Check out more infographics that compare 2011 YA book covers, from jacket colour to ethnicity of models over katehart.net.
So fascinating. (Witness, for instance, the fact that almost 99% of models featured on the cover of YA novels are caucasian, for instance.)
I suppose the cover of TFiOS features clouds, but only in a fairly abstract way. I really wanted the cover to move away from the conventional wisdom about what sells: white girls’ faces (or headless bodies), water, moons, spooky typeface, hands holding apples, etc.
But I’m really fortunate to work with a publisher who A. cares what I think when it comes to book covers, and B. will take the time/spend the money to make sure that all parties are happy. Most authors don’t have much say in their covers (and, indeed, I didn’t always have much say in mine—there are some, in fact, that I actively dislike).
In semi-related news, I am so, so, so excited to be able to reveal the new cover of Katherines in a couple weeks, which was designed by a nerdfighter.