What Does Your Book Cover Mean?



Just something to think about, image, why did you decide to make your cover like that?

As much as people do say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” we still do it anyways. This is a good way to know that your readers are getting the right idea about your plot.

Talk about:
-Symbolism of objects
-If there is a person on it, describe why they are posed like that
-How it defines your story!

Avoid using your summary as a crutch as much as possible!


Now this is an interesting and unique topic :grinning:
I am a sucker for symbolism. I use it all the time with chapter titles and also my story’s title.
I also love references to pupolar culture.

OK. Can I post my cover then explain what it means?


Yup! That’s what I look for in this thread!


I have two snowy mountains under a grey sky. My story is called Between Earth and Sky and is set to the north in winter so it seemed an okay solution for me since I wanted it to be minimalistic.


My story is called Got Guts? and here is the cover:


The Title:
The title is written in a bloody gutty font, which totally reflects the theme of the story. It’s a serial killer story. And it totally revolves around guts, both literally and metaphorically. Metaphorically as in bravery.

The Guys:
There are 2 guys on the cover; the left one is the serial killer Duke, and the right one is the protagonist Kevin.

The left picture is darker than the right one and has a shadow on it. It almost seems like the killer is lurking through the shadows. This kinda has a feeling that the left guy is a dark person too with the dark shading and his sinister face. He is wearing a black leather jacket which is Duke’s favorite piece of clothing.

Whereas the right guy’s picture is bright and beautiful, almost looking like an angel there, a sad angel. This reflects the purity and innocence of the left guy. His picture reveals his chest and I really like that I chose that picture because there is a VERY creepy scene in the story where the killer rips Kevin’s shirt in half.

The Blood:
The blood splatter kinda looks like it’s more on the left side that implies that this person killed people. However, there is blood on the abdomen of both guys too since they both will have gut injuries in the story.

The Blade:
The bloody blade is placed between the two guys because a bloody fight between them will happen in the story.

It is also the same blade used when the killer demonstrated his cruel torture techniques on an unfortunate victim in front of Kevin to teach him a lesson he will never forget.

And that’s a wrap ^-^
I hope you liked the symbolism of my cover :heart:


Right now I am getting one custom made.

There is a large heart to represent love, spilling coffee to represent… well, the coffee theme and lifes messes and a drawing of a woman with her hair blowing in the the wind.


I am currently working on the cover for a new story, but I can’t help but feel like it’s missing something.

My story is basically a man vs. society type of story. My main character is a necromancer, which has effectively been criminalized. To escape slavery, he turns to crime.
You see the large buildings tower over the person at the center, while the smoke from the person rises towards the top. The buildings are portrayed with cold, purple tones, while the person has a warm, yellow hue (complimentary colors, yay).
The person lights a fire, so to speak, rising all the way to the top. Needless to say, the person is supposed to represent the main character.



My cover is about the untold truth, innocence, and vulnerability, even though the characters in my book are about strong female women, they are fragile when no one is watching.


my cover was made by someone else, but i chose the pictures.
There’s supposed to be 2 diamonds (not a big deal), one was plain, and the other - as you can see - covered in blood. The same goes for the skulls. This’s supposed to represent the changes that happen.
What may have been scary before, and what was beautiful, is all the same now, and they (my characters) have to face it.

There’s also a picture of my mc, looking to the side with a serious expression. On her face (barely noticeable) is futuristic writing that says ‘human’ a bunch of times. Behind is the city where she lives.
Sorry that was a pretty long explanation lol, but but overall the way i wanted it to define my story was how it was supposed to make you feel uneasy, as if something bad is going to happen when you’re not looking.


I would love to post a cover to reference what Im talking about, but… I honestly have no idea if I can in this topic. If IYW allows it, I totally will.

Onto the cover, I have a rose that has white petals with red tips. It symbolizes a part of the story that is significant to the main character. The title is Beauty of a Crimson Soul (sadly, I can’t claim the title as something I created. My friends came up with it for me. I only created the color red, beauty, and soul part. They put it together.). The Crimson word matches the color of the rose tips while the soul makes the white base of the petals. It’s about a guardian angel who has to change a man to save his life ultimately.

The rose symbolizes the rose he will find still blooming on her grave, which represents a part of her is still alive, which is the part of her soul that loves him. Her love for him keeps a part of her alive. The color symbolizes her life. Her favorite color was red, but she also died in a brutal way that involved lots of blood. And the events before her death involved another murder, with blood, so that’s what the crimson and red rose symbolize.



I’ve just posted mine :point_up: ^-^


My book covers mean a lot to me since for many: I draw the art by hand, scan the paper in, do final art in Flash, do the text, etc.

I put characters and a background on most, often w/bright, eye-catching colors.


It takes less than a moment for a book cover to make an impression on a potential reader. No way can she perceive story or all but the most obvious symbolism in that moment. The only thing you can really communicate is tone/mood, so I focused on that.

The woman is languid and she’s holding a drink. She doesn’t look exactly like any of the characters, but it’s close enough, and her pose communicates the alcohol-soaked ennui that permeates the story.


The cover for Mist:

The color scheme is mostly black, gray and a bit of white. It symbolizes the mystery that lurks behind the mist.

Then there’s a girl with half of her body crystallized. That’s the MC. She’s on a journey into the mist, to impress the authorities so that she can get into a prestigious univ and learn more about the parasitic alien on her adoptive father and potentially save him.

The background is dominated by the back of the adoptive father. Even though the MC tries to be independent and can fight by herself, she still needs his protection from time to time. And it’s not that the adoptive father always lets her do whatever she pleases… He’s being an overprotective dude to make up for breaking up with the MC’s mother.


At least, that says a lot about character! This one definitely looks very interesting!


I always love simpler covers. Here is one of mine:


This one already references to someone (a man particularly) shadowing her, or rather, being her shadow. I really like the imagery in this cover because although it hints at stalking – the man isn’t holding her down, but rather covering her eyes, keeping her from something… a secret? And the fact that she is complacent, as in, seems to have no idea something is being hidden from her. Also, with the way he is holding her head, almost like he is caressing it with his thumbs.

I like the various implications to the story just from the cover.

In editing this, I completely changed the girl’s skin colour, hair colour, etc. I even tried to make her cheeks look a little flushed.

And if you look close enough (or maybe I can just see it) bruises can be slightly visible on her neck, etc.

I also made the man more tan, to fit the character, as well as buffed his arms a bit as the original picture guy had scrawny arms.


Really mysterious indeed! I like it!


Thanks! :herb:


“Kiss from a rose on a grave…”