Speaker for the Dead book cover
Here is a mock cover I made for one of my favorite books, Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. (Yes, it recently came to my attention that the author is a homophobic ass- a revelation that came as quite a shock and disappointment...) The book begins with the gruesome murder of a human scientist by a race of seemingly peaceful native aliens, called Piggies. The scientist's adopted daughter, who feels responsible for the incident, calls a Speaker for the Dead to come to the planet and discover what happened that night. I wanted to symbolically depict the incident, which serves as a catalyst for the main conflict between the two races, while hinting at the secret behind the murder.
I've never liked the published cover of the book. Its a generic looking, massive space port on the surface of the planet. It doesn't even make sense in the context of the story, where the colony on the planet is tiny and isolated. In my opinion, good book covers should contain more thought to them, and reveal something about the story inside.