I really love the topic of book covers because good books with bad covers are something I really hate to see. So I liked this humorous post "Why Book Covers are So Very Clichéd" by Mark Charan Newton. I actually don't mind clichéd book covers. I think I posted at some point about how book covers with girls holding a guy's hand (think Sarah Dessen, Susane Colosanti, and Simone Elkeles) may be clichéd, but they attract their target reader. When someone sees that cover, they know what kind of book it is, and they will probably be interested if that's the kind of book they normally like. Example: Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen would appeal to lots of these types of readers, but they don't know that based on the cover of a cow wearing a tiara, and they aren't the least interested in reading that book, no matter how inventive the cover. I read a great article in Romantic Times about the meaning of romance novel covers and how the style clearly indicates to the reader what type of romance they're going to read (urban fantasy, historical, light contemporary, etc.). Yes, they're usually cheesy and maybe even embarrassing to buy, but you know what you're getting. I was at a bookstore recently with a friend, and he would pick up a romance novel and I'd tell him what it was about based on the cover. Example:
"That's a contemporary romance about a woman who owns a bakery or a dog-walking business," I'd say. Verdict: It was indeed about a woman who owned a dog-walking business. See? People know what they're getting, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.