So I took a random perusal of the New York Times Bestsellers and thought I would review the top three covers for their X-factor.
So this is the number 1 bestseller. All I can say is the book must be pretty good! Orange on blue implies that the artist/author likes to use the opposite sides of the colour wheel. This implies it's exciting and that the celebrity death must have taken place while handcuffed and wearing leopard print trousers. It could also be in an industrial area, based on the industrial motif behind the title and possibly involving a statue of a bird on a movie set. If I had to guess the target audience, it would be celebrity-obsessed and/or colour-blind.
1/5 for ensuring I would almost never pick up this book.
This is the number 2 bestseller. Well, I can see why (half the population) would pick up this book. It's got a redhead leaning over while showing off cleavage. Way to halve your audience there! She looks to be drawing red energy from the ground. Or is it illuminated blood drawing from her into the ground? She looks semi-professional (no, not that kind of professional), with her all-black outfit. Kind of like the lycra-wearing Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment. If I had to guess who the target audience is, it would be men that like attractive women with glowing hands and possibly some sexy killing.
3/5 because I'm a guy and I like seeing glowing red things coming out their hands.
This is the number 3 bestseller. I think it is instantly attractive. It's got a black-and-white image of the Eiffel Tower with contrasted and stressed texturing in the sky. It looks like there is an inferno burning behind, adding to the tension and excitement. The title is effective and succinct, although I couldn't help noticing the subtitle: "An American Assassin Thriller." I think this was so that people weren't automatically dissuaded into thinking it could be a French Assassin Thriller. If I had to guess the target audience, it would be someone that likes assassin stories set in France but only if the killing is done by Americans.
5/5 because I like the title, clear silhouettes and enough to tell you it's set in France but still has Americans in it.
I can only guess that the first two have surpassed their poor choice of cover and somehow succeeded thanks to word of mouth (or the fact that they're the "New York Times Bestseller"). Judging by my follow-up post on the best-selling novels proves that the cover is still not important.