Remember back when I featured The Kid Table for Cover Love? If so, this cover may not come as a surprise, then.
Let’s talk design elements, first. As I’ve mentioned approximately 4,538 times on this blog, I love it when a cover is simple, but different. You can’t just slap some Helvetica titles over some vintage stock photography, then put it on a cover and call it awesome. Sarah Harvey’s Death Benefits cover art was picked out from a crowd in an indie publishing article I read the other day. In the same vein that Andrea Seigel’s The Kid Table features an object, simple type, and high-contrast colors, Death Benefits takes it a step further to add a more pronounced circle gradient. The title’s font also makes it feel a little more whimsical.
And that car? I’m not exactly your die hard car enthusiast, but I can definitely appreciate a polished piece of automotive workmanship. (Also, I wouldn’t be sad if keys to a Maserati accidentally fell in my lap) When was the last time I saw a classic car on a YA novel? The only two covers I can think of that even have cars on them are Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-Way Street, and Pete Hautman’s How to Steal a Car. I’m not sure if this decision comes from a marketing team’s professional opinion that “cars shouldn’t be on books that teen girls primarily read.” Or in Death Benefits’ case, is the car featured because the novel’s MC is male? Perhaps a car on a cover will attract male readership?
Regardless, I’d definitely pick up and thumb through Death Benefits if I was browsing the shelves at the bookstore. Its blue spine would stick out amongst all of the dark paranormal and fantasy fare, for sure.