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Author Resource Round Table > Do people judge an ebook by its cover? (An experiment)

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message 1: by Ian (new)

Ian (ilamont) | 8 comments Last month, I conducted a small experiment that other new authors might find useful. I measured the Amazon sales of my first ebook (Dropbox In 30 Minutes) using two different covers -- a DIY cover that I made with GIMP, and a professionally designed cover.

I've written a blog post about the experiment and my experience working with a designer at the following location:

Do people judge an ebook by its cover?

I'd also be interested in hearing other authors' experiences using different cover designs. What works, and what doesn't?


message 2: by Naiya (last edited Sep 12, 2012 06:38PM) (new)

Naiya | 27 comments As a book reviewer/book blogger and an avid reader I can honestly give the non-pc answer and say absolutely. A great cover (or a cover that says "I'm from a genre you like") can make me curious enough to click for a closer look. Books that catch my eye are also more likely to derail my browsing and get added to my shelf.

Case in point, I've put the following on my to-read shelves just for the covers and/or great titles:

Only Superhuman by Christopher L. Bennett DEATH Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman Brood of Bones by A.E. Marling All the Windwracked Stars (Edda of Burdens, Book 1) by Elizabeth Bear A Thousand Words for Stranger (Trade Pact Universe, #1) by Julie E. Czerneda Mother Aegypt and Other Stories by Kage Baker Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) by Ann Aguirre Green Rider by Kristen Britain Burning Water (Diana Tregarde, #2) by Mercedes Lackey Dragonstar (Winterlands, Book 4) by Barbara Hambly


Of course, I will just as (if not more) willingly grab a book with a good blurb even if it has a terrible cover. Those books with great blurbs (and strong samples) tend to be read sooner as well, rather than sitting on my to-read shelf looking pretty.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian (ilamont) | 8 comments @Canary: Regarding covers that say (or scream!) "I'm from a genre you like": I agree, especially when it comes to fiction genres. I can't recall how many times as a youth I was hooked on a sci-fi title from an unknown author, based mostly on the cover, particularly for "hard" science fiction.

Nonfiction/education/software are different animals, though. Except for history and a few other subgenres, they don't really lend themselves to formulaic designs. When I was commissioning this cover, I felt that I could only work with text, fonts, and some simple icons and symbols, such as the clock. There was no obvious imagery or color schemes to turn to, as in horror or romance.


message 4: by Naiya (new)

Naiya | 27 comments Ian wrote: "@Canary: Regarding covers that say (or scream!) "I'm from a genre you like": I agree, especially when it comes to fiction genres. I can't recall how many times as a youth I was hooked on a sci-fi t..."

I'm not sure if I agree. There are cover trends within non-fiction genres just as in fiction genres (think historical nonfiction vs biographies), and nonfiction can be as clever as genre fiction in appealing to their target audience. Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science grabbed me with the cover alone.

I think the trick with nonfiction, part of the trick if surprising the reader with something new or different.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Judging a book by its cover? Well I really never thought about it but when my children's fantasy book was published ten months ago, I thought that my publisher's choice was really good. However, being here on Goodreads for two months can someone tell me what is wrong with it? The story is really,really good, well according to mu publishers in England but perhaps they have got it wrong? Why did they publish it n the first place that's what I ask.


message 6: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments I think it depends. If the cover is appealing I am probably more likely to look certainly for a print book. For an e-book not so worried. I am more taken with a blurb, unless the cover is awful. I tend to avoid "stock figures" and would prefer some individuality. Impossibly thin elves in chain mail bikinis and warriors who are all built like Arnie don't necessarily appeal. I find if someone can't be original or creative on the cover will the story be creative?

I suspect I in a minority here.


message 7: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments That cover with the pegasus looks fine to me:)


message 8: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments I read the article and personally I think the pro one looks...generic. It does indeed state what the book is about but I do think why should I buy that book as opposed to the one next to it with the cover which is nearly the same just blue?

However what do I know.

My cover I like but I know it is not ideal. I could not afford a cover artist and the scene is moody and atmospheric. It is not what I wanted however. I have a photographer and artist working on the cover for book 2 and hopefully she can fix book 1 cover as well.

