Do you judge a book by the cover? I absolutely do! I love book cover art and a good cover will send me over the edge if I'm debating whether to read something. Will I buy a book solely for the cover? That's a little more iffy, but if I can rationalize to myself that I might read it at some point, it could happen. :) But generally speaking if I'm on the fence, the cover can seal the deal
Take the Blue by Lucy Clarke. The synopsis had me anyway but you just never know with a book like this. The cover though- I think it's awesome and I was totally getting this one. It didn't hurt that the book turned out to be really good- but what if it hadn't? Would it have been a case of cover love gone wrong? I've been thinking lately about book covers. I've seen a lot of bloggers say they do judge by the cover, and that's obviously the point- the cover should entice us to buy if it's doing its job.
So... what do you look for in a good cover? Do you like illustrated covers more or do you prefer an abstract cover? Should a cover reflect the story or even depict a scene from the book? I personally like it when a cover represents the story. But there may be some who would rather have a cover that just summarizes the book in a general sense, or don't feel the need to be so literal about the whole thing. What do you think?
I definitely judge a book by its cover, although sometimes I'll have no idea what to read next and pick up a random library book that doesn't have a good cover, and still be pleasantly surprised. Just shows that I should never judge it by its cover ;) But it's instinct for me, I guess.ReplyDelete
I do too. Although you are right sometimes there are plenty of books that are great but have lackluster covers, so it pays to give them a chance!Delete
I usually don't buy books just for the cover, but yeah, if I'm on the fence, it's often the thing that tips me over the edge.ReplyDelete
You already know I like illustrated, original artwork covers best. And those work really well for SFF. And I like when the cover shows a scene or shows the characters or represents the story. I don't like when I read a book and I'm still just kinda like, "...so what exactly does the cover have to do with anything?"
Same. And yes to illustrated covers. :) I like a cover to reflect the book- definitely. If it doesn't I'm like what were they thinking in terms of cover design? A lot of times characters are in poses or whatever and as long as it still reflects the story a bit i don't mind, but if it's totally generic that can be irritating.Delete
Oooh, good talking point. I don't think I've ever bought solely on cover - I've not-bought because of cover - but it's a massive influence on whether I pick up the book to read the synopsis in the first place.ReplyDelete
I can be such a snob about it - I'm not a fan of lurid / pulpy covers, so although I remember seeing Game of Thrones in the library in the mid-90s, I didn't consider reading it until it was reissued with the gorgeously simple textured cover - although the one-line review of 'characters so poisonous they could eat the Borgias' was a huge draw ;)
I grew up loving the UK cover art for the Deverry books by Geoff Taylor and Alan Lee's work on The Lord of the Rings - so I clearly have a thing for dreamy fantasy art too!
Not seeing the cover art is one of the things that makes me sad about ebooks.
Same here. A huge influence, although I do think I've bought for the cover before- and often end up disappointed when I do! and Game of Thrones has had so many cover redesigns, but I think that's due to the popularity and also the show- and hey it's worked, as so many new readers have been brought in.Delete
I know Alan Lee's work, i'll have to look at that other!
