There’s a lot of research evidence out there to support the notion that more than 75% of book sales are earned by the quality of their covers. It’s easy to understand that a strong title and graphics will grab a buyer’s attention – and in a marketplace with more than a zillion titles floating around, an author needs all the edge he or she can get.
Let’s face it, there are some real turkeys out there and no matter what lies between the covers it’s unlikely these books will ever get more than the briefest of glances before a potential reader’s eye roams quickly to the next in line.
So how do authors give themselves a fighting chance of getting noticed? It’s simple – get a cover that makes people pause when they scan the bookshelves or run through the endless pages of listings on the Amazon website. SEE MORE AT: http://joemccoubrey.com/do-readers-judge-a-book-by-its-cover/
I couldn't agree more!
Children's author and illustrator
As much as I hate to admit it, this is true hence the name of our blog. I tend to look at the cover before finding out what the pages in between have to offer. I do this mainly because there are sooooo many choices out there and it would take me decades to choose my library if I were to go by the text alone. I have given some a try though that I would normally not take a second glance at due to the cover and am usually pleasantly surprised by what I read. It's a shame that we do this but it's very common!
If it's a book by an author that I've read before then the covers don't mean much to me, but if I'm going to read an author for the first time I expect the cover to look professional and draw me in.
I totally agree, but I have to say that some of my favorite books actually have very unexciting covers. I am lured by an attractibve cover, but it's the blurb that will be the ultimate deciding factor. If the book sounds intriquing, I will buy it even if the cover art is not very striking.
As much as the recent jump in the importance of book covers (especially in YA fantasy) bothers me, I can see why it's become such a big part of book selling. However irksome, it does serve a purpose. But I've read tons of books without even glancing at the cover just because they have been recommended for years. Also, I can definitely see how much more important the cover could be when it's a children's book as Ms. McBride has pointed out. Kids are a lot more visual than adults.
Covers don't matter to a reader who already likes your stuff or has had it recommended to him. But they're hugely important in grabbing the attention of a potential reader who has never heard of you.
I think the cover is important to get the reader's attention. But I don't believe the reader decides to read or not based on the cover. I know I don't.
A few months ago, I was at the market looking at books. One particular cover jumped out at me. It was white with a pair of legs--nice looking ones--on the cover. All of the rest of the covers were dark. I looked inside and ultimately bought the book. That is how I discovered John Locke. I guess my question is, "Do you make your book cover dark like everyone else's or do you make it different to stand out? Obviously, John's cover artist made the right choice, but will that work for everyone? I think readers expect stories on the dark side these days.
Considering that a books initial success is almost solely due to marketing, etc., the cover is of utmost importance. The biggest flaw it can have above all else is simply not looking professional. People can forgive a lot, but a shoddy looking cover isn't one of them.
I think a person should either go to a bookstore or look at covers online (especially of books they haven't read) and decide what appeals to them. It's also important for authors to recognize when they don't have the eye or skills to design their own cover. There's nothing wrong with accepting that. Most actors don't design their own costumes. Most authors don't design their own covers (kudos if you do though).
If your cover doesn't at LEAST look indistinguishable from what you would see in a bookstore - you're giving it a major handicap from the get-go.
Just to add: As a reader my philosophy would be, "Don't give me a reason to say no." A bad cover = no, and makes your book seem one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other.
I don't think I've ever bought a book based on the cover alone. But if it's a new to me author, a good cover will make me want to look at the description. Which I think, to me, matters the most- does the book sound interesting. But without a good cover, I don't think I'd bother to read the description. I already have about 2000 books on my TBR list- that I've already done a spring cleaning on- so I don't really seek out new authors or series unless it's a recommendation or I like the cover enough to read the description.
Bookstores are one of my favorite places in the world and I am defintely attracted to a cover with well done tasteful graphics and a title which makes want to pick up the book to see what its about. That said, it better have something of quality inside or it stays on the shelf