Sometimes a cover will grab a person's attention, but not for the right reasons. It might be garish, gross, hard on the eyes, or contain other qualities that make a reader grimace after first glance. A good cover needs staying power to make it connect with your audience on a personal level.
In a Blood-Red Pencil post on February 5, 2013, I recommended my own cover designer, Stephen Walker. To decide whether or not a good cover is the best criteria for choosing a book, you may wish to check out Linda Lane's thoughts in her post.
Today, I'd like to mention what I look for in a cover, and get feedback on your preferences. As in our prior What's Your Answer features, I'll ask a few questions, and invite you to reply in the comment section.
Q: In a choice between a cover featuring one or more inanimate objects, or a cover highlighting one or more people, which do you prefer?
A: I've seen thriller and mystery covers with flames shooting up, dark shadows, and other scary objects. I've seen grey Gothic mansions. I've also seen pretty flowers. Those kind of covers remind me of mechanical voices answering a telephone call. Where's the human?
That said, I confess that for some reason I'm drawn to teapots, quaint houses, storefronts or gardens on the covers of cozy mysteries. I don't know why, but I am.
Q: Do you prefer covers with vectors or humans? Vectors are pictures that kind of look like sophisticated cartoons. Here's a vector example from my romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams:
A: Done right, either will appeal to me. If I see a vector that really grabs me, I love it. Unfortunately, there are also a number of vectors that look like any grammar school kid might have drawn them.
I also like covers with humans on them, if they accurately portray the type of books I prefer. It's not good for a cover to pretend a book is something it isn't, since that leads to reader disappointment.
Split covers featuring one or more humans, along with some type of scenery that tells me something about the story, also appeal to me.
What about you? Please share your preferences in the comment section. Also, if you wish, you may include one link to a blog, website or book cover example.