Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 53

Thread: Do You Judge Books By Their Covers?

  1. #26
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    where the Lilin are
    Posts
    33,123
    Quote Originally Posted by BigWords View Post
    The use of photographs for cover art is something I am never going to love.
    Same here, but for me, that's mostly because lots of artists seem to want to design covers like movie posters, and both end up suffering from the "photos of the main characters posing and maybe something else remotely relevant in the background" syndrome which I find utterly boring.

    If book covers were approached more like album covers, I might care.

    As it is, I don't really give a shit about book covers. They don't affect me one way or the other.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014

  2. #27
    Geekzilla BigWords's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    inside the machine
    Posts
    10,670
    For biographies it is fine for photographs to be used (even if most of them are utterly uninspiring), but on novels I find myself imprinting the photographs onto my thoughts of the characters - not something which is easily overcome. When the cover photograph is identifiable, this is even more of a distraction. I want to concentrate on the words, not the overlay of a person onto the character (if that sentence makes sense, I'll be surprised at myself).
    The blog, which may not be updated regularly enough. -- I'm linking to other AW blogs here. -- There's some nonsense here when I can be bothered.
    Don't hold your breath...

    Quote Originally Posted by AbielleRose View Post
    Dude, I am not that flexible.
    Quote Originally Posted by aliwood View Post
    The SFF Review Educational Supplement is now open. I'll be listing books, podcasts, online courses and anything else that aims to help the SFF writer improve their skills, provided they're free. (the books, podcasts, online courses and anything else, not the writers)




    The British Comics Database is growing. Or mutating. I'm not quite sure which, yet.

  3. #28
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    7,634
    Quote Originally Posted by juniper View Post
    And e-readers are why riding the train or bus isn't as interesting as it used to be.
    I'd like Kindles to anonymously broadcast whatever people in the vicinity are reading over Bluetooth. You could see what everyone in the train car is reading, but you don't know who's reading it. (Perhaps you'd say the feature is opt-in and only comes on when there are more than say five Kindles in range.) You'd get spontaneous book groups and stuff. (Hang on, I'm thinking of ways that could go horribly wrong now...)

  4. #29
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    7,634
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post
    Ugh--seconded. I hate this.
    Sorry! But they do sell very nicely, and you can usually still get the non-tie-in edition if you look.

  5. #30
    Don't let your deal go down, Dave Hardy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    'Til your last gold dollar is gone.
    Posts
    961
    Nope, I do not.

    Now I love me some good cover art, no mistake. But I've read too many absolute masterpieces with nothing but a plain hardback cover embossed with the title to mistake pictorial art for the literary kind.

    I agree that part of the lure of paperbacks is a splashy, lurid cover. I really do love those, especially when there's a thrilling tale inside. But good cover art is no guarantee of good work inside, nor is mediocre, uninspired cover art proof that the writing is lame.

    ETA: it would have to be pretty damn lurid to embarrass me. Way more than a pair of lips.
    Last edited by Dave Hardy; 01-19-2013 at 01:06 AM. Reason: Additional thought
    In the words of Hasan i-Sabah: Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

  6. #31
    I write weird stories. phantasy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    The Moon
    Posts
    1,315
    I'm a designer in my day job...so I certainly do. I see the important of good design, how it catches the eye and creates a first impression. Writers/publishers might think the blurb on the back is what your first impression is...and I'm here to say its the cover, because its the first thing you see from across the room.

    So if you're writing, do yourself a favor and hire a designer for your book cover. Get a student designer if you can't afford a pro. A well designed cover tells me you thought through all the elements of your book. And don't tell me looks don't matter...if you are selling anything such as I don't know..a book..looks matter.

    And I'm the first to say a simple black cover is a good one. I'm not a fan of covers with people on them either, I'd like to create my idea of them myself if you don't mind. A good design can be very simple.

  7. #32
    I write weird stories. phantasy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    The Moon
    Posts
    1,315
    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    Same here, but for me, that's mostly because lots of artists seem to want to design covers like movie posters, and both end up suffering from the "photos of the main characters posing and maybe something else remotely relevant in the background" syndrome which I find utterly boring.

    If book covers were approached more like album covers, I might care.
    I totally agree with you here. Even if they were designed like those cool CD covers, they would look great.

  8. #33
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    where the Lilin are
    Posts
    33,123
    Quote Originally Posted by phantasy View Post
    I'm a designer in my day job...so I certainly do. I see the important of good design, how it catches the eye and creates a first impression. Writers/publishers might think the blurb on the back is what your first impression is...and I'm here to say its the cover, because its the first thing you see from across the room.
    Considering how most books are shelved, the title is usually the first thing you see across the room.

