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I will admit that when I am scanning the book stores shelves or the book listings on the online book store sites, I will at times, judge a book by its cover. I don't necessarily buy the book that catches my eye, but I am more likely to take a second look at it and read the synopsis, etc.


Readers: do you judge a book by its cover? Please explain why or why not?


Authors: do you feel that book cover design can affect the saleability of your books and do you believe that readers pay a lot of attention too and/or judge a book by its cover? Please explain why or why not?


We are sharing ideas and opinions openly; everyone is entitled to theirs so please be respectful and courteous.


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The cover is crucial for marketing! As a reader, I look at the covers first. I must be drawn in. Then, I read the blurb. As an author, I agonize over the cover just as much as my blurb. Luckily, I am able to consult on the cover. Not many authors are able to say word one about them. They kiss their ms goodbye and hope for the best.
I think some do. I've been known to pick up a book I liked the cover of, but I always read the blurb. I've been told my own book cover looks like its for a child's book. Somehow they miss the blood dripping off the table but its got an obscenely cute (the artist's words)stoat on the cover and I suppose that gives some a certain opinion on what the book is about. Regardless, I still like the cover.
well not so much a cover for me but I am slightly turned off with swears in my titles. It's not me per se it's trying to explain it to someone who will say what about the book can be any good with that kind of word in it's title. So for me covers aren't a big deal the words used can sometimes turn me off. I try to give any book a good chance!
As a reader I will pick up and buy a book if I love the cover--sometimes even without reading the blurb. Especially if it's an author I'm familiar with. As an author, I have some input on the author cover info sheet, but won't have control over the "look" of the final product. Readers will often critique a cover and say how can the author describe her characters this way, and they look nothing like what's on the cover? (because I've been guilty of this) I've learned that some houses don't even give their authors much leeway, Deena is right about that. The audio version of my current release has a blonde heroine, but my e-book cover, same book, has a chestnut heroine (both beautiful, I'm not complaining :) Yes, an interesting book cover will get me to buy a book, but also a great blurb has the same effect. (It's just that the visual piece is the first thing I, as a reader, see)
For me, the cover is the first thing you see so, more than the fabled magic of having a great first line, you need something that captures the tone of the novel and shows in visual terms what the reader will experience whilst they are in your world. Also, a great cover, to me, shows that the author has taken time and care over it so the material inside should be of a similar quality.
Other than self-published, the author has little say in what the cover looks like. In my case I had a cover artist who got the concept of what I was telling her.
Actually, researching book covers became a big part of deciding on the design for my series. Walking the fantasy aisles our eyes began to glaze over after seeing the same types of busy illustrations and photographic retouches. We didn't want the books to get lost in the sea of sameness. We wanted them to stand out.

After going home we looked at our book shelves and discovered the most eye catching books were those hard-bound with old fashion leather covers. That is what we decided to do, make each cover look like an old book, so whether face forward or spine out, they looked like a collect of old books.

Thanks. Here's a peek at the cover for book 4:
August 2011. Hoping to do both paperback and e-book around the same time. I want to have all 4 with me to take back to Decatur.
I really like those book covers Shawn!
Thanks. My husband does a great job! :)
I know that covers really do mean a lot for me. When you think about it, it is only natural for people to judge by that. Think about a plate of food you get. If it doesn't look good, you wouldn't want to eat it. Yet that same plate of food that looks nasty could taste like nirvana.

The same thing goes for books. If a cover doesn't look like they spent more then 2 seconds putting it together, then you just assume that the content isn't going to be much better.

However, there have been many times I have been pleasantly surprised. As a reviewer, there have been many books whose covers were a major turn off, yet I was spellbound by the actual writing. Conversely, there have been covers and blurbs that promised me to be enthralled and I was only left with a feeling of "blah, well that was a waste of energy".

I think that is one of the reasons why I shy away from mentioning the covers in my reviews. Unless of course it was completely stunning and just begged to be mentioned.


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