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To Cover Art or Not...

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
7,430
Location
Scottish Highlands
I love great SF art on book jackets. But I would rather read a book with no art than bad art.

Based on the cover, I wouldn't read this:
To be fair if you know what Stross's Laundry Files books are about you'll realise that both the books and that cover are intended to be spoofs. Spoofs of spy novels and spoofs of Lovecraftian style horrors. In that sense that cover suits the books perfectly. It is meant to be corny and cliched right done to the girl's pose and glasses.
 

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
20,915
Location
England
I strongly suspect that the guy with the grin is not the protagonist, but rather the American televangelist that Bob is tasked with investigating.
 

superupaman

Science fiction fantasy
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
15
Something I enjoy as I mentioned in another thread is generating cover art. Perhaps a dystopian background, a little cheesecake, some ominous font and viola. Though I'm sure that good cover art will sell a book as quick as a solid description, I still have to say I'm struck by the blunt simplicity of older hardcovers before much in the way of art is added to them.

Lean, simple; a good font, just the tiniest amount of styling... Title and the author, the end.

Unlike typical SF covers, 'to me' it speaks of something possibly wonderful inside. As though the moment you open the sedate cover, bright light will spill out and a world of wonder pour forth. Here's a good example of what I'm saying:



A few others of ERB: A Princess of Mars

So what are your thoughts? Are we so fixed on typical advertising that we have perhaps forgotten the artistry of the tease?

K2
I loved it! Love me some good design and minimalism! I am a cover illustrator and
Something I enjoy as I mentioned in another thread is generating cover art. Perhaps a dystopian background, a little cheesecake, some ominous font and viola. Though I'm sure that good cover art will sell a book as quick as a solid description, I still have to say I'm struck by the blunt simplicity of older hardcovers before much in the way of art is added to them.

Lean, simple; a good font, just the tiniest amount of styling... Title and the author, the end.

Unlike typical SF covers, 'to me' it speaks of something possibly wonderful inside. As though the moment you open the sedate cover, bright light will spill out and a world of wonder pour forth. Here's a good example of what I'm saying:



A few others of ERB: A Princess of Mars

So what are your thoughts? Are we so fixed on typical advertising that we have perhaps forgotten the artistry of the tease?

K2
Loved it! I love minimalism and good type design, and I envy those who do such work. I am a cover illustrator, and I always find such designs satisfying. If only I could do that! But I hear you. The artistry of the tease, nicely put.

Here is the cover I did for A Princess of Mars early in my career.

6183EF3F-0E14-4BA6-B102-E11E6CD37C94.png
 

BrightStar*

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
18
I like the covers of 50s and 60s sci-fi, of the Golden age that is. For my short story which I published few days ago I made the cover myself, its a short story after all I didn't want to invest too much in it. If I publish a collection of stories some day I sure would look for professional cover designer to make it.
 

Scookey

Author of the AD2045 sci-fi series
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
137
Location
UK
I like the covers of 50s and 60s sci-fi, of the Golden age that is. For my short story which I published few days ago I made the cover myself, its a short story after all I didn't want to invest too much in it. If I publish a collection of stories some day I sure would look for professional cover designer to make it.
As much as the writing is the most important thing, sadly people do judge books and even short stories by the cover when deciding whether to even consider the words inside. Unless it comes highly recommended in some other way or you are an established author - in which case just your name and a book number on a blank cover could suffice. Could even become a style thing. Now there's a thought... ;-)
 

Scookey

Author of the AD2045 sci-fi series
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
137
Location
UK
Have you ever seen the cover to a book called the Flying Eyes? Not sure if I still have my copy but it is old school wierd art and perfect for the wierd story inside - loved it as a kid :)
 

BrightStar*

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
18
I'm afraid I haven't seen it. But I think most Arthur Clarke covers are fantastic, and Issac Asimov's Foundation is great, also 1984 was some simple art cover and so on. I like those big bulk fonts that they used too. Btw I will post a link to my self made cover in publishing soon so you can see it there, I don't want to spam here.
 

Scookey

Author of the AD2045 sci-fi series
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
137
Location
UK
I'm afraid I haven't seen it. But I think most Arthur Clarke covers are fantastic, and Issac Asimov's Foundation is great, also 1984 was some simple art cover and so on. I like those big bulk fonts that they used too. Btw I will post a link to my self made cover in publishing soon so you can see it there, I don't want to spam here.
Agree spamming is not productive but be aware, as I have been politely informed by the admin, there is no self-promotion allowed until you have 100+ posts. Which is fair enough :)
 
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