How to Cite a Book Cover in MLA
If you are citing a book cover, or part of a book cover, make sure to keep in mind that you are still citing a book.
These examples are in MLA 9 format
For Book Cover Art
Try looking at the publication information and the book cover or jacket for the name of the designer, illustrator, and name of the cover art. Include as much of this information as possible.
Artist’s Last Name, First Name. Title of Artwork (if available) or description of book cover. Designed by Designer First Name Last Name (supplemental). Title of Book, Author or Editor’s Name, edition (if applicable), Publisher, publication year. Front cover.
Funderburgh, Dan. Cover illustration. Designed by John Fontana. The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, 2019. Front cover.
If no artist is listed for a book cover, the book’s designer could be listed in the artist slot instead, followed by a comma and a description of their role.
Designer’s Last Name, First Name, designer. Title of Artwork (if available) or description of book cover. Title of Book, Author or Editor’s Name, edition (if applicable), Publisher, publication year. Front cover.
For Book Cover Text
If you are citing descriptive copy or a quotation printed on the cover of a book, it’s preferable to incorporate the necessary details (chiefly, the author of the copy or quotation you are citing, if known, and the source where the copy or quotation appears) into the body of your text, and then create a standard entry for the book in your works cited list.
If you do not include all the necessary details in the body of your text, the works cited list entries might appear as follows:
Cover copy. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Grove Press, 2015.
Kingston, Maxine Hong. Cover endorsement. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Grove Press, 2015.
If the quotation is from a review of the work, you should ideally obtain the review and cite the publication in which it appeared in your works cited list. But if you need to cite it from the book cover, your entry might read as follows:
Caputo, Philip. Review excerpt on book cover. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Grove Press, 2015.
For in-text citations, the information included inside your parentheses should match the first item in the full reference on your Works Cited page. For a book cover, this could be the last name of the designer, artist, or reviewer or a description of the element being quoted.
Here’s how the above examples would be cited in in-text citations:
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