August 12, 2015

Do You Judge a Book by its Cover?

As an author, and especially an indie author, it's difficult to turn your head without loads of people offering advice. This information could be on topics such as marketing, self versus traditionally pubbed, editing, formatting, and so on.

But the one piece of advice that hasn't really changed throughout my four years doing this professionally is that PEOPLE WILL JUDGE YOUR BOOK BY ITS COVER.

I would imagine it's good to have a catching blurb and a lot of reviews, but as people browse through their phones searching for the next book, most likely they will click on the one that captures their eye the best. I'm a reader as much as I am a writer, and I will confess that my attention will go to the cover before I decide if I want to read the blurb or a sample.

It is also important to have a cover that doesn't look like it was just slapped together in an hour. Especially self-published books. They need to compete and they need to stand out. And the beauty of being an indie author is that you CAN change your cover if you don't think it's working for your book.

That's why many of my covers have evolved over the years. For example:





 







Each time I changed these covers, it was a tough decision but one that I thought had to be made in order to grab attention of potential readers. So what about you? Do you find that you judge a book by it's cover?

Comment below (now through Sunday) and be entered to win in my weekly Hump Day Giveaway!

11 comments:

  1. Yes lately I don't read the backs or inside flats at all. If the cover doesn't interest me I pass over it unless someone has told me that the book was die hard amazing.

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    1. Good to know! :) Thanks so much for commenting!

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  2. When I'm browsing for books like you said the cover catches your eye first and it's the same for me. If the cover catches my eye I'm more likely to click on it and read the synopsis and buy the book.

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  3. A cover that can catch a potential readers eye while communicating information about the characters and/or story is money in the bank. Competition is strong and indie authors and publishers need to embrace every advantage they can find. Still, a great cover may garner a sale, but it's the story and presentation that keeps readers returning. A great cover is vital, but it's the complete package that wins fans for life.

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    1. VERY good point about readers RETURNING!!

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  4. Yes, absolutely, I do judge books by their covers, despite the proverb telling us NOT to do just that!! I think a book needs a great cover to stand out in today's flooded market - it needs to be eye-catching even in a very small thumbnail version, since we do so much shopping (and everything else in life) on our phones. It's especially important for an indie author to have a great cover, because, as embarrassing as it may be to admit this, I've passed over any number of books due to atrocious (or even just mediocre) covers. I can't even imagine how hard it is to write, edit, re-edot, edit again, rewrite, format, market, and sell a book as an indie author (phew!), and I'm sure worrying about THE PERFECT COVER adds a whoke other layer to all of that. BUT, it's a hugely important piece of the package and you MUST pay attention to it, or you simply will not be able to sell your book (or even, in some cases, give it away - yep, I've forgone downloading any number of FREE books because of the covers!).

    Now, all that said... as Darrell eloquently states, it's not enough to have a great cover, of course; you must have a great story with dynamic characters to back it up! If you don't, you won't get reviews and the word-of-mouth advertising that are so crucial to an indie author's (and book's) success. But, I don't need to tell YOU that, Amber... you're a pro at that part ;-) (and I love your covers, too!)

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    1. Ha! Thanks so much for the compliment Holly! And I, too, have passed on some really bad covers even though I wanted to support the authors. Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Totally do. There's too many books at the library, in the book blogs I follow, etc etc for me to go through all of them. If I notice a cover, I pick it up.

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  6. Yes a cover will often get me off the fence if I'm unsure whether to purchase a book or not. A good cover will often tell you what the story is about.....

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  7. Thanks for asking, it's a great question!

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