A discussion about covers! I’m at home. Covermaker, but not a pro. Still, I’ve done it for 6 years. I also enjoy dissecting covers and thinking about what makes a good cover.
My thoughts on your first and second questions
Okay, so, Idk about other covermakers, but I find there to be a big difference between published books that sell out into the world type of covers, and Wattpad books that stay on Wattpad type of covers.
What makes a good cover? This needs to be separated into: “what makes a good published book cover” and “what makes a good Wattpad cover?”
Wattpad covers are often about the thumbnail, I’ve found. So, when I make covers for people, I reduce the zoom percentage to about 33% (weird number, but that’s what it is on the program I use) and check if the thumbnail is recognizable. I don’t work on that size or suffer eyestrain XD but I do check it a lot as I tweak the cover. The title has to be clear. That’s a must. If you have characters, the characters need to be clear, and a plus if the genre is clear. I do the same thing for my own covers.
Wattpad is a fast-paced world with fast-paced people (whatever that means XD) so the cover should relay, title and genre at the bare minimum, I think. If you’re looking for fantasy and flipping through or scrolling, you would probably seek certain things on the cover and if you see that, instant click to check the blurb. Probably you wouldn’t do much squinting and trying to figure out what the picture is if you want stuff fast.
But here’s the thing, you can make covers for Wattpad that look like published out-there-in-the-world book covers, too. But if you do that, it might not work as a thumbnail on Wattpad (I see out-there-published-sci-fi covers that don’t look sci-fi, but they do look pretty). It might look good printed and in your hand, or on a kindle, but not on Wattpad. You really have to think, does this cover have an easy to read the title, and is it easy to tell the genre? If yes, then go for it
So, what entices me?
I don’t look at books with stereotype Wattpad covers. What I mean is, photographed people on the cover, often somewhat undressed. Often guys and often abs. I also recognize pinterest text slap (taking a pretty pinterest pic and slapping text on it) It just…because I make covers, I like seeing effort had been put into something. Doesn’t mean I might not still check it out. Less likely to though.
So on Wattpad, I look for anything other than that, but those that look like they are covers or at least an attempt because I remember what my old covers were like. On Wattpad, if the title looks interesting I try not to judge a book by it’s cover. I try. I do.
Well, basically the same thing But I don’t even look at books with photographed characters on them. Even a woman dressed in a pretty gown. Even a prince wearing a shirt. If they are real people, I probably won’t look. I’ve just seen too many of those and I’m tired of them
I can’t deny that pretty Insta-worthy covers don’t pique my interest But I have learned my lesson not to get sucked into the hype like with the Shadow and Bone trilogy. Personal opinion.