The Power of Book Covers // the importance of representation, and the beauty of aethestic

Hi friends! If y’all know me, you know that I’m super shallow and talk about book covers NON-STOP. They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we all do it. And marketing takes advantage of that, as they rightfully should. I also want to talk about the importance of diversity on covers.

First off: this is why cover redesigns are a thing…

I mean, are you more likely to pick the cover on the left or the right? The right obviously*! It’s aethestically pleasing, the color choice is warm and coordinated, and the Eiffel Tower in the background conveys a romantic-y feeling.

*if you said left, you no longer deserve to be blessed with the sheer joy of chicken nuggets and coloring books

you might be asking: what’s the point?

Well, I think we as bookworms never think about how subconciously book covers affect our buying decisions. We’ve all shouted “GOOD COVER” and “BAD COVER” very loudly but there’s a lot more that goes into it. A lot of people will buy a book simply because of the cover!

For example, I’m IN LOVE WITH THIS COVER. Never mind that I’ve lost interest in the plot, or that it doesn’t have the best reviews, if you waved this in front of my face I’d grab it and read it in a heartbeat. Just because I think it looks pretty.

On the other hand, book covers sometimes draw us in not just because of their beauty but because of who’s on the cover.

These are just a few covers where people of differing color and races are featured. There’s plenty more, and there needs to be more, but these are nine that I picked at random. I’m so happy to say that things are getting better but I remember younger me being so so excited at seeing a brown girl, half-white and half-black, on the cover of a book. I didn’t realize how terribly rare it was to see someone who looked like me on the cover of a book until I saw Shadows of Sherwood (pictured above). And I know the same goes for hundreds of thousands of people all around the world!

It’s not only important to include different cultures on covers, but mixed races as well. For example, With The Fire On High features an Afro-Latinx girl and it’s the only one I’ve ever heard of or seen with that ethnicity being represented. This needs to be fixed, and it needs to be done right.

I guess that’s all I wanted to say for now! Talk to me about your thoughts on this topic!

18 thoughts on “The Power of Book Covers // the importance of representation, and the beauty of aethestic

  1. This is a great post! I definitely think that covers play an important part in getting people to buy and read a book and I’m very glad that we are seeing more and more books with poc characters on the cover because that it’s definitely a truer reflection of our society and helps people feel seen and validated.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a fantastic post!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the covers you chose are awesome! And whoever claims that they don’t live by the rule (even if only a little) “don’t judge a book by its cover” and therefore would pick the hideous Anna and the french kiss – are obviously crazy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes book covers can 100% make or break a book & also can determine the success of a book – realistically, like you said with Anna, you’re so much more likely to pick a book with a pretty cover than an ugly one!!
    I especially love seeing diversity on covers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a lovely post!! ❤ There was an article not to long ago that complained about how we see too many girls holding weapons on book covers, and more than half the examples were girls of colour, and that made me so mad. As far as I'm concerned, there are no bad covers when it comes to racial representation. Unless it's like SO objectively terrible that it burns out my retinas or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gah I am so behind on your posts but I am totally agreeing with you here!
    Book covers honestly will make or break a book, especially for people who need to have beautiful shelves, or photos.
    I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but if there is a book I *love* but I absolutely despise the cover, I will create my own booksleve with black paper and then write really fancy title and perhaps glue a bit of awesome fanart to the blurb.
    – Emma 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Kaya! Covers are definitely important. I agree that there definitely needs to be better representation on covers too. I know so many instances where covers got white-washed, which is just wrong for so many reasons. Sometimes I’m a bit ashamed of the publishing industry, but I do think it’s getting better.
    I really love a lot of these covers. I’ve bought books just based on the covers a lot of times haha. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a good cover. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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