Book Covers

There is this saying that you should never judge a book by its cover and I completely agree. I have read books that have horrible covers yet I enjoyed the hell out of them.

It’s different though if you are a new-ish author who wants to get on the radar of bibliophiles. In that moment you have to start thinking like a business person and that’s where some authors don’t succeed.

Think of it that way: if you go to a restaurant and order something, you want it to look pretty, right? Even if it tastes great, if it looks like puke you won’t touch it. Consider a book cover like the first impression of a person you just met. It’s not much different when you hunt for books. It’s that one moment, when you see a great cover, when you decide whether you click and read the blurb.

We had some seriously awesome covers lately. There was Twisted Fate by Jessi Elliott this week (she’s a debut author and so far she’s doing everything right), as well as Ella Fields’ Suddenly Forever. Combust by K. Bromberg has a naked chest but damn, that is one sexy cover.

The cover for Consequence by Rachel Higginson  is pretty simple but beautiful and aesthetic.

My personal favorite is Devney Perry’s cover for Bitterroot Inn  – it doesn’t need a naked chest to grab your attention. The coloring is amazing, the imagery in itself tells a little story. There is also City under Siege by RJ Prescott –  if you look closely you’ll see that there is a lot going on! It makes you want to find out how that is connected to the story.

One thing I’ve noticed is that some authors want to save money and have the cover designed by somebody who is an amateur. That’s alright, if the designer knows how to work the tools of Photoshop. Not so much when it starts to look unprofessional. If your cover looks amateur-ish, the future reader-prospect will assume that the writing is just as amateur-ish.

Here is advice, dear authors. Don’t let a friend design your cover, unless they are graphic artists, always, ALWAYS go to a graphic designer. Don’t save money on the most important asset of your book (aside from your story). At the end of the day you’ll have those expenses returned three-fold.

I have to admit that a few of my favorite authors have covers that are nothing to write home about and I’m a little sad because a lot of readers are missing out on their awesomeness. It’s hard to tell them because you don’t want to upset them. Often times they are also very proud of it so how do you tell them that you think it’s unappealing?

So what do you think? Do you think book covers matter? Do you think they are important, just like me? Tell me about your favorite covers!

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  • Agree wholeheartedly with you!!!! Today’s cover reveal by Cambria Hebert is just so unique and stole my heart instantly. She doesn’t need a guy on the cover for me to love it.;-)

  • Oh my goodness, I love this topic and not many bloggers address this issue!! This may seem bad of me, but I am so picky about covers. One of my biggest pet peeves with authors going from working with a publisher to self publishing is that their covers are horrid. I lose interest in the author because their covers are such a turn off. And honestly its really not that expensive to hire a graphic designer for a book design. And if its a new to me author, and the cover is very ameteurish, you can bet I won’t be picking it up. I don’t think that authors realize that a great cover is one of the largest selling points. And if the cover isn’t good, then most readers will not even glance at it twice.

    • I agree! It’s a simple business concept – make something appealing so that people take a second look. I think it’s a little frustrating because some really think their cover is beautiful when it’s not.

      There is also the problem that fangirls will father and swoon over the cover, giving the author the confirmation that all is good.

  • Well Astrid as we have about 2 minutes while scrolling through book lists to make a choice of course they matter!

  • Book covers are so, so important! It’s like you said, it’s the first impression that counts and that food analogy was just perfect – you do eat with your eyes first, and then your stomach.
    Trying to save money will actually cost some authors money in the end… Why can’t they see that? It makes me seriously question some publishers, too.
    It’s tough to be the one to break the hard news to friends but, I mean, if it’s for their own good then it should be said in a gentle way. Even if they get mad at you, at least you were honest and tried to help.

    • Yes! All of that! And you are right, some covers of traditionally published authors are just as bad.

      Good point, Sophie. You are right, if they take offense it’s not on me.

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