What is your cover saying about your book?

The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel (Winternight Trilogy Book 1) by [Arden, Katherine]

One of my favorite books of last year. Look at that cover.And today that is what I wanted to talk about. Cover Art. How much time do you put into your covers?

I’ve been noticing the past few years with the rise of self-published authors especially that the covers all look the same. Different title, same covers. Why would you want your cover to be like someone else’s? Did you not research it?

All the time we hear “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, guess what? We all do it. When I walk into a bookstore content is not grabbing me like a tracking beam to your book. I’m drawn to the one that I can take one look at and say, ” Oh, my I know what this is going to be about and I want it!”  There should always be something on your cover that gives the reader a sneak peek.  Take the above book for example. I saw it and immediately wanted it. In my head I’m hearing Russian, Fables,Winter and Magic oh yes!

So when you look at your book cover what does it say? Is it a statement of what’s to come once you open it? I finished a book last year with a simple cover that didn’t state anything about what it meant or how it related to the content. It was a tremendous book! But If I hadn’t been an early Beta reader and then the ARC copy, the cover would have never made me even pick it up at the store.

One of the reasons I do not read romance books is because the majority of them have the same man with the six-pack abs, glistening. Is there just the one model? But at least I know what is going to be in them. I don’t like it. But I know.

Final thoughts?   Make friends with artists. Put some real thought behind the cover and you may just find your sales will increase!

xx P

57 thoughts on “What is your cover saying about your book?

  1. As you know from my blog, covers are my obsession. They are the first impression that a book makes upon a potential reader. SO IMPORTANT! Hence, my Cover Love series of blog posts.
    I think that publishers should use fewer ‘stock’ photos and that more originality should prevail.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I love looking at book covers, for what they are trying to portray. What hooks me and why. What puts me off and why. In a nutshell, I want the style of the cover to be an indicator of the style of the book, then i’m happy :>)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Most of covers r similar tho… even the one in the post. It doesn’t catch my eye for example but it’s stylish & simple. In general- I like. I think the most important – to find a good designer (they r really expensive) or to make drawing (for the cover, something special) by yourself. But again, some don’t have this kinda skill …

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Cover art is a huge peeve of mine. Granted, I feel that way because I am an artist and it bugs me when the art on the cover of a book feels lazy, or amateurish. It is even worse when you cannot differentiate one book from another unless you look really closely at title and author. You are so on when it comes to the self-published books and the similarities there. I cannot imagine going through the grueling process of writing a book, putting your creative self out there, only to then have your book look like 2 or 10 others and get lost in the mess because it isn’t unique.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post! Having a fantastic book cover is such an important part of the publishing process, yet it’s the one detail that I repeatedly see my customers stumbling over. I’m a freelance writer who specializes in writing blurbs for the back covers of books (a blurbologist, ahem), and I’ve worked with so many writers who let their artistic vision get in the way of their book’s marketability. A book cover must look great, but it also must be genre-specific, and in some way resemble the best-selling books in its category. “Original” is not necessarily the “sellable.” If something’s unique, customers may not know if this story is meant for them. Anyway, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As a reader, not a writer, this is so true! I will only read the synopsis if the cover draws me in unless I recognize the title from a recommendation. That said the cover will not guarantee I take it home if upon closer inspection it doesn’t sound like a book I would enjoy. Maybe we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but it sure does drive us to action.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So true! Having a Kobo makes buying romances easier, but before e-books I could never bring myself to buy a physical copies unless the cover was something simple. Buying books with beautiful covers and displaying them on my shelf is so satisfying 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I totally judge a book by its cover! Sorry, that’s the truth. Books are delicious and I want them to be a feast for my eyes as well. I will pick up a classic or a book that had a lot of buzz even if I am not attracted to the cover art right away but if I am browsing through the library or a book store or online, I will always stop and inquire more about a book only if I am drawn to the cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “One of the reasons I do not read romance books is because the majority of them have the same man with the six-pack abs.” Preach. I don’t like how they all look the same in my eyes. I’d rather something different and unique on the cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, it’s true that many book covers look the same nowadays, mostly fantasy books. It happens a lot with self-published books too because authors use apps with the same templates. Good post, though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Generally I am more interested in titles. I have it in my mind most of the time that the plainest book covers sometimes have the best stories. But if the title sucks then the book probably does too

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree so wholeheartedly with this! As a reader, the cover is vital to getting my attention. It’s actually one of the Huge problems, for me, of reading books on my Kindle. I miss having the cover to look at, to savour, and to remind me of the author, if it is an unfamiliar name! And yes, romance book covers are dreadful; imagine how much more interesting they could be. Some of us are not that keen on the Ken-Barbie doll man with the six pack abs; I suspect he’d be vain, self-consumed and boring and all that, wrongly or rightly, from a book cover!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree. I originally wrote this because one of my authors has a 5 star book but the cover…. didn’t give me a hint. Finally I told her and she told me she hated the cover and so did her agent! But Reese Witherspoon had origianally purchased the rights and had the cover done. Now we have a new publisher and her rights back!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Reader/writer here! You’re absolutely right. That quote, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, applies to a lot EXCEPT books. Books should be judged by their covers.

    I always read the back of the book/blurb and that finalizes my decision, but like you I’ve picked up many a book just because it looked interesting. I knew nothing about the author or the story prior to seeing it, I just saw it.

    Your cover holds your story, it embraces it, it is the clothing it wears. We should want to represent our story well. I understand that we can’t all hire some magnificent artist but you shouldn’t rest until your cover is well done. If your book is finished but your cover not, keep searching, don’t just publish. There are a lot of artists who also want to get their work out there. Check deviantart.com. Share what your book is about, the blurb, a chapter or two or three. Get feedback, honest feedback. Get it right. There are thousands of books for people to choose from, give them a reason to pick yours.

    Thanks for this post! And oh I made my own cover (poetry book). I’m proud of it at the same time I have my criticisms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I have a friend who had a book published and the story is a 5 star. Beautifully written but the cover says nothing about the inside. I finally told her what I thought and she hates the cover herself! But when Reese Witherspoon bought the film rights, she chose the cover. After much legal wrangling, the rights are hers again and the cover will change.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well guess that cover can’t be too much of a problem if she sold film rights! That’s obviously not what we should all count on. 😉 Wonderful she got her rights back and can do it right. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I made my own covers as a self published author- I’m not 100% sure they draw people in, but I think they do work for the story—and at least they are unique. I agree that so many covers looks alike. Part of why I didn’t want to out people on my covers- they all look the same within a genre!
    Lots of good points in this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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