Wednesday, May 3, 2017

[Top 5 Wednesday] Elements of Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Covers I Dislike

[Top 5 Wednesday] Elements of Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Covers I Dislike

I took a little detour on this week's prompt. I hope you all don't mind! :)

Top Five Wednesday is hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. For those of you that are interested in taking part, check out the Goodreads group here: Top 5 Wednesday.

This week's prompt:

May 3rd: Favorite SFF Cover Art *Booktube SFF Awards Crossover Topic*
-- Show off some of your favorite science fiction and fantasy cover art! 

So, because yesterday's prompt was Favorite Book Covers On My Shelves, I decided that this Top 5 Wednesday post was just too similar to do back to back. So rather than talking about my favorite sci-fi and fantasy cover art, I went in the opposite direction. 

Top 5 Wednesday: Elements of Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Covers I Dislike

Poor cover design is never fun to look at.

From my reading experience, I would say that romance, sci-fi, and fantasy are by far the genres that suffer the most from horrible cover design. So of course, while each of these topics below can be seen on book covers from any genre, they are all simply ones that I see most frequently on sci-fi and fantasy books.

5. Cover changes in the middle of a series.
Because there is a lot of world building in Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, it is typical for these books to be part of a series rather than just a stand-alone. Unfortunately, there are many instances where, much to the dismay of readers across the globe, some knucklehead will make the decision to change the theme of the cover design right in the middle of a series. Unless you are reworking the entire series, please don't throw us off like that!

4. Photos of models that don’t portray the main character
There is nothing worse than picking up a book with a photo of a person on the cover, reading the book, and realizing that the image and the characters descriptions do not match up. In my reading experience, I have found that the worst offenders are cover designers for Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. Cover designers seem to be so quick to add a photo of a pretty or handsome individual when the character wasn't described as such.

3. Poor illustration
I greatly prefer illustrated covers over photographs when it comes to Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. But many times I will put a book down if the illustration isn’t done very well. I'm really not picky when it comes to artwork in general. But I have definitely passed over a number of sci-fi books simply because it looked like a high school graphic design student using a very outdated version of InDesign created the cover.

2. Too many bright colors
Another major downfall of Sci-Fi/Fantasy cover design. Sometimes bright color usage makes a cover pop! But add one too many and it all goes down hill.

1. Cluttered Design
I hate cluttered book covers so much! With Sci-Fi/Fantasy, I feel like cover designers are so quick to add waaaaay too much into the mix. Sure, the cover needs to be intriguing, but it also can't give too much away. Finding the perfect balance is here is definitely key.

Thanks for reading!


  1. These are such good points!! They definitely can determine how much you enjoy a book especially with sci-fi and fantasy or even determine if you decide to pick up the book!

  2. Cover changes in the middle of the series - that always gets me!

    1. Ugh, right?! Every time I see it happen I just want to shout, "WHY?!"