If I browse through a bookstore, yes I pick up books either because I like the cover or know the author. The same on blogs... I get distracted easily by shiny things and will flock to gorgeous covers. However in the end I think I will pick up whatever I hear is being loved at the moment and even if I don't like the cover it will not keep me from reading the book.ReplyDelete
Ha ha so easy to get distracted, whether it's cover art or blogs. Totally agree! And yeah a bad cover won't keep me from a book, but a good cover definitely helps. :)Delete
I have never bought a book solely for the cover, but god yeah, I judge them all the time from their covers first, and then their blurbs. This cover definitely had me go looking searching for the blurb on the Goodreads.ReplyDelete
I think I have- and it's dangerous. :) And I'm so glad- I don't think I've ever seen this book reviewed by a blogger (I'm sure there are blog reviews on Goodreads, but I mean just by my usual browsing) and it was quite good!Delete
I don't buy a book based purely on the cover-I have to be interested in the actual plot to make a purchase-but a good cover might influence which books I zero in on to further investigate. I like vibrant colours and designs that are eyecatching or urban fantasy kickass looking covers!ReplyDelete
I usually do too- although occasionally I've done it (bought due to a cover). But yes a cover will definitely sell me or at least get me looking- which is the point I guess! And I agree- so many good UF covers out there.Delete
YES. I can't help it. Sometimes it's the subject matter that grabs me, but sometimes it's just the quality of the cover. I usually pass on low quality covers because I assume if they are willing to settle on a crappy cover, they might be willing to settle for a crappy story, too. I can't help but think a high quality cover might contain a high quality story. :)ReplyDelete
I know? Cover love gets me. And I agree- if the cover is great I may think the story is going to be also, because maybe it had a bigger illustration budget? What's worse is when the cover is great but the story ends up sucking lol.Delete
I will admit I do judge by a cover. When I go to the bookstore there are so many books I want to read. How do I pick which ones to buy? A good cover stands out and I'll go with that one over a book with a horrible cover. Marketing matters! However, I will read books with bad covers if they sound good and I won't buy a book ONLY because of a good cover. The plot has to sound good as well.ReplyDelete
I do too. How can you not really? Marketing does matter. And yeah I'll read a book even if the cover is bad, but a good one is even better. :)Delete
I definitely judge my covers and love when they represent some aspect of the story. I try not to buy based on covers but somtimes it happens.ReplyDelete
It happens t me too- I judge by covers whether I try to or not.Delete
I do judge a book by its cover, because I have a bad case of "cover lust". If an e-book, for example, has a poor quality cover I pass it by unless someone I respect recommends it. I prefer illustrated covers to abstract, and I like it to reflect something important from the book theme. I don't like photograph covers for some reason-- I like quality drawings.ReplyDelete
I do judge a book by it's cover though it isn't a deal breaker if it's a bad one if I like the author enough or if I've heard good enough reviews for it. I have discovered that a cover that is completely different from the tone of the book tends to cause a struggle because I go in expecting something and I get something totally different. My main cover issue is with romance titles. 95% of them are awful! I do most of my romance reading on Kindle so I don't have to face the cover!ReplyDelete
Covers certainly get my attention. Unfortunately some really good books don't get read because I judge them. It bugs me when the cover features a brown haired woman/man and the description of said character is blond haired.ReplyDelete
I definitely judge a book by its cover... but at the same time, it's not a deal-breaker, and I will definitely read books with "ugly" covers too. But it's hard not to be excited a book with a pretty cover. Case in point - RoseBlood by A.G. Howard. I ended up loving the book, but before I read it, I had no idea what it was about! I got it because I loved the cover. :DReplyDelete
Great post, Greg!
Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
I have definitely bought books based on the cover before and I will not be doing that in the future. Huge mistake. Some really stunning covers have turned out to be awful stories, totally unreadable but on the other hand I've read a lot of amazing stories that have awful covers so anything goes.ReplyDelete
A good cover gives the impression that a lot of professional work has been done on the book so I expect that to extend to the story and it doesn't always happen. I love a unigue cover and not the usual stock pictures a lot of books use but I've learned my lesson the hard way and from now on I pay a little more attention to other reviews when I'm captured by a pretty cover.
I totally judge a book by its cover! I am drawn in by the cover at the library or book store or online, and then if I like the synopsis I'll read it! Sometimes covers work against the books, too, because if I see a cover I really don't like, I often won't even check out the synopsis unless I hear about it from a blogger or friend who enjoyed it. I don't like judging books that way, but it's hard not to!ReplyDelete
I love all kinds of covers, but I am really enjoying the new trend of using very cool, interesting photos as covers. Of course I can't think of any examples right now. But I do like that cover of The Blue! I'll have to check it out! Great discussion! :)
I'm a sucker for a great cover and have to admit there have even been a few times where the cover probably ended up being the best part of the book. I also have a major dislike for books with huge faces or heads on them. No idea why that bothers me so much, but I've probably avoided quite a few good books because I can't stand looking at the covers, haha.ReplyDelete
Yes a cover definitely plays a role in deciding whether I want to read a book or not. Most often a cover makes the difference in whether I scroll past a book or take a closer look. For example on netgalley I just scroll past the covers until one catches my attention. I also think a cover is very important in conveying the genre of the book and can create certain expectations already. When I am on the fence about whether to get a book a cover can make me decide to get it or not.ReplyDelete
I personally like both illustrated and stock art type of covers. I prefer it if the cover has something to do with the book and conveys the genre.
