Monday, June 18, 2012

"Please Judge Our Books By The Covers" by Melissa Foster

Today, my blog is honored to be the latest stop on Melissa Foster's 2012 Summer Blog Tour. Her post today is about book covers and how they can influence you.

Melissa's Summer Blog Tour

As an author, we spend weeks, months, and sometimes years on writing and perfecting our novels. We hone our craft and trust the ability of fine editors to bring our books to their very finest pitch. We’re artists, of the written kind. Sometimes, our hard work even pays off, and we reach bestseller status—what a joy! But to gain attention, to get our books noticed, we have to dress it in the right outfit. A killer cover can make a book, just as a cover that is missing panache can stop it in its tracks.

The truth about books, as far as I can tell, is that readers are first attracted to the covers, then they take a look inside. I know I’m a cover girl. I am guilty of scanning covers until I find one that has that certain something that draws me in, then I flip it over and read the summary. If that’s a winner, I open the cover and read the first three pages. If you haven’t hooked me, I’m done. If that initial interest is not there, I never make it any further.

Chasing Amanda

Does that make me shallow, or is that a common occurrence? I have no idea.  I have to admit, a poorly done cover is a turn off to me—it makes me feel as though the writer didn’t care enough about their work to think it was worthy of their time and attention.

Nice covers don’t have to be elaborate or costly, they simply have to be neatly done, appealing to the eye, and for me, they have to emote feelings—which may be different feels for every person who sees them, and that’s okay.

Megan's Way

The funny thing is, it doesn’t seem to matter which way one publishes; indie, traditional, self, assisted—bad covers are everywhere. Sometimes the author has no say in the final cover—you hear this about traditional publishing very often. But for those of us who do have final say, or even artistic control, I have one thing to say—Authors, please take your time and think like a reader. Reel them in with imagery and wow them with great writing.

Speaking of covers—I’m giving away books all summer long during my blog tour. Click on the blog tour jpeg to see how you can win!

What are your thoughts on book covers? 

Come Back To Me

Award-winning, bestselling author Melissa Foster is a touchstone for the indie publishing community and a tireless advocate for women. She is the founder of the World Literary Café, Fostering Success, and The Women’s Nest. Melissa writes emotionally-driven contemporary fiction and suspense with passionate characters that remain with the reader long after they’ve read the last words. Melissa is a friend, mentor, brownie connoisseur, and book fiend. 

Melissa’s site links:

Twitter: @Melissa_Foster
My social network for women:
World Literary Café:
Facebook Melissa Foster: (Fanpage)


  1. I'm a cover girl, as well. I love going to brick and mortar bookstores and picking up books with covers that catch my eye. If the cover doesn't look interesting, I definitely won't be looking inside. That doesn't mean that a great cover will end in a purchase, but it has to be there to stand a chance. I have to agree that there are bad covers done by the big 6 publishing companies, too. They are everywhere, but I suspect they don't sell many books that way.

  2. I sometimes think I'm the only reader in the world who doesn't care about covers. I appreciate certain kinds of covers, old SF covers for example, but have never really been persuaded to buy a book based on a cover. I do pay attention to covers if I'm in a book store and I don't know the author's names. The cover may get me to pick up the book, if it indicates genre to me.

  3. I'm not sure a bad cover would stop me reading a book if the content was good. Just as a bad cd cover wouldn't stop me buying the album, but I suppose every image tells a story, so a really good cover could influence me into picking up a book that I may never had considered if the image hadn't appealed to me.

  4. Something to think about - whether I am influenced by cover design. Your covers are all very nice. Interesting post!

  5. I'm sort of semi-influenced by covers. I definitely agree that if you have an eye-catching cover, it does help with sales and promo.

    I'm an excellent case in point. The cover for my upcoming book has generated a lot of positive comments from people, whereas the lack of a cover for my self-pubbed chapbook has generated almost zero comments.

    But while the cover may be eye-catching, the content has to be good as well. No amount of eye-candy will cause me to crack open a new book if the jacket blurb doesn't real me in.

    This was very interesting post, Melissa. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Heather, one of my fave haunts. I def miss Borders :-( Love to meet another cover girl! Yay! Thank you for posting a comment - stop by and enter to win my books- Just click on the jpeg of me above:-)

    Charles, you are probably not alone, but lonely:-)

    LL Cool Joe (great name!), this gives you and Lynn something to think about! Thanks, Lynn!

    GB Miller, you are right, content has to rock the socks off the reader, too, but think of the first impression...

    Thank you everyone! Please click on the image of me on this post and enter to win my books!


  7. I am somewhat influenced by covers. I won't ever pick up a book that has traditional "chick lit" indicators (usually lots of pink and a cartoonish illustration). I am attracted by those little metallic circles that indicate literary awards. But I also listen to a lot of author interviews and book reviews on podcasts, so I'll go out looking for particular authors and titles, and at that point the cover is not as important.

  8. S.R.: I'm of the opposite in that literary awards don't impress me much. To me, quite often literary awards usually means a panel of the writer's peers decided that the book in question was noteworthy.

    I think best seller lists and word of mouth are better indicator about a book than a literary award.

  9. It's funny, I stopped putting my awards on my books. Good to know, Sparkling Red! Thank you for giving me something to think about.

  10. I think the cover would be very important to the author - I remember going to a workshop where the author of a book called "The Dark and Deadly Pool" was complaining that the cover had a bright, normal-looking pool on the cover, and we all agreed with her. As a reader, I don't really care much about covers, although that one did strike me as odd. You'd think the artist would have read the title.

  11. Riot Kitty, interesting about that cover...that would tick me off as a writer:-)


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