I can't argue with your figures so maybe it will work for me too.


message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda | 18 comments As an indie publisher if I see an obviously homemade cover I will think the author probably edited the book himself, too, and I won't give it a chance. A lot more goes into covers, even e-covers, than an amateur can even imagine. I read a lot of memoir, historical fiction and nonfic, and an attractively designed, fitting cover for the book's theme goes a long way with me.


message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda | 18 comments Lynne wrote: "Judging a book by its cover? Well I really never thought about it but when my children's fantasy book was published ten months ago, I thought that my publisher's choice was really good. However, b..."

Lynn, I really don't like that horse unless the book is meant for young elementary school readers, and I can't tell what age range the book is meant for - maybe upper elementary by the description? If so, at that age those kids will appreciate a more realistic fantasy Pegasus rather than a cartoonish one with really awkward wings, especially girls. But it also depends on the style of the writing. Wimpy Kid covers are super simple and cartoonish but so is the text.


message 11: by Naiya (last edited Sep 14, 2012 04:12PM) (new)

Naiya | 27 comments Linda wrote: "As an indie publisher if I see an obviously homemade cover I will think the author probably edited the book himself, too, and I won't give it a chance. A lot more goes into covers, even e-covers, t..."

As a book reviewer who accepts requests from indie authors, I tend to get quite a few novels with so-so covers. Often, the so-so covers go hand-in-hand with so-so books. But I've def read some great stories with terrible covers and vice versa. I think I'm lucky in that I get requests where I read the blurb and sample and commit to reading a book long before I end up seeing the cover. A trick I've seen used effectively (usually) is to have a stylized, simple cover that fits into the genre. Examples from some indies I've read:

Slippery Souls (Sunray Bay, #1) by Rachael H. Dixon Sleight of Hand (Bite Back, #1) by Mark Henwick Falling (Fallen Idols #1 - paranormal chick lit romance novella) by Cecilia Gray


Or there is the tendency to go with stock simplicity. I think this is a better direction for most authors, unless they are very very good at art...

Mystery Man (Dream Man, #1) by Kristen Ashley No Good Deed (Kelly & Umber, #1) by Bill Blais Children of Sun and Moon (Skyfall, #1) by Matt Larkin The Gamble of the Godless by David Maine

The last, for me, is a great example of a simple, clean design that look professional to the nth degree.

Sorry for the cover dumps. I love covers. Can't get enough of 'em.


message 12: by Russell (last edited Sep 15, 2012 05:08AM) (new)

Russell Brooks (russellbrooks) A great book cover is very important because it`s the first thing a shopper sees. Details are important because if it's not attractive it will be passed over. No matter how good the book blurb is, if the cover is not up to par, it is then assumed that the story wouldn't be up to par either. For authors, unless you have a degree in graphic art design and have experience designing book covers, I strongly recommend that you hire a professional.

This was the first book cover for Pandora's Succession
Pandora's Succession by Russell Brooks
Not too hot, isn't it. Then I hired a professional.
Pandora's Succession by Russell Brooks
Big difference, wouldn't you agree? I then had her design the rest of my covers.
Chill Run  by Russell Brooks


message 13: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments Not everyone can afford a cover artist... ditto with an editor. I had a long argument with someone recently - I have several books with covers which don't speak of what the book is about at first glance, I have not necessarily heard of.

I know I am in a minority here though:)

I do think it depends partly on taste. I may not by a book simply because I think the cover is too generic;)


message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 15, 2012 05:46AM) (new)

In the past I would browse through bookshops but only ever purchased books by well known authors on subjects I liked or if the title attracted me, not the appearance of the cover. The title to me is more important than the cover and that's what sends me to read the book's blurb.

Since the advent of the internet, however, there are just millions of books available and so I go purely by recommendation. I only ever read the Harry Potter books because I was recommended by a student in a bookshop. You could see by watching her that she was just devouring the contents of a book. So I asked her about it, she gave me a quick speech on what it was about, I read the book's blurb and I purchased the first two books there and then. I thought they were an absolute delight!


message 15: by Linda (new)

Linda | 18 comments I think Search Inside is infinitely more important than the cover. Esp as you can't trust a book with only glowing 5-star reviews. An okay or template cover is not a big detriment, particularly if you are good at marketing.


message 16: by Daniel (new)

Daniel McHugh | 11 comments A cover should connect to the blurb or the title in some way. Indie authors often use a cover that relates to a crucial scene or theme in their book. However, if that theme or scene is not communicated by the title or blurb, it leaves the potential buyer a bit lost and confused.