I definitely judge books by their covers too -- they're often what makes me look deeper into the book (synopsis, goodreads rating, etc.). But that said, I wouldn't decide to pass on a book or read it because of the cover alone.ReplyDelete
When it comes to classics, I definitely buy based on the covers! I love finding them bound in cloth because they look so beautiful on the shelf. For classics, I know the book is going to be good (or at least worth reading) so why not just buy the cover I like best? :)
Looking at the cover for The Blue, I probably wouldn't have been interested in reading it until I read the tagline, "They found Paradise ... what would they do to keep it?" Now, I'm interested.ReplyDelete
The cover is the first point of interest but then the blurb has to be good to get me hooked. I don't think I've ever bought a book just on it's cover.
Absolutely! The cover is the first thing that draws me in. If I'm not wowed by the cover, I most likely won't even read the synopsis (I'm so shallow!).ReplyDelete
I will read summaries based on a cover, but I am too much of a penny pincher to buy, ha ha!ReplyDelete
Absolutely I do, and I find it ridiculous when an author or publisher suggest that I do otherwise. Among the see of books it would be quite impossible for me to pick each one up and read the synopsis, so there has got to be something that draws me to the book in the first place. Of course it matters less when I get a nice recommendation to read a book. That would be reason enough to pick it up.ReplyDelete
I find it interesting that what I am drawn to in a cover greatly depends on the genre. I might like one sort of cover for a noir, yet go for an entirely different variety when it comes to nonfiction, etc. I wonder if that's the case for most people.
I just couldn't let it go. Sorry.
Oh I absolutely buy books for their covers. When a book has a particularly pretty cover, I'm much more likely to buy a paperback (or even hardback) than an e-book.ReplyDelete
I'm usually more drawn to covers with great graphics, like Rebel of the Sands or the new cover of Strange the Dreamer, not so much covers with photos. Romance covers are usually horrible, so I prefer to read them as e-books.
I definitely judge and buy books based on their covers. It's so hard not to! I'm usually attracted to illustrated or typography covers. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is my current favorite cover.ReplyDelete
I almost always judge books by their covers, I'm not gonna lie. It's just a fact, and I don't see myself changing anytime soon. I especially love pretty, colorful YA colors. I think they're half the reason I love the YA genre so much, if I'm being honest!ReplyDelete
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Oh I definitely do! I mean, not entirely, like you said. I won't buy a book JUST because of that (well... I mean, I shouldn't, never say never hah) but it definitely pushes me off the fence with a book I am uncertain about. Ugly covers wait for ebook sales. Pretty covers come home with me to be hugged. Obviously.ReplyDelete
I am a sucker for a few things on covers: Space, water, pretty dresses, and bright colors. And SHINY. Like, if it is shiny, I am probably sold. I don't do well with minimalistic because I get bored. Also, random face covers, or covers with couples usually are a turn off. Like, I get it, there is a person with a face in this book, shocking. So yes, I judge. It isn't a dealbreaker but... it's close sometimes hah.
I think we all do this to a certain extent^^ It's impossible to resist a pretty cover. I'm a sucker for colourful artwork and anything that looks high-fantasy! I've been burned in the past though so now I try to conciously seek out books based on their plot instead of what's on the outside...but inevitably, when a new book starts garnering hype, if it has a pretty cover I have to resist the urge to add it to my tbr without thinking LOL!ReplyDelete
I do totally judge a book by its cover. Often the book cover is the first thing I really notice for a book. And because I know what kind of books I tend to like, often just a glance at the cover can tell me if it's something I'd even be interested in. If I'm on the fence, seldom will the cover be the tipping point - mostly because I've read a lot of books I've loved whose cover is...less than impressive.ReplyDelete