All About Books

A book blog, mostly touring foreign worlds of fantasy novels with occasional detours into space and explorations of magical realism, featuring book reviews, random bookish thoughts and hand lettered quotes.

Top Ten Book Cover Elements I Like/Dislike

(TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)


I DO judge a book by its cover! And I don’t want a book on my shelf whose cover I don’t like.
I don’t think it’s that hard to create a pretty cover. Just don’t put any real life people, especially their faces, on the cover and you’re already near a cover I will like. My top ten six cover elements that make me LOVE a cover take a little more than that:


  • Dragons: Put  dragon on a cover and you can be sure that I want the book no matterwhat it is about. I will put that book on my to-read shelf on GR without having read a synopsis. It’s not just the promise of a story about dragons that makes me like these covers so much, but somehow dragons just always look good. A Natural History of Dragons and  The Red Knight are two of my favorites with dragons on them.
  • Illustrations: Victoria Schwab and Chuck Wendig always get the most awesome covers. Vicious and Blackbirds are only two of many amazing illustrated covers. I wish publishers would stick to illustrations.


  • Patterns: I LOVE the UK covers for Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, especially the third book Dreams of Gods and Monsters. With their simple background patterns and gleam they are some of the prettiest on my shelves. The Flight of the Silvers has that gleam too! And that pattern is so simply but has the perfect look for a SciFi book.
  • Simplicity: Look at that cover of The Martian! That’s an eye catcher! So simple but add some awesome colors and BAM! you’ve got an epic cover. Same goes for Wonder. Such a simple design but it perfectly mirrors the story and with that bright blue color it catches the eye so easily.


  • Typography: Who needs fancy images if you can work with awesome typography!? Lexicon looks even more awesome in person! And Ten‘s font is so clean and simple and I love it. 
  • Title is part of the picture: I LOVE when the title is not just on top of the picture but part of it. The River of no Return is one of my favorite covers. This cover is perfection. Tell The Wolves I’m Home has the same kind of banner. Another cover like that which I really like is The Ring and the Crown where it looks like the title is under the wallpaper.

Some cover elements I don’t like:

  • THE WORST: cover elements on sequels that haven’t been there before and replace the old ones :P I HATE those
  • People. Dear publishers, just stop using cover models, okay? Especially the ones that have already been on a million other covers before!
  • Faces. Even worse than whole people. I really don’t get who started this trend of putting faces on a cover. Do those designers really think that it looks good?
  • Girls in dresses. Goes hand in hand with people but I really hate fancy dresses, especially if the MC is NEVER wearing such a dress.