Do you judge books by their cover?
I think every reader knows that experience of walking into a bookstore because they’re looking for a new book. Maybe they have an idea of what they want. Maybe they’re just there to peruse and see what catches their eye.
Ah! But that’s the key, isn’t it? Catching their eye.
We, as readers, may say “covers don’t matter.” That it’s the story hidden within the depths of the pages that make a book worth it, but… how are you to know what the story is? How are you to know whether to spend the time or money on that book sitting in front of you? How do you know it’ll be worth it? That it’ll even be good?
Straight answer: You don’t.
There is never a sure-fire way to figure out whether that book is going to be good or not. Even if you read 100 reviews before the book, you won’t know. Why? Because you are you. No one knows you or what you’ll like, but you. Which means your only option is to stumble around in the endless maze of books and pray you take the right turn at the appropriate genre and land on the Holy Grail- I mean… a good book. ;p
But how do you even begin to select one from the thousands, maybe millions, of books out there?
Do you know why it takes forever for publishers to get books onto shelves for you to devour and savor? Because of all the little details they worry about before that book is even announced to the public. And the first thing readers will see and hear about, and therefore the most important aspect of marketing a book, is the cover.
In fact, covers are so important that there are release parties- well in advance of the actual book release -just for the cover of the book! Bloggers are recruited to join a single-day event solely to post the gorgeous new cover for the whole world to see for the very first time. (And maybe they’ll post the blurb, too. :p)
Another reason why it’s so obvious that covers are extremely important is because they can change. (as we previously discussed) How often has an entire series been published and then suddenly the cover changes? They re-vamp the entire series with a brand new face, and why? Because it catches the eye! Because it grabs new readers!
Because covers are everything!
I don’t know about you, but I won’t even touch a book if the cover doesn’t catch my eye. Sure, it might be a good book, but I don’t have eternity to waft through the ceaseless tide of books in a bookstore. I may have a half hour at most. Thus, I have to be very selective and decisive when picking up a book to even read the blurb, and I use the covers to choose just which ones to spend more time on.
I also know of many readers, book bloggers in particular ;), who buy a book just because the cover is gorgeous. After all, most readers don’t shove books into a dark closet or box when they’re done with them. They display them. They show them off on their bookshelf like a prize or award, and because bookshelves are so gosh-darn important to readers (as we previously discussed), it’s vital that the cover looks appealing.
But what do you think?
Do you judge a book by its cover?
Let me know in the comments!
And check out my discussion from last week:
“ARC vs Final Copy“