The truth is that beautiful book covers sell books. And here at Book Cover Lust we do judge books by their covers.
First of all, even though the popular idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover” may be true in an idealist sense, the reality of the book industry is that for a large number of readers the book cover is a deciding factor for buying the book.
As Larry Correia brilliantly put it:
Aspiring authors, get this through your head. Cover art serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to get potential customers interested long enough to pick up the book to read the back cover blurb. In the internet age that means the thumb nail image needs to be interesting enough to click on. That’s what covers are for.”
With thousands of new books being published every year, the first “sales pitch” is the cover. If it is not stunning enough to draw attention, it will probably go unnoticed.
First of all, a book cover must stay true to the story the book tells. Author Pip Newling says that the book cover should represent enough content about the genre and story so that readers know exactly what they’re buying without being explicitly told:
If it is a romance, the cover has to illustrate that. If it is a young adult vampire story, then the cover would be quite different to an adult vampire story. If it is about death and war, that pretty image of a girl in a white dress might be misleading the buyer. Don’t mislead the reader is always the first point, I think.
There is always an ideal reader for a book – it might be age specific, story specific, socio-economic or gender specific whatever the target is. It makes a sale much easier if the ‘right’ person is attracted to it for all the right reasons. We recognise ourselves in stories and therefore, there must be something about the cover of books we buy that strikes a chord with us.”
As readers we love to visit bookstores and just surf through all the new books. Bookstores intentionally display books with their covers facing the reader. It’s the first thing we see and most time it’s the reason we pick up the book.
The same happens on online bookstores since books are usually displayed as a list, the first thing your eye is drawn to is the cover, because the list of titles and authors are all presented in the same font, size, and color.
In conclusion, a great cover should provide the potential reader with an immediate impression of the book and genre. If used knowingly cover designs have the potential to be a powerful selling tool. Choosing a book by its cover may not always be fair, but is an effective way of narrowing your choice.
About Book Cover Lust
Book Cover Lust is dedicated to showcasing the most beautiful book covers from around the world with the goal of allowing book lovers to indulge in their passion for books.
We believe that a truly great book cover is one that captures the story inside it in some perfect and perhaps unforeseen way.
Some of the qualities we look for in a book cover:
- A great title (and subtitle)
- The cover should communicate with the reader on an emotional level
- Draw the reader’s attention towards the book
- Be unique and stunning
- Look professional
- It should clearly give an idea of the genre of the book
- It should generate excitement. Great book covers have a “hook”, something that intrigues or makes a promise, something that will attract and hold a reader’s attention and make them want to read the book to know more
Next we’ll take you on a tour though some of the most beautiful book covers ever designed.
Beautiful book covers – Fiction
Contemporary book covers
- The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – buy on Amazon
- Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz – buy on Amazon
- Confess by Colleen Hoover – buy on Amazon
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman – buy on Amazon
- Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey – buy on Amazon
- Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson – buy on Amazon
- Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff – buy on Amazon
- A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray – buy on Amazon
Vintage book covers
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
- Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
See more fiction book covers
Beautiful book covers – Nonfiction
- Dogs by Lewis Blackwell – buy on Amazon
- The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman – buy on Amazon
- The Vibrant Table by Anya Kassoff – buy on Amazon
- Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen – buy on Amazon
- The Life & Love of Cats by Lewis Blackwell – buy on Amazon
- Party-perfect Bites by Milli Taylor – buy on Amazon
- Destinations of a Lifetime by National Geographic Society – buy on Amazon
- Oh Joy! by Joy Cho – buy on Amazon
See more nonfiction book covers
If you have come across a stunning book cover that we haven’t featured at Book Cover Lust yet, please share it with us. Book Cover Lust is a place for community and we encourage book lovers to share their favorite book covers.
We can’t wait to receive your awesome submissions!