Cover Image: Your Opinion, Please

So, here are a range of images I am considering using as a basis for the front cover of Restoration Day. I would love to hear what you think of them – like, dislike, utter revulsion…

For those of you who have read the 3rd draft, which do you think fits best?
For everyone, read it or not, which image grabs you, draws you in?

Three things to bear in mind:
Firstly, these are just images, not finished covers – a beginning, not an end.
Secondly, the image may not fill the whole cover, but might instead be seen through a ‘window’ in an old-fashioned binding (or rather, a 2D rendition thereof) or through a gap in a hedge (ditto).
And thirdly, it will have to work at ‘thumbnail’ size as well as book-size and preferably also in black and white.

So, with those caveats out of the way, here are the contenders! Click on the image to see the original version.

Contestant Number 1:

Contestant Number 2:

Contestant Number 3:

Contestant Number 4:

Contestant Number 5:
Pigen, der finder guldhornet (1906) harald slott-møller

Contestant Number 6:

Contestant Number 7:

Contestant Number 8:

Contestant Number 9:

Contestant Number 10:

What do you think? Votes, comments, all feedback welcomed!

Judging a Book By Its Cover

Let us be literal for a moment: we generally judge books by their covers. If the cover is bleh, or just doesn’t suggest the sort of read we’re looking for, we move on. If it intrigues, we take a look inside.

Moby-Dick Book CoverPersonally, I’m put off by garish covers with colours that attack each other, depictions of hysterical half-naked people, and convoluted decoration that obscures those all-important details like the title. Also fonts that are so stylized that making the title out is like deciphering your great-aunt’s handwriting.

On the other hand, old leather bindings with gold tooling draw me like a bee to honey, regardless of the actual contents of the book. (Minor Products of the Phillipine Rainforest, Volume II? Well, why not?)

What do you look for in a cover? What engages you, what drives you away?