Sunday, August 28, 2011

Does a Cover Really Make a Difference?

I judge books by the cover. It's true... and the only thing that will save your book if it has a bad cover is the first page.


I hate blurbs. I won't even read the blurbs on a book until I'm finished with the book, or... if a friend has written a blurb and I find it on the Twitters.

I also won't read the back cover with information about the book... that little synopsis thing.  Doesn't do it for me.

But the cover and the first page... I love them.

Here are some of my recent favorites.

I'm really not into romance, but I am into paranormal romance. You put a guy on the cover showing his nipple and you're bound to get my attention.

 Especially if it's attached to a mass of solid muscle like this:

Another catch... a really hot looking chick standing next to a really hot
 guy with a muscular arm and sleeve tattoo like this:

Or a combination of the two above like this:

I'm also a person that loves the use of color.
 I like muted tones like this:

But I also like this:

And it's hard to pass up a cover like this:

I also love simple covers like this:

And this:

And this cover is one of my favorites:
The first time I looked at a picture of this cover it was on my phone. I thought this was a duck, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how it tied into the book. Ducks don't have teeth... just saying.

You can laugh all you want about how I choose my books, but I'll have you know that I've sold many a book at work just from showing my coworkers the cover. And it probably helps that I'm overly dramatic when I talk about books and my coworkers trust my taste.  But, still... if you want me to buy your book, you best have a great cover and a perfect first page!

When it comes to first impressions does the book cover influence you?


Thomas Pluck said...

What those covers have in common besides hunky man-boobs is just solid good design, drawing the eyes in and making the title legible, but also not look like a five minute photoshop job. And a couple are e-books (Gun, Blender) which reminds us... e-book covers MATTER!

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

Totally true, Tommy. Some people don't think their e-book covers matter, but they do. They really do. And I added a little comment to the Sinatra cover. My first impression was a view from my phone. I'm such a goof. =)

John Kenyon said...

Amen, Tommy, e-book covers do matter. Nice selection, Sabrina. What they prove is that there is no formula. Ray's book is direct: Gun. John's grabs you and makes you think a bit, that image just not letting go.

And I'm with you on blurbs, though I do pay attention to who is giving them. If a lot of authors I love blurb a book, I'll seek out more info.

Chris said...

I don't pay any attention to blurbs at all, but I do pay attention to covers. Those paranormal romance ones I think are just awful -- they've totally put me off the genre, along with urban fantasy, which certainly hasn't been helped by the ones I have actually read and despised.

Your other ones you show are indeed fantastic, though.

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

Yeah, those paranormal romance covers are definitely an acquired taste. :)

Chris Rhatigan said...

I must admit I do pay attention to blurbs but solid cover design is always good too. I thought Speedloader's cover was one of the better ones I've seen recently.

Julie Lewthwaite said...

Yes, covers matter. Like you, I've bought books for their covers before, and also for their titles. It often means I read something that I otherwise wouldn't have, and more often than not, I'm glad I did.