disliking the urban fantasy covers. Most of the books have women in action roles, and the covers trivialize them for eye candy for the guys.
Yes, I don’t like most urban fantasy covers. There’s a same-ness about most of them, as if the only way to be strong and sexy is to wear skimpy clothing and look smoldering-ly over your shoulder.
Have you seen the Jim Hines fantasy cover shoot?