Friday, 20 April 2012

My first example: Hit List by Laurell K Hamilton

I've chosen Hit List, an paranormal romance novel for my first foray into cover analysis because it's unappealing by anyone's standards, but why?

The Positives
One of the strongest aspects of this cover is that the hierarchy of information is clear, from the author's name at the top, down to the title and then the name of the series. Additionally, the metallic gold of the cover is eye-catching (although tacky).

The quote from Charlaine Harris (a bestselling author in the same genre) and the '#1 New Yorks Time Bestselling Author' shoutline are both clearly displayed and may help to convince potential buyers that this book is worth buying.

The Negatives
I think the main issue with this cover is that there is just too much going on. It also unsuccessfully mixes the conventions of several different genres, and it's not clear just what target audience this cover would appeal to. The metallic gold suggests romance, the naked lady suggests erotica and the bold, all-caps typefaces for the author and title and man in the trenchcoat suggest a gritty thriller. All the different elements of the cover seem to have been combined at random, rather than deliberately placed.

  • The text has a mixture of alignments, with most text being centre-aligned and the title being right-aligned. This adds to the feeling of 'busyness'.
  • The scale of the pictures seems to be off, with the man the same size as the gunshot pattern, but tiny compared to the naked lady.

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