|My favorite book cover ever|
The "white" part is a serious problem, especially if the protagonist isn't supposed to be white (this is called whitewashing). Even when the protagonist is white, I think these covers are a bad idea.
- A lot of these books are meant to appeal to both genders, but how many adolescent boys are confident enough to buy a book with a photograph of a girl in a dress on the cover? As a former middle school teacher, I can tell you how many: zero.
- Any image - even a painting or drawing - of a character from the book will interfere with the reader's ability to create the character in their own mind. This is something readers have a right to do, and I hate when covers rob them of the opportunity.
- Covers with photographs of people date the book. The hairstyles, make-up, clothing - all of this is bound to go out of style, and even if the book had a chance to keep selling well into the future, I imagine it would suffer from a dated cover. How many books sold today but published in the '80s have pictures of girls wearing leg warmers and scrunchies in their hair? Yech.
- As far as I can tell, none of the really high-selling YA books have a photograph of a character on the cover. Twilight used hands, but that was more of a symbol than a picture of a character. Harry Potter had illustrations of the characters, but these were so beautiful, so whimsical, and so consistent with the narrative that I don't know how anybody could complain. I will bow at Mary Grandpre's feet if I ever have the chance to meet her. (Mary Grandpre is the artist who did the artwork for the HP covers and chapters.)
I love this cover. Even though it breaks my rule of putting a photo of a girl on the cover, the girl is so cool and sassy looking - and her look is quite classic - that I'm attracted to it because of the photograph. This is on my to-read list, so I can't say yet whether or not the photo is consistent with the author's description of the character. But I can say that it likely wouldn't be on my to-read list if it had a different cover.