My series begins with an impending journey through a wood known to be mysterious and full of danger. I chose a picture of an entry way into a forest path. The image is eerie and foreboding. It invites the reader into the journey but also warns that there is danger on the way. This image goes hand in hand with my blurb.

description


message 17: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments In some of the genres I like to read the professional covers are a downright turnoff. Romance for instance.


message 18: by Jennings (new)

Jennings Wright | 47 comments I don't delve into more info if a book has a bad cover - I don't do the Look Inside or read the blurb, I just move on. Not pc, I realize... But I'm a very visual person, and I also agree that the outside reflects (usually) the inside. Cover art isn't that expensive - if you've spent months (years?) writing a book, isn't it worth a couple of hundred (or less) to get a professional cover? I don't buy wine with a label done in crayon, either... For better or worse, that's just the fact.


message 19: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments I have this argument a lot Jennings, but I think it depends what you like. I might see a cover, professionally made and hate it, thinking it is generic, boring or bland for example. Or even a cover which does not portray what the book is about. I tend to read the blurb or the look inside, or get a sample.

Not everyone can afford a cover artist. It maybe worth it but sometimes it simply is not possible.

Just my humble opinion:)


message 20: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "In some of the genres I like to read the professional covers are a downright turnoff. Romance for instance."

I agree. There are way too many stock, boring covers. if the cover is not creative or unusual why should I buy that book?


message 21: by Jennings (new)

Jennings Wright | 47 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "In some of the genres I like to read the professional covers are a downright turnoff. Romance for instance."

I agree on the romance covers. I just published a Christian romance and I was terrified about doing a cover. Most are just bad. Some are embarrassing. Plus the trend is to put people on the cover, and personally, I like to imagine what the characters look like, not have them on the cover.

I'm probably too quick to move on. Some of that is the visual thing, some is just that I don't have a ton of time either to buy or read right now! And I've recently put down 3 legacy pubbed books, 2 by bestsellers, with good professional covers and not finished them. So I know it's not always a good guage.


message 22: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments Yes, ROmance covers tend to be well photoshopped;)
I swear there is one torso and many heads doing the rounds;)

I think they only way of determining whether a book is any good is to read it tbh. I have 200 or so in my TBR so I can't comment


message 23: by David (new)

David Fournier (mohawk1df) I hate to admit this, but sometimes I do. Some covers (and/or titles) just scream that the author is more concerned about how many sex scene he or she can put the main character(s) in that providing a good story.


message 24: by Cypher (new)

Cypher Lx (CypherLx) | 51 comments I recently designed a series of romance book covers for a fellow author. None of them have pictures of people on them. Why? Because we both agreed that when we read romance novels with people on the covers, they look nothing like we imagine the characters. So when we collaborated, we chose imagery that had to do with the the characters of each book without ruining what people expect. More like symbols to represent the story within and match the title of each.


message 25: by Steelwhisper (last edited Sep 23, 2012 03:34AM) (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Alexis wrote: "And for the record, I find that no matter how interesting it looked before I bought it, the book usually is awful anyway. Unoriginality is one of the biggest sins in the literary world...."

In that you are the odd one out. Try writing something original and then watch the low ratings trundle in. Especially within genre, the worst culprits there are anything romance or YA.

I've watched that happen so often lately, that I wonder why authors still dare do that.


message 26: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments ;) Nothing bad actually.


message 27: by Cypher (new)

Cypher Lx (CypherLx) | 51 comments Alexis wrote: "Steelwhisper wrote: "Alexis wrote: "And for the record, I find that no matter how interesting it looked before I bought it, the book usually is awful anyway. Unoriginality is one of the biggest sin..."

