Not-Quite-Genre Covers

Not Quite Genre coversThis obsession with book covers and genres may be getting out of hand. But here’s a few¬† ‘not-quite-genre covers’ that are amazing efforts yet still miss the mark.

Not-Quite-Genre Covers: Crypto coverSi Rosser’s Crypto pastes a scuba diver silhouette over an underwater shot blended into stars in space (I think). It’s one of his time-jumping, genre-bending, techno-thrillers. The cover hints strongly at an underwater adventure like Peter Benchley’s The Deep. The sci-fi genre-bending that isn’t well sign-posted.

Not-Quite-Genre Covers: Edge of Sundown CoverJennifer Worrel’s Edge of Sundown has a marvellously evocative cover. This could be anything from rural crime drama, mystery thriller or family saga. There are so many plots this misty riverbank could lead to. So which is it?

Not-Quite-Genre Covers: The Hound of Hell CoverUnless you’ve heard of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, The Hound of Hell is the most solid solid Western cover ever. Read the book blurb filled with supernatural steam-punk and more, you’ll realise this is another Dark Tower.

Not-Quite-Genre Covers: Blackhorse Road coverMerida John’s Blackhorse Road cover in dramatic red and black, featuring a mysterious key, hints at many possibilities. Romance isn’t necessarily in that list.

Not-Quite-Genre Covers: Cornerstone coverMisty Provencher’s Cornerstone cover is beautiful. With it’s multi-coloured palette, geometric boder, striking butterfly and evocative typography, it really draws the viewer into the centre of the cover. But does it say “paranormal romance”? Not especially.

Book covers these days have to fit in before they stand out. What if the title doesn’t scream genre and there’s no qualifying tag line? A risky, abstract cover can’t steer the viewer manually to the right expectations. It relies on the customer or the curator of the bookshelf to place the book prominently among it’s peers and hope that prospective readers have enough faith to open the pages. As we know, that doesn’t always happen.