Chat Between Chapters: Book covers that are turn-offs

May 29, 2016 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 11


 Let’s chat covers some more. What book covers just turn you off a book?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

List time!

These types of things turn me off a cover.

  • Swords. Only swords.
  • Blurry weird floating heads.
  • Bright crazy colors that blind.
  • Unreadable fonts.
  • Overly vulgar looking covers.
  • Awkward positioning of characters.
  • Overuse of a stock photo.
  • Cutting off someone’s head.

Not exactly a turn-off, but a peeve of mine is if a book cover doesn’t state which # in a series it is. Especially for long series. Come on, give us some help here.



I completely agree with Julie’s list. Especially the number in a series one. That drives me crazy. As for my list:

  • Bodice rippers / mostly naked men. I understand that some people are into this. I’d rather see some clothes on models than all that skin.
  • Weird hybrid animals. Just hard pass on these.
  • Fog / Mist.
  • Awkward Photoshop cuts / blends.
  • Bad titles. I love puns. That’s not the problem. It’s poor grammar and weird phrasing that bother me. Titles like “Hot and Bothered” do nothing for me.
  • The same cover model of different books. Very deceptive!

How about you? Any major book cover turn offs?


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11 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Book covers that are turn-offs”

  1. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    For me, the biggest issue is just covers that don’t look professional. If I can tell that somebody slapped it together in Photoshop, I’m not a fan. As far as traditionally published books go, bodice ripper covers aren’t my favorite. I’m also not generally a fan of covers that are just text or something really basic – though I have found a few exceptions to this.
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…The Perils of Growing a Bigger Blog – Let’s Discuss!

  2. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    YES I very, VERY much agree with the mostly nude man one. Especially with body hair. I don’t want to see some dude’s armpit hair, it makes me gaggy. Why would anyone put that on a cover?! And the stock photo one too- sometimes I will see a photo on 4-5 book covers, and I am so confused! That just seems like… maybe a Google image search would have remedied that in about 2 minutes? And ALWAYS say no to the creepy floating head! WHY is that a thing!? These are GREAT!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…The Indecision Games: The Reaping

  3. Tasya

    overly vulgar/naked men also really puts me off that book. especially if they’re naked and in an awkward position. also i usually don’t like covers that have real-life people on the covers (like VA and bloodlines series).
    Tasya recently posted…May Wrap Up and June TBR

  4. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Oh no, I looked at the Wallbanger one, and I never noticed it before, but now I can’t unsee the legs for arms, hahaha.

    I agree with pretty much all of these though. I HATE when the same person is used on numerous covers because I picture them for a character in one book… and then if I read another book with their photo my brain will just get confused. Plus it just kind of screams unprofessional to me, and sometimes if the same picture is on numerous books I get confused and think one book is a different book…

    I also don’t care for the half-naked man pasted onto a background thing. Really anything that’s just pasted onto a background usually turns me off.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: Tainted Heart (Mi Corazon Sangrante Book 2) by Melissa Graves

  5. Tiffany

    I agree with most of them, especially the whole awkward positioning of characters and cutting off someone’s head. Like, seriously dude? It’s just look ugly. That’s why I tend to hate covers with humans in it. I’m more into covers with beautiful typography.
    Tiffany recently posted…May (and a little bit April) Recap

  6. Scarlett

    I agree with the numbers on books thing, that drives me crazy! When I go to the bookshop or library I don’t want to have to memorise all of the titles in a 15 book series to know which one I need next! The sword image had been done so much, I’m sick of it and also the hybrid animal thing, that’s never fun! I think one of mine is when they make book covers in series look too similar, don’t get me wrong I love them to match but when they are almost identical it gets confusing and how much can the cover relate to the story of this instalment if it’s the same as the last?!
    Scarlett recently posted…YALC TBR

    • Lynn

      I agree, Scarlett. Not only are there no numbers to identify which book in the series, but when all the covers are the same, I’m never going to figure out which book I need next!

  7. Tammy V.

    I agree with the most of these. I asked an author about a stock photo cover before I learned that the same photo was often used more than once and she deleted me. This was years ago and I have since seen many duplicate covers. Not a fan of them since I love my covers and associate them with the book. Don’t really like the all black or one color covers with just a couple words. The digital covers where they look computerized – hate them.

    • Lynn

      Yes, I agree with you, Tammy. definitely, One color covers are a major turn off.

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