I find it funny that you put that "Hint" at the bottom. Whenever I decide on what title to use for a book I wrote, I do a Google search and an Amazon Search to see if there are books by the same name. It only happened with my first book, but there is only one other with the same title and in a completely different genre.

I have to agree with Steelwhisper as well. I don't follow a writing formula and people either love it or hate it. Most don't even chance it because I cross genres frequently. So I will always be one of the authors who barely gets noticed because I do things differently than the norm.


message 28: by Jennings (new)

Jennings Wright | 47 comments Cypher wrote: "Alexis wrote: "Steelwhisper wrote: "Alexis wrote: "And for the record, I find that no matter how interesting it looked before I bought it, the book usually is awful anyway. Unoriginality is one of ..."

I'm with you - but I think this is one of the best things about indie publishing. You don't have to "fit" a genre. Before I decided to indie publish, I couldn't even figure out who to query because my first book didn't really fit and agents usually only take certain genres. If the story and writing is good, I don't even care about the genres, unless it's horror (I can't read scary stuff, so I do have to be careful with that!).


message 29: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Well, one of the problems isn't even taste in writing, it's that so many people have ceased to be intellectually aware of what forms of writing are out there.

I'm talking the sheer level of craft or basic style here. They expect everything to be nicely laid out for them, nuance is dead, ambiguity is dead, active immersion is dead: if you do not spell it out, a lot of the readers do not get it anymore. And as they do not "get it", they dislike.

Now of course you might accuse some authors of flipping the pretentious finger at readers, but when people aren't capable of e.g. processing a vignette or short story in a different manner from a novel anymore, or aren't used anymore to complete what is left unsaid by the clues given, then this is about very basic reading capability.

It doesn't astonish me that the finer types of poetry also have lost their consumers compared to but a few decades ago.


message 30: by Naiya (last edited Sep 23, 2012 07:49AM) (new)

Naiya | 27 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "Now of course you might accuse some authors of flipping the pretentious finger at readers..."

I'm going to be one of those! Writers (especially those who are struggling to make it in genres like lit fic or writing stories they feel are "unique" and non-genre in some way) often take one horrified look at the bestseller lists, zero in on formulaic titles, stories, and covers, and then decry the sorry state of civilization, the lack of readership, the failures of education, and the brainless state of the public in general. But there's a big difference between a reader who cannot process a well-crafted story (there are those out there, yes) and a reader who can but chooses to read fluffy genre fiction. I know the latter exists because I'm one such reader.

I've read poetry and classic lit extensively (in three languages) and I'm going to go out on a limb and say I'm aware of many of the literary forms out there. I am delighted by books like Master and Margarita and poetry by TS Eliot. But, more often than not, I gravitate towards popcorn fiction when I want to read for pleasure (and I have several theories about why I do it, but Alexis is right. we've wandered off topic.)

I'm just going to quickly say that I don't know whether I'm an outlier, but for me, it's not a question of not getting it. It's a question of informed choice.


message 31: by Judith (new)

Judith Leger (judithleger) | 9 comments I love covers to but I've also found some really great stories behind some really bad covers and vice versus. It's a chance all readers have to take. I stop and check the book out if the cover looks good.


message 32: by Steelwhisper (last edited Sep 23, 2012 08:12AM) (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Canary wrote: "I'm just going to quickly say that I don't know whether I'm an outlier, but for me, it's not a question of not getting it. It's a question of informed choice. ..."

I'm going to be one of those! Writers (especially those who are struggling to mak..."


I wasn't referring to foisting anything on people without choice. I was really talking of readers who are unable to grasp what is before them. That's a difference.

I'm all for correctly stating what is "in the chocolate box". But people who don't understand what they are reading even though--to stay with the image--the box states what's inside, that's depressing.


message 33: by Jay (new)

Jay Nichols (jaynichols) | 18 comments All books are judged by their covers, at least initially. To paraphrase Hannibal Lecter: "Our eyes seek what we want to see."

It's only too bad that the skills needed to write a book rarely translate to art design.


message 34: by Steelwhisper (last edited Sep 23, 2012 09:17PM) (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Jay wrote: "All books are judged by their covers, at least initially. To paraphrase Hannibal Lecter: "Our eyes seek what we want to see."

It's only too bad that the skills needed to write a book rarely trans..."


