Sunday, February 2, 2014

...Judging a Book by Its Cover

Hi, Readers,

I’ve been in the “writing cave” as my RWA chapter mates, Vonnie Davis and Jennifer Faye, call it. Some days, the brain just clicks – although others it doesn’t – but I’ve been having such a productive few days, I didn’t want to stop the flow of my characters by working on a new blog post this week.

I hope you don’t mind that I chose to reprint my June 2, 2013 post. It’s one, I feel, is very significant – on the importance of a book cover. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts on book covers.

Have a wonderful week, Everyone.


I’m fortunate to live in Philadelphia where book stores, big and small, are plentiful. Plus, we have a gigantic central library and more local branches than I can count. Wherever I go, I'm surrounded by books!

One day last week, I was browsing in one of those stores when I was distracted by the manner in which the romance books were shelved. All of the book spines, with title and author, faced me as I browsed. None of the covers were in my direction.

I was a little frustrated over this. I felt that as I approached each new book selection, the cover of the first book offered should be displayed. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive because I’ve received so many compliments on Magic Moment’s cover. But, I think a book cover has a lot to do with selling a book.  Many times, when I’m scanning the shelves, I’ll pick up and check out a book because I’m intrigued by the cover. 

I approached the sales associate and suggested how she should turn at least one copy of each book offering so that the book cover faced customers. She smiled politely, said she’d take my suggestion into consideration and went back to stacking shelves.

Simply shelving the books in author alphabetical order, I was bypassing any author who wasn’t already known to me. Whereas if the book’s cover had intrigued me, I would pull it off the shelf, give it a look and perhaps purchase it. Not only would I have discovered a new book, but a new author. I doubt if I’m the only book buyer who purchases in this manner.

So, today, I’m asking for comments and opinions. As a book buyer, how important do you think a book cover is to a book?


 


10 comments:

  1. Hi, Angela! The cover is ALL important with on-line sales for newer authors. It is our biggest selling tool. I'm working on one right now for 'Sea Panther', which should be coming out in March. I've gotten mixed reactions from the cover faeries so I'm thinking of running a poll on my blog with a couple of versions. :)

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    1. You are so right, Dawn! I'm looking forward to the release of "Sea Panther." Thanks for visiting today!

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  2. For a new to me author..the cover is the number one factor in getting me to pick up the book and investigate further. Then the synopsis will either make me buy it or set it back down.

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    1. I agree with you...When we're browsing, I think it's the book's cover that catches our eye. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. The cover is so important. I was particularly happy with mine because it says "Arizona." Since "Just Like Em" deals with that area, I was pleased to see it was so well detailed. Anyone looking at it will know where the book takes place and it helps set the background for the story.

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    1. I like looking at the book cover for “Just Like Em” because I don’t see any snow (smile)! We've been seeing too much of the “frosty white stuff” lately in Philly! Seriously, it's a great looking cover. Thanks for visiting, Marion! And, Happy Release Day for “Just Like Em.”

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  4. I know when I'm in the library, it's the cover that first snags my attention...then leads me to check out the blurb and first para. So it'd definitely be true in a bookstore as well. I guess that's one advantage about ebooks & edistributors -- no spines!

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    1. It seems we're all of the same mind-set...the book cover grabs the reader. Thanks for stopping by, Rashda.

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  5. Did I hear my name??? :-)

    I love libraries too. And books. And covers. I too am hooked by the cover and then I check out the back cover blurb. If they both work for me, I'm sold. :-)

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    1. Yes, you did hear your name! (smile!) It seems everyone is in total agreement -- a book's cover draws a reader to take the "all-important" look. Thanks, Jennifer, for visiting! Okay, it's back in the "writing cave" for me.

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