    I don't generally rely on cover, title, or blurb when looking for books anyway, though.

    I pretty much rely solely on recommendations, reviews, allusions, forewords, and prefaces.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Sorry! But they do sell very nicely, and you can usually still get the non-tie-in edition if you look.
    Yeah. I do. All the time. They're not hard to find at all. I just think the movie-covers are tacky-looking.
    WIP: Cave Draconem (YA dark fantasy), 78k, revising
    Short: 100% Organic (horror), 2000, subbing (Rs--2)

    Blog: http://glitter-n-gore.livejournal.com/

  10. #35
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    where the Lilin are
    Posts
    33,123
    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Sorry! But they do sell very nicely, and you can usually still get the non-tie-in edition if you look.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post
    Yeah. I do. All the time. They're not hard to find at all. I just think the movie-covers are tacky-looking.
    The fact that they can change the cover so lightly (just because a movie came out) kind of says everything about the "importance" of book covers to me. Book covers are just marketing, and not part of the actual content of the product, so why would I use it to judge the actual content? Meh.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014

  11. #36
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    7,634
    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    The fact that they can change the cover so lightly (just because a movie came out) kind of says everything about the "importance" of book covers to me. Book covers are just marketing, and not part of the actual content of the product, so why would I use it to judge the actual content? Meh.
    Yeah, but they do have an effect on you, which is a different kind of importance. The more you like the cover - the more eye-catching it is - the more likely you are to pick it up. And the tie-in covers are a great way of saying 'hey, did you know there was a book of this movie you liked?'

    Covers don't necessarily have to have any connection with the contents of the book - I have probably a few hundred SF paperbacks where the cover art just says 'SF', and doesn't reflect the story.

  12. #37
    Writing my way off the B Ark Becky Black's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,014
    I don't want to, but I do. I was actually just thinking about it this weekend (because my latest cover arrived -yay!) and I think it's a question of quality. If the cover looks like it was slapped together in half an hour on a Friday after a long lunch at the pub, then I have to wonder what other aspects of the book the publisher skimps on. Editing? Formatting? Even if the content of the book is basically good, are there going to be such quality issues to distract me?

    Essentially I'd say I judge a publisher by its covers. Any individual cover might be a bit of a dud, but if overall the covers are good quality, I'd have more faith in what I'm going to read in the book. But if most of their covers are bad, I'm more dubious. It comes over as unprofessional. I'd rather see a fairly plain simple cover in that case, if they're a small press who just can't afford great cover artists, and if they are spending the money elsewhere on the content of the books.

    And if a publisher's covers are generally bad, I'd also think twice about submitting to them.
    Last edited by Becky Black; 01-21-2013 at 07:18 PM.
    Writer of m/m and now f/f romance. My novels are available from Loose Id and my shorts from JMS Books and Dreamspinner Press. See more details in my Absolute Write Library thread.

  13. #38
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    yawping barbarically over the roofs of the world
    Posts
    5,902
    Depends. The appeal of cover art (when seen) is what gets me to pick up the book. Once it's in my hands, blurb and random page reading determines whether it stays in my hand until the register or not.

    If the cover isn't seen, it's the title that may entice me to pick it up.

    So...if for whatever reason I'm not enticed to pick the book up, while I'm not actually judging the book based on it, I'm not encouraged to give it a chance either. Which would imply that I am still making some value judgment on the book based on what I see.

    That rarely happens though because I'm also one who purchases more on reviews, recommendations and author appeal these days.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
    1) Write like your face is on fire.
    I tweet. Not often, maybe not interestingly, but I tweet.
    My sort-of-not-really blog.

  14. #39
    If you don't try, you can't fail AnneGlynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Mostly in my head
    Posts
    300
    More than once, I've been in a bookstore and purchased a novel because its cover was so enticing that I had to read the back of the book. Titles can draw my attention, too, (as bearilou just noted).
    Anne

    * * * *
    My website? http://www.anneglynn.com/

    Most weeks, I write about writing and romance, and writing romances. Most weeks. You have been warned.

  15. #40
    you didn't come and help me kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    where the Lilin are
    Posts
    33,123
    Quote Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
    Yeah, but they do have an effect on you, which is a different kind of importance. The more you like the cover - the more eye-catching it is - the more likely you are to pick it up. And the tie-in covers are a great way of saying 'hey, did you know there was a book of this movie you liked?'
    Oh, I'm sure they affect most people. They're marketing, after all.

