A good way to get inspiration when designing a book cover is to take a look at existing covers – you can visit a bookstore, go online, or ask friends, writers, and those in your reading groups. Pay special attention to covers that have received notable praise in your relevant genre. To get you started, the CompletelyNovel team have selected their favourite book covers and stated why each one works for them.
Anna Lewis – co-founder of CompletelyNovel.com
Anna has chosen The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and The BFG by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake. Here’s what she said about each:
The Time Traveller’s Wife: I love the way that the images in The Time Traveller’s Wife sum up the book so elegantly. And the blurriness of the background also belies that sense of disrupted reality inside.
The BFG: Quentin Blake is just such an incredible illustrator and I was a massive Roald Dahl fan so I had to include one of their books! Such tremendously exciting images to look at, especially as a kid.
Oliver Brooks – co-founder of CompletelyNovel.com
Oli is our technical genius at CompletelyNovel, and this is reflected in his choice of cool favourite covers. He tells us:
My favourite covers are the O’Reilly tech books. They are instantly recognisable, with a cool, often rare, animal on the front of each one, the identity of which can be found out in the book.
The books are also colour coded so you can identify which ones are to do with design, databases, programming languages etc.
Sarah is the newest member of the fabulous CN team and has already made her mark with her excellent creativity. See what Sarah selected as her favourite covers and why:
The Book Thief: This is my all-time favourite book cover. The simple, yet striking illustration and ‘old’ parchment effect on the background appeals to anyone who loves books.
The Night Circus: The inverted silhouette illustrations and simple colour scheme makes this stand out from every other book on the shelf. Love it!
Jazzmine’s favourite cover is for a selection of short stories by Stuart Evers – find out why she chose it.
Ten Stories About Smoking: I think the boxed-edition of Stuart Evers’ Ten Stories About Smoking is one of the most clever cover designs I have seen.
The book comes in a box which is designed as a cigarette box. When you open it at the top, just as with a real cigarette box you can see the butts of 5 cigarettes, which cover the front and back of the paperback book inside. The attention to detail is spot on; it really does look like a large cigarette box almost to scale.
Picador’s design for this book is so on theme, and makes the collection feel all the more special. I absolutely adore it!
So, what are your favourite covers, and why?