Monday, September 10, 2007


I did a book signing this weekend with four other local authors at a Borders in the Orlando area. I couldn't help but notice how many customers picked up our books or passed them by based solely on the cover. Is the cover THAT important? You bet.
The guiltiest of all is me! In a sea of books, I always pick up the one with a candy-colored picture on it that screams FUN. That usually earmarks a Chick-Lit book, my favorite guilty pleasure.
One of my first e-books had a cover I hated. At the time, I didn't feel secure enough as a writer to question the publisher. I can't tell you how many people emailed me to ask me what the picture was. It was a closeup of a man's face, but you really had to study it for a minute to realize that. I've never made that mistake again. I was so excited when I got the cover for an upcoming short story from The Wild Rose Press and it was PERFECT! Exactly what I'd wanted. I'm waiting for my next full-length book cover now and am hoping for something wonderful.
What about you? Do you choose what books you pick up at the bookstore based on the cover? Have you ever bought a book based on the cover and been sorely disappointed that it wasn't what the cover conveyed?

5 comments:

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

I have been so cover lucky I feel the need to knock on wood! At Phaze, I write for the series lines which have the cover before the story is written...I wrote a Force because I liked the cover...I do shorts at Wild Rose, so those are basic as can be...

At Mills & Boon we get different covers for each country - very fun. Not sure what I'll get for Samhain yet...

Kelley Nyrae said...

Yep! Covers are very important. If you don't know an author the cover is what draws you to the book, IMO.

Anne Rainey said...

I'm definitely picky about covers. When I think of my favorite authors nearly all of them have excellent covers. J. R. Ward, Shannon McKenna, Janice Maynard...Now, clearly there has to be a good story to back it up.

I always feel so bad for an author who has a great story, but a crappy cover. They're going to miss out on lots of readers and all because the publisher hired a lousy cover artist.

Karyna DaRosa said...

I have to concur with everyone. I know the old saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover" but whatever..the first thing that pulls us in the direction of any book is it's cover. Then I read the back blurb then I see if I can read a little bit of the first chapter. But a book cover is much like personal appearance. If we see something we like, only then do we approach it.

Dara Edmondson said...

Jenna - I love your covers. You are lucky.
Kelley - I've skipped over authors I like if the cover didn't jazz me.
Anne - I feel badly when someone's disappointed with their cover in my RWA chapter. It's such a let down.
Karyna - Very true. I try not to judge people by appearances, but I think we all do it to some extent.