I can agree with that, as some of the artistically well-made covers also don't end up as the most pleasing or intelligent ones. And often some of the less well-made covers contain wonderful little perls.

If there is one book (series) to prove that point it's Fifty Shades of Grey. Brilliant, superb covers, but the text within... gah!


message 35: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments Here's a really, really important key to understanding the job of a cover. Once you have published your work, it is no longer just your literary art -- it is now a product. Products need packaging, and all the very specialized considerations in product packaging come into play. Having some 30 years of design experience (in a previous life...) I've written a series of articles, under the byline The Indie Curmudgeon, about cover design for Indie Authors which can be found at Publetariat.com They may be of some help getting used to wearing the new hat of marketer!


message 36: by Laura (new)

Laura Baugh (lauravanarendonkbaugh) | 11 comments Cypher wrote: Whenever I decide on what title to use for a book I wrote, I do a Google search and an Amazon Search to see if there are books by the same name. It only happened with my first book, but there is only one other with the same title and in a completely different genre. "

I published a novella in a niche genre (Asian historical fantasy) with a non-English title. A *week* later, another Asian historical fantasy novella with the same title came out. /facepalm/

At least our covers are dramatically different. You can make up your own mind which is better. ;-)

Kitsune-Tsuki by Laura VanArendonk Baugh


message 37: by Laura (new)

Laura Baugh (lauravanarendonkbaugh) | 11 comments Aw, I'm sorry about the title confusion with an author you like! That's even worse!

Alexis wrote: "and I like your cover better, even though I only speak English. It's more unique. "

Thank you! The story is in English, just the title is in Japanese. This is not necessarily a good marketing decision ;-) but it's working for me.


message 38: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments Scary stuff. It's a huge unvierse of books now... like Carl Sagan's stars.


message 39: by Laura (new)

Laura Baugh (lauravanarendonkbaugh) | 11 comments Alexis wrote: "What would your book title mean, if you translated it to English?"

Roughly, fox-possessed -- that is, the state of being influenced or possessed by a kitsune, a trickster fox-spirit of Japanese folklore. The story is of an onmyouji (a practitioner of onmyoudou, a sort of astrological nature magic) engaged to find a kitsune alleged to be near. The challenge is, how does one find a shapeshifter which may not even exist? :)


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan Pace-Koch (getoutbooks) | 6 comments I think that I've read that people spend 8 seconds on the front cover and 15 seconds on the back cover.
In One Ear and Out the Other

Get Out Of My Head, I Should Go To Bed


message 41: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments That sounds about right to me... of course, when I work up a cover, I'm doing it for the target reader. From the design/marketing standpoint, a designer will attempt to research the market and find which art and typography appeals to which reader. If they hit a good combination, it will draw the reader into the cover, where they'll spend more time, then flip it over and spend even more time on the back. The idea being: the packaging should make the reader want to flip the book open and maybe sample the opening. It's not really supposed to tell you "what the book is about" but to make you want to find out. If a question is posed on the cover, for instance, it should only be reinforced on the back and especially not answered completely. Packaging or advertising should never pose a question to a prospective buyer that they can answer "no" to.


message 42: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments The problem with that is that readers and buyers expect it to be about the content of the story and react accordingly.


message 43: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments Well, it actually is about the content of the story, but it probably doesn't answer all the questions you might have. For example, does it conjure up any emotional response? Well, then chances are that is about the content. When it comes to eBook covers, anyway, all it's got to do is get you to click on it, then you'll be taken to a purchase page where a more complete pitch/synopsis can be read. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to click for more content.
Ask yourself if looking at a cover generates any specific questions. If it does, then the chances are that those questions are the intention of the designer and the publisher, if the cover works well.


message 44: by Laura (new)

Laura Baugh (lauravanarendonkbaugh) | 11 comments Alexis, I would be honored. I hope you enjoy it, or at least have fun trying a new genre. :-)


message 45: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 262 comments As a reader, I definitely jduge a book by its cover. Granted, I'll usually go further than that afterwards—reading the back cover blurb, online reviews, etc, because what's most important in the end is still the contents. But a nice cover is always more likely to catch my eye, whether on an Amazon/GR listing or in a pile of paperbacks at the local book store. Ebook or paper, it doesn't matter, the visual process goes the same for me.

