As my regular readers already know, I am crazy for a good cover. To me a cover can totally sell a book, and sadly, a bad cover can keep people away. I also think a good cover can set the tone for a book, let you know what to expect and give you a feel for the story without words. So along with listing our favorite books this year, I decided to do a post featuring my favorite covers of 2012.
Many of you have seen our Favorite Covers of the Month posts. I generally choose my favorites, often with some feedback from my reviewers. But it occurred to me that I have never really explained what it is that makes a good cover to me. So before I share my favorites, here are some of the things that I love in a cover.
First of all, a cover needs to look professional. Sadly, there are wide variations in quality. I want attractive fonts that match the tone, stock photos that don’t look like my middle schooler photoshopped them on, cover images that look like they all fit together into the same picture. So for a cover to really work for me, there needs to be a basic standard of quality and it must look neat and professional.
Beyond that, I think what attracts me most about a good cover is originality. Let’s face it, about 75% of covers in m/m romance fall into one of three categories: 1) two headless torsos (frequently shirtless), 2) two stock photo guys, usually with one in the foreground and one in the background, often with one staring off into the distance, and 3) single guy, again usually shirtless, looking hot and buff. There is not anything wrong with these covers. There is a reason they are so popular. But to stand out from the crowd, they need to be really gorgeous and incredibly well done. (Or maybe just be insanely hot man candy) I also need to be able to tell which character these guys represent. Don’t give me a blond MC with two dark haired guys on the cover. If you are using cover models, they need to really look like the guys in the book.
What tends to catch my eye the most are the covers that really take a different approach. Maybe they capture a scene or setting from the book so perfectly that you are immediately transported back to the story. Or maybe they feature an assortment of images from the book that are integrated seamlessly and give you a perfect idea of what to expect from the book. Or maybe they have a perfect photo, a creative use of color, or totally evoke the time period. I want something gorgeous, that grabs me and makes me want to find out more about the story inside.
So with that in mind, here are my favorite covers from 2012. I sort of organized them into categories, but I realize they are a bit random. Mostly these are just covers that were so gorgeous I wanted to stare at them all day.
P.S. Sorry the formatting is so bad here. Getting these images to lay out took forever and still didn’t work so well. But if you click on any of the covers, you will see them in all their big, shiny glory. Oh, and just a reminder that as with all our 2102 favorites, these are favorite covers for books we READ this year, not that were necessarily released this year.