Judging books by their covers

Still catching up on my blog reading. Paul Guyot who writes Ink Slinger had an interesting blog entry on October 18 entitled Cover Me.

He gives the results from an informal survey he conducted each time he went to book stores. There was no rhyme or reason to which bookstore he visited nor what time or day of the week. Go to his blog to read the details.

The thing I found most interesting was the importance of the cover art in buying decisions. Even when customers looked for specific authors' books, if they didn't like the cover, they wouldn't purchase the book.

This is pretty disheartening when I think of the many good books I've read that have covers that make the author cringe with embarrassment. I'm thinking of a recent book by an author I know that had everything going for it--good story, catchy title, etc. Well, that is, everything except a good cover. The book died a quick, painful death, but the numbers will haunt the author forever.

What's an author to do? Very little unless you have cover approval which most don't. I guess that leaves prayer. Pray the artist and/or art director and/or editor in charge of such all have good taste and have actually read the book and gets it, including a vision of what will sell it.

I probably shouldn't do it, but here's one of my less appealing covers that was on a hardcover reprint of one of my romance novels. The story is a comedy of errors courtship with a very sexy twist, and the main characters are two extremely attractive doctors. My apologies to the artist who probably thought this cover art was splendid, but it doesn't portray anything remotely resembling the screwball comedy story or the physically appealing characters. When I saw the cover, my heart sank about as low as the numbers shown on the subsequent royalty statements.

Sling Words out.

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