Judging a Book by its Cover

Yes, I will admit it, I judge a book by its cover.

With the ever changing publishing industry and the fact that I now mainly “shop” for books on the web, be it Amazon or my library’s website, I’m finding that I rely more and more on the book’s cover design than I ever have before.

I love discovering new authors and in this age of self-publishing its easier and easier to do so. However, you’re always taking a chance on a new author and in this economy I have to spend my mad book money wisely. So if I see a cover that doesn’t look professionally done, I automatically think the editing and writing won’t be polished and professional either.

Let’s face it, there are more authors and more books out there than there has ever been before (this is just my observation and based on no solid proof), which means we have to be more discerning than we’ve ever been before. Which means its doubly important for books to stand out to catch a reader’s eye. Professionally done cover art will attract my attention 100% of the time. In fact, if the cover doesn’t look professionally done, I won’t even bother reading the blurb.

Is that wrong? Maybe. But I have a finite amount of time and a million other things pulling my attention away from the webpage. No longer do I have time to roam the book aisles, picking up a book here and there, reading back covers, flipping through the pages to decide if the writing is good and the plot attractive enough for me to spend hours on. More often than not I’m on my smartphone waiting for my daughter’s soccer practice to end while perusing Amazon’s site. Or I’m on a fifteen minute break at work, or waiting for the spaghetti to finish boiling.

Nowadays an author has to make an instant impression, quickly. Professional cover art will do that.

How about you? Do you judge a book by its cover?

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7 thoughts on “Judging a Book by its Cover

  1. I’ve always judged a book by it’s cover! That is the first thing that draws my attention and makes me want to take a sample. If I like the cover, I read the back cover blurb, if that gets me I open it and read a few snippets.

    You’re right, with all the authors and books out there, if cover art is the thing that draws a reader to pick up your book, it better look good and catch the eye. Just my opinion of course 🙂

    Great post!

  2. I’m like Christine – even roaming the aisles of B&N, the cover has to grab my attention before I really take note! If the cover grabs me, I’ll read the back cover and if that grabs me, I’ll read a couple pages. Have I been disappointed? Yeah – a great cover doesn’t necessarily mean a great book. But I’ve also been very pleasantly surprised when a good cover led me to an oh-my-god-great book.

    With ebooks, the cover has to really pop, I think, because those thumbnails are soooo much smaller than an actual book cover.

  3. I really don’t, for the simple reason that at least half the time, I don’t like the cover. (This includes on my own books–I run about 50 percent on liking the covers.) I’m a back-cover-blurb girl!

  4. A cover does draw my eye, but I read the first few pages to see if it grabs me… After buying many books by their covers and setting them aside I’ve learned my lesson.
    Neecy

  5. I try not to judge the book that way…but I know I do. In retail, we all know it’s the eye that buys. If I like the cover, I’ll flip the book over and read the back. With eBooks, I’ll read an excerpt or first few offered pages before I make a decision.

  6. Guilty! I have judged books by their covers, but I always read the back, read the excerpt and first page too.

  7. Guilty too — in fact I went through a stage of about 2 years where I only bought books with blue covers :-). I hadn’t the time to browse as I would’ve liked and I like blue, so hey that’s what I did. I’m still drawn to them now…

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