When you are studying book covers while you plot to create your next Indie book…
Don’t do ANYTHING you see on this site.
Go on, go have a giggle, stare in horror… and then come back and we’ll talk about some bad examples in more detail.
I asked for contributions of bad covers, and was given some vintage examples to talk about.
Well, you have to admit it’s eye-catching. I’m not sure in a good way, and I don’t think I’d want it where my kids could see it in the house. Plus, all that vivid pink… *shudders* However, you can see the evolution of the Author’s name being prominent here, he was a well-known author already, and this was supposed to sell on the weight of that, and the promised sex from that cover art. It wouldn’t work for a modern cover, the thumbnail size would obscure the art details and make it into a pink-and-yellow blur, with an unreadable title. But the author’s name would still be enough. Also, it’s very vintage. Unless you plan to sell your book based on how it resembles vintage pulp-fiction, this isn’t a style you want to emulate.
The other cover isn’t necessarily bad, but… odd. Not sure what the art is conveying, if you didn’t already know something about the book. But in the time it appeared, it would have strongly cued SF to potential readers. Again, the art isn’t something you could use now. And the flat, plain fonts for the author and title would look cheap and off on a modern cover, because our eyes are trained to nice typography.
I think this lesson is: what used to work isn’t going to work NOW. In order to keep up with trends, you need to be looking at the top sellers in your genre… not overall, but specific to what you are trying to convey. Just because an old cover appeals doesn’t mean it will sell now, and if you are attracted to the vintage covers, stop and think about what it it. What elements draw your eye? What is it you like looking at? You might be able to take a single element and incorporate it without making your whole cover look, well, OLD.
I’ll return to this train of thought in a few days, with some really good covers, and talk about why they work, and why you have to ignore some bestselling covers altogether.