(Now, I'm aware that self-published authors don't all have training as graphic-designers, and I know from experience—having had such training in a previous life—that designing any kind of 'packaging' isn't so easy nor obvious as it may sound. On the other hand, I think that there are so many good covers out there already, that finding out what works and what doesn't isn't too difficult in itself.)


message 46: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Richard wrote: "Well, it actually is about the content of the story, but it probably doesn't answer all the questions you might have. For example, does it conjure up any emotional response? Well, then chances are ..."

Richard, I am talking about this sort of cover:



I wouldn't have bought this book (which by the way is an excellent LGBT/BDSM Regency novella) at all if it hadn't been very much recced by a good friend.

Why? I hate manboob covers. In my experience they signify mostly badly written porn, often vulgar, often plotless, which I've grown to loathe. While this book does have on-screen sex, it is however quite challenging, literate and exquisitely written.

Why was this cover chosen? Because it sells like sliced bread to readers of porn. But that's the point, it doesn't contain the sort of erotic tale usually associated with such covers.


message 47: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments Steelwhisper wrote: "Why was this cover chosen? Because it sells like sliced bread to readers of porn."
Yup! Exactly!The cover is clearly targeted to the demographics -- or just plain voyeur graphics of the supposed reader. Ebook readers have made that whole thing more easily indulged in as no one can see the cover of what you're reading to give it away!

I don't know much about the erotica genre, but once I posted an extended interview with a couple who write together in that genre and had to clean up over 200 porn spams every day fro a week from my site. It seems the marketing/promo machine is best developed and well-oiled in that market!


message 48: by Liza (new)

Liza O'Connor (goodreadscomliza_oconnor) | 33 comments Richard wrote: "once I posted an extended interview with a couple who write together in that genre and had to clean up over 200 porn spams every day fro a week from my site. It seems the marketing/promo machine is best developed and well-oiled in that market!"

In the future, create an entirely new blog and then send people over to the new blog site from your normal blog. That way all the porn spams will remain with the new blog.

Now to the issue at hand. My book is directed to two different groups: Young adults and the 'mature' reader. The cover is for the young people. But honestly, I'm thinking it needs a different cover for the Mature market.
I don't think they'll resonate at all with the cover I've got now.


message 49: by Steelwhisper (last edited Oct 03, 2012 10:00PM) (new)

Steelwhisper | 118 comments Richard wrote: "Steelwhisper wrote: "Why was this cover chosen? Because it sells like sliced bread to readers of porn."
Yup! Exactly!The cover is clearly targeted to the demographics -- or just plain voyeur graphi..."


Richard, you seem to misunderstand. A lot of these covers are used--perforce used, because publishers foist them onto these authors--by writers of romance or erotic literature/fiction.

That's so not the same as porn!

Would you, if you want to buy some nice literate SF buy books with covers which look like they contain porn? Sure, some people would buy, because they'd expect porn inside a cover of porn and won't read the blurb. But if you wanted something literate and sophisticated?

That's the point I am making, too many of these manboob covers cater to very primitive reactions. There are readers who actually find these bodybuilder types downright vile and turning them off, I belong to that variant of female. I like my men more of the leptosome build and I associate pumped-for muscle with no brains and a mindeset completely derived from the stone ages.

So these covers do the opposite of selling books to me, they force me to wait until someone recs a good book to me knowing my predilections. This may happen or it may not.

Oh, and I have absolutely NO problem parading around in public with even a book depicting fornicating people. I couldn't care less what anyone around me thought of my reading habits.


message 50: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments That's a good point, but to return to the marketing approach, Romance is targeted to a very specific reader pool. The covers used over and over again in various iterations are used because they help sell the books to that target. If they didn't work, they wouldn't use them. It's that simple. Anpother point is that certain cover illustrators are set up with recurring business arrangements with certain publishers. That's why lots of covers from a specific publisher look similar -- they are!

Designing a book's cover is so subjective it is really hard to comment on your current cover without seeing it and also really understanding who you are targeting for sales. If you can, upload the image here.


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