Judge A Book By It’s Cover #1

Ever judge whether you will buy a book based on it’s cover? Of course you have. The cover, along with the title are all an author has to convince you to pick up a book and take a closer look.

Each week I randomly choose a cover from Amazon’s new releases and I discuss what works for me, what doesn’t and why.

Blood Trade by Jane Hunter

Initial reaction to the cover…
Holy busy cover Batman! I don’t know if they could have thrown more elements into this cover design without it starting to make a person’s eyes explode. The saving grace is the uniforming color of the design.

A deeper look…
I’m guessing this is for a paranormal story, possibly a vampire slaying one based on what looks like stakes in the character’s hands. But what could have been a very powerful image of a strong heroine become lost in the mass of fog and background noise that overwhelms the piece for me.

Then there’s the tilted font. Maybe it’s just me, but I like my words to read in a straight line. I see no point in tilting the title, especially in this design. It doesn’t seem to help with the flow of the cover, and it only makes it more difficult for a potential reader to know the title in a glance.

The border along the left is completely pointless as far as I can tell. There is a place for borders, but not here. It feels like the designer was trying to soften the cover with this pattern to let readers know there might be a bit of romance or lightness to the otherwise dark looking story. What happened for me is that it just became another thing to look at which means I have no idea where I should be looking.

Final thoughts…
This is a case of over designing. The designer has all the skills necessary, but they took what could have worked on it’s own, a great image, and then surrounded it with too much information. It may catch reader’s eyes, but I think it will also lose people’s attention just because it takes a bit of thinking to figure out what is going on, and by then the potential reader will have moved on to something else. I’m betting this designer has done and will do much better pieces.


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