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horner_alovestory-1824289I have to admit I’ve had my eye trained on this book for a few months. Every time I venture into a bookstore, it’s almost always outward-facing. I also can’t help but be attracted to shiny objects — y’know, like a squirrel or raccoon but without the whole rabies thing. But seriously, check out the gloss on that cover. Shiny!

There are several reasons why I’ve always stopped by to look at A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend. The marquee is attention grabbing. I mean, it’s signage for crying out loud. I think my advertising eyeballs are automatically trained to look at such things like quirky-looking marquees. All of the colors pop, from the orange on the motel to the red on the sign. And quite frankly I don’t notice the green-hoodied grinning girl until my eyes are almost completely done with soaking in the cover.

Something I’ve noticed lately on covers (in general, not necessarily YA) is the proportion of an author’s name to a novel’s title. I understand that an author’s name alone can sell a book. But I have so much appreciation for cover designers and art directors who know how to keep titles and author names proportionate to each other, especially when you throw blurbs and multiple quotes in the mix. I’ve mentioned before that I like it when my eyes know exactly where to go when looking at a cover for the first time.

Here’s an example using Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother:

doctorow_littlebrother-1976067I almost featured Little Brother for a Cover Love post, but I hesitated only because of the type proportion. Westerfeld and Gaiman’s praises about Cory Doctorow’s work are obviously important, but the slightly smaller author name had me confused as to whether it was part of the title or not. And overall, there was just way too much text all over that cover for my eyes to handle.

So back to A Love Story. In many ways, it’s a simple yet very put together cover. Factor in eye-catching elements, colors that pop, a familiar backdrop and a catchy title, and you’ve got yourself A Cover Love story. icon_wink-3729690

Bryan Williams