1. AWR
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    AWR Member

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    Judging a book by its cover

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by AWR, May 31, 2008.

    Don't judge a book by its cover - its an old saying but how important would you say the cover design is when it comes to sales?

    I just got my copy of an anthology I have a story in and, I have to say, I love the cover. Its a great follow on from the prior anthology and I think, objectively, it would draw my eye in a shop. (Subjectively I think every should buy a copy! no, two copies!)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    What do people think? Is the cover of a book important? Got any examples you want to share?
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I never judge a book by it's cover, I judge a book by it's blurb and content.
     
  3. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't even pick the book with the barbed wire up.
    the shell I would be interested in.

    I used to pick out books for the boys and Don by looking at the cover. I didn't enjoy
    reading their types of sci fi and fantasy so when I was at the book store I would pull them off the shelf and if I liked the cover into the bag they went.
    so I guess I did judge a book by its cover.
     
  4. LibbyAnn
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    LibbyAnn Contributing Member

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    I love the barbed wire cover - very unique!

    And I must say that I am very, very guilty of judging a book by it's cover. I've gotten better as I've gotten older, though. When I was younger I wouldn't even pick up a book that had an "ugly" cover. I think it's important that cover art be appealing to the audience it's trying to reach.
     
  5. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    I think a cover can be a useful guide sometimes, even if it is only assisting you in avoiding some rubbish, or more often, perhaps weighing up what kind of story it is going to be. For example, whenever I see a book with a crashing plane on the cover, such as those by Alistair MacLean, Clive Cussler or anyone of that nature, it tells me that character development is going to be limited to the guy learning how to use another gun, and that's about it.

    Nothing wrong with that kind of book if that's what you fancy reading of course, but if you prefer character-driven, rather than event driven tales, it's a useful pointer.

    Al
     
  6. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I think the better the cover looks, the more people will want to know what it's about. Cool covers will draw attention. If you've ever seen the cover for The Divide (I forget who wrote it), it's really cool, the cover is split down the middle. But the story isn't that exciting and even though the cover is cool, it sort of makes it hard to read.

    And I like both covers. They are simple and look very nice.

    -Alex
     
  7. BlackDragonEX
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    BlackDragonEX Member

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    For me If a cover is good then ill read the blurb, if i like that then ill read maybe a page or so to see the language, if I like it. ITS A READ lol

    But for me cover is very Important
     
  8. Mousie
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    Mousie Contributing Member

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    Well, I don't think it's all that important, but a book with a pretty cover is more likely to get picked up than a book with an ugly cover, I guess.

    I like the barbed wire and shell covers, by the way :)
     
  9. Oasis Writer
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    Oasis Writer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every now and again, I do judge the book by the cover, because I might see something I'm not really into, which follows up with reading the back of the book, and pages 3, 36, and 69. If I like those three pages, I'll read it.
     
  10. Aurora_Black
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    Aurora_Black Contributing Member

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    Thats a cool little strategy
     
  11. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    I must admit that if the cover and/or title doesn't grab me, I rarely pick up the book. I think it's important to have a cover that grasps your attention - it's kind of like the saying 'first impressions count'.
     
  12. jps117
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    jps117 Member

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    I have to say, I think it's the title that gets me. Even if the cover just looks awesome, if the title is something dull, than I may not even read the blurb. Although, I have enjoyed pretty much every book I've read, so I'm not really one to turn down a book.
     
  13. Milady
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    Milady Contributing Member

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    Any reasons for those particular pages?
     
  14. wildflower
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    wildflower Member

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    When I was young and just getting into reading by myself there was a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that had a really crappy cover. I dismissed it for months and then eventually I was bored one day and picked it up. It was one of the most memorable books of my childhood and was my early inspiration to make up stories back in the day.

    Today I'm much less prejudiced - I don't care what the cover is like as long as its a regency-type story ;)

    I do think covers are important - they can be a work of art just like the piece you have written. I hate the fact that writers have no say on what the cover of their book should look like! I know how I would like my finished novel to look
     
  15. jim90
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    jim90 Member

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    It's not just the cover design but the title, (unless it's a collection or non-fiction), also reviews and recommendations are always a good way to choose books.
    I don't pick a book up because it has a great cover or ignore a book because it has a rubbish cover but choose them by recommendations and what the blurb says.
     
  16. Moira
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    Moira Member

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    I believe that title's as well as covers play quite a large role in whether or not a book is chosen even if we don't realize it. Twilight, I think, is a good example. The writing, to me, is not mind blowing, but I couldn't help but pick it up as I walked passed. The title is shot, sweet, and to the point. The cover is intriguing to say the least.

    Two women were being interviewed on an early morning talk show about their health book, "Skinny Bitch." When asked why they gave the book that specific title when the writing isn't mean at all one replied, "Cheap trick." They knew the angry title would draw attention.

    I do, unknowingly at times, base whether or not I pick up a book on the contents of the cover. Do I think its right? No, but I can't really help it either.

    -Moira
     
  17. Firefly
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    I wonder if it's because it's kinda like "start, middle and end" rather than just a few pages from the start, so it's easier to tell if the whole book would be worth reading. I flip to random pages when I'm checking out a book, though.
     
  18. Samswriting
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    Samswriting Senior Member

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    Oh, I'm terrible I don't judge the book by its cover alone, but if I'm in the bookstore, without a specific book or recommendation in mind, the cover is what gets me to read the excerpts or even first chapter. The book has to stand on its own, but I'm unlikely to randomly pick one up with a crappy cover.

    Kushiel's Dart, a treasure to me, I found by random "oh neat cover" flip open read the blurb "hrm I might like this" and what can I say I love the story.

    The few times I've picked up a crappy cover and bought it, I've hated it "Last of the Renshai" I didn't like the cover but the story seemed ok, its one of the very few books I've started and not finished.
     

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