As many of you have noticed, I have a poll on the left side of my blog page asking which of my Dragons in our Midst/Oracles of Fire book covers is your favorite. I'm keeping it there for about another week, so please cast your vote if you haven't already.
Circles of Seven is the clear leader, which is no surprise to me. It's also my favorite, but as I study the results and note the second and third place covers, I noticed that the top three covers all have a scene that includes a clear and present danger. Tension is high. While they all evoke curiosity and intrigue, it seems that people like scenes that make you think the hero had better do something right away, or the consequences will be terrible.
What makes a book cover appealing? What makes you want to pick it up and see what's inside? Is it danger? Colors? People's faces? Beautiful scenery?
Regarding immediate danger, when I saw the cover of L.B. Graham's book Shadow in the Deep, I immediately wanted to know what the story was about. Although my writing schedule kept me from reading it, my eldest son assures me that it's great.
Regarding colors, check out the cover of Wayne Thomas Batson's new pirates novel, Isle of Fire. The artwork gives us a blend of beautiful colors and dark shades, and the danger element is there, as well. Definitely a lot of intrigue. Anyone who picks it up knows he's about to embark on a danger-filled adventure.
Contrast that to the cover of my novel Beyond the Reflection's Edge. Colors are intentionally muted. No imminent danger. Yet it still gives a sense of intrigue and makes people curious. With the reflected hand, the city skyline at the bottom, and the musical score in the background, the cover gives us plenty to think about.
And when I think about the covers that are coming, I get excited about the potential reaction. I saw a preliminary cover for the fourth book in my Oracles of Fire series, The Bones of Makaidos, and I know that some of my readers are literally going to squeal when they see it. It shows something my readers have been wondering about for almost three years.
So, tell me. What kind of book cover appeals to you? Can you think of a particular cover that you think is great? What made you pick it up? What cover disappointed you? Maybe it promised something the book didn't deliver.
Let's talk about it.