    They don't have an effect on me, though. The way I look for books, I usually know whether I'm going to buy it or not before I even see the cover.

    A few times, I've even finished reading a whole ebook before I even noticed what was actually on the cover.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014

  16. #41
    Hero, villain, angel, demon AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Excellent question
    Posts
    53,422
    The more attractive a cover is, the more likely I am to check it out, and the more I'm probably going to want the book on my bookshelf. So then the cover description doesn't have to try quite as hard to get me to buy the book. But a book doesn't need an attractive cover for me to buy it. Then I'm happy to get it on Kindle
    I did the Flash Fiction Challenge this week! You could too! (password: flashed)


    Hero/Villain: Fixing, thanks to betas
    Super/Human: With betas
    Master/Puppet: Ready for betas



    This week, I'm home!

  17. #42
    War of 1812 Vet Chase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Albany, Oregon
    Posts
    5,521
    I donít judge books by their coversónot for real, and hopefully not in the metaphorical sense. Too many contrary lessons.

    It was the authorís name that drew me to Stephen Kingís The Colorado Kid, not Hard Case Crimeís lurid cover art depicting the come-hither look of the buxom, leggy girl in the little black dress. Stephanie McCann, the clean-cut college intern reporter for The Weekly Islander, never wore such a dress nor struck such a pose.

    Nevertheless, Glen Orbikís painting was fun bait íní switch for one of the best mysteries Iíve read in a long while.

    Orbik did it again for SKís Joyland coming out June 4. This time Hard Case Crimeís cover girl is a busty blonde. Canít wait for the book, even after I recover from its (gasp) uplifting art.
    http://www.chaseediting.com/ | Member:

  18. #43
    You make my heart skip a beet. DizScare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    73
    I usually care about the cover only when it doesn't fit with the story's synopsis, but even then it doesn't take off points.

    Although an extremely appealing cover usually gets me to try the book, even if it's a genre/subject I'm not a fan of.

    witchParidise! hour of hearts
    Genre:Fantasy/Adventure
    Age Group:Middle School
    MCs:Luso Faithblade (MMC) & Jasper Drew(FMC)

  19. #44
    Follow your heart; take your brain SelmaW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    324
    I tend to be drawn to very clean-looking cover art. Maybe something subliminal about thinking that clean art = clean writing, lol.

  20. #45
    Winston KarmaHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    England
    Posts
    24
    Not at all, or rather, I try to keep an open mind while I browse.

    A book cover can be misleading too, I've come across many books which have striking covers but their contents is something completely different.

    That's why I always make sure to read the blurb...

  21. #46
    figuring it all out Eleanor Rigby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerlilly79 View Post
    The cover draws me to the book, but the blurb on the back seals the deal. If the cover isn't attractive I probably wouldn't pick it up unless I've heard of the book before.
    This exactly!
    Write On.

  22. #47
    figuring it all out charmedhorses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    60
    I definitely pick up books based on their covers but then decide whether or not to buy based on the blurb on the back.

  23. #48
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    15
    I think everyone judges the covers of books subconsciously. Whether it affects their purchase or not, most people generally have some opinion on the book's cover. Even a general reaction... I think it's immediate and inevitable.

    I'm not ashamed to say that I do, and sometimes it may not make me want to read it (though I usually do anyway). I know that a lot of young adult readers judge books by their cover. YA book covers are really tacky.

  24. #49
    escaping the evil queen's curse measure_in_love's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Storybrooke, Maine
    Posts
    279
    I'm definitely guilty of this. Partly because I agree you can tell about a book's contents from its cover, also because I love pretty covers. I just can't help myself. Sometimes I do get disappointed in covers because they will be so pretty, but the content will be awful. Guess there's a bit of psychology in that if you apply it to humans haha.
    Current WIP:
    YA Shadows Fall: final rewrite!

    "she's understood the power of stories. Their magical ability to refill the wounded part of people" ~ Kate Morton

    "believing in even the possibility of a happy ending, is a very powerful thing"

  25. #50
    Miss Conceived Liralen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Taarna
    Posts
    5,828
    At times. If it's got some sort of Fabio type cover art . . . highly unlikely I'm even going to pick it up.

    If the cover art is by Thomas Canty I'm probably going to read it.

    If the cover art is original and ART, I'm more likely to pick it up. To me, that signifies that there's a high probability that much thought and artistry went into the contents as well.
    The creative writing process is a lot like emotional binge and purge cycles.

    Can you find the Pitbull?

    WIP ~ The Black Dog Dialogues: At the raw, dark fringes of exhaustion, there is The Black Dog

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search