Those of us who write the stories that sit between the front and back covers of books are artists. But so are the people who design the front and back covers of books. Don’t you agree?
I’m endlessly interested in covers! A good book cover is a thing of beauty and tricky to achieve because it has to accomplish several things simultaneously. To me, a book cover should:
- Communicate the book’s tone. Is this a lighthearted read? Is this a nail-biter?
- Communicate the book’s time period and setting.
- Give the reader a glimpse into the book’s plot.
- Jive with or play off of the book’s title.
- Be eye-catching enough to cause a reader to grab the book off the bookshelf and read the back cover blurb.
- Raise questions in the reader’s mind.
- Not cause a reader embarrassment. i.e. I had to read this book on my e-reader because I didn’t want to be seen in public reading a novel with that cover.
The following covers are my favorite Christian fiction covers of 2016 in no particular order. These covers manage to hit some, if not all, of the above criteria. And they’re also beautiful to look at. Bravo, cover designers! (By the way, I purposely selected covers from a variety of sub-genres in order to spread the love. We should all read outside our comfort zone from time to time to “cleanse our palates” between courses.)
This photo is gorgeous, tasteful, romantic, and modern. I’m enamored with the gray and pink color scheme. The title raises great questions in my mind. “What’s a goodbye bride? Oh, no! These two are clearly perfect together. Why goodbye?”
This cover tells me that this book is an English-set historical novel with a pensive feel. The glimmer of sunlight makes this image come alive and the title makes me think, “What’s Emberwilde? It sounds posh, like it could be some sort of yummy British estate. Must. Read.”
This model is so captivating that I find myself unable to look away from her. Those eyes! Also, I love the creative scrollwork around her face. It’s like a see-through picture frame.
This cover communicates a sense of impending danger at first glance, doesn’t it? It also tells you the setting: either an Amish or Mennonite community. And a little bit about the plot: a plane is going to go down. This makes me wonder, “Will the pilot survive? How will the people who belong to this laundry be impacted by the crash that’s heading their way?”
I’m a fan of the varied fonts used in this title and the swirls above and below “A Novel”. This design is well-composed and so bright and pretty that it jumps off the screen. It seems that there’s a circus involved in this plot in some way. The title leaves me wondering, “Okay, so there’s the lady. . . who happens to have enviable braiding skills. But who exactly is The Lionheart? And when, exactly, do I get to meet him? He sounds brave. Is he related to Richard the Lionheart?”
This guy is, ahem, very attractive. He looks like a military operative instead of like a model trying hard to pretend to be a military operative. He seems to be on a covert mission of some sort far from home. For me, this cover very successfully coveys its genre and I think it would appeal to both male and female suspense readers alike.
I can see right away that this is a contemporary romance. The title and image together make me think, “Who can’t help falling? Her? Him? Both? What’s keeping them from falling for each other?” I adore the fonts and fashionable color palette. Also, the male model’s stubble is a definite plus.
Isn’t this artwork charming? I want to frame it and hang it on my wall. For me, this cover says southern women’s fiction. It leaves me asking, “What’s the secret? And what’s hummingbird cake?” In completely unrelated news, I’m craving layer cake with buttercream frosting.
Clearly, this is a biblical fiction novel. The storm over the distant mountains is worrisome and foreshadows difficulty. Luckily, this woman looks like she’s strong and resolute enough to meet the challenges that are coming for her.
I spy what looks like the spire of a castle in the mist, which is very promising. The swirls and dots of light lead me to think that this story will have a magical quality. The fonts and the overall style read young adult fiction and the title invites questions. “What blemish? What does it mean to be unblemished? And what product can I buy to unblemish my own complexion so that it looks as milky as the model’s?”
Can you think of a few recent book covers that you’ve loved? Can you think of a book that you bought because the cover caught your eye?
Some writer friends and I are offering a giveaway in celebration of Valentine’s Day! The prize package includes 8 sweet romances, a box of chocolates, a mug, and a red blanket. Have a very happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Click here or click the image below to enter.