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Judging a Book By Its Cover

You know the feeling. The colors. The font. The subtle symbolism that you will only understand if you covet it. Which if the publishers have done their job successfully, you will.

The cover art of a book does more than just inform a shopper of the title and author, it sells the words behind it. It sells you as a writer. So how much of this is in your hands once you've signed that dotted line?

As we've seen with the Liar cover fiasco, authors don't always have a big part in process. Here, Sonya Chung relays how both the author and publisher play a role.

Not all great pieces of literature have stellar covers and vice versa. But catching the eye of consumers can make a huge difference in how well a book will sell. And good sales=happy publishers. Happy publishers=happy writer.

As a consumer, how much do you judge a book by its cover?
Amanda Hannah

Amanda grew up on a big farm in a small town with one stoplight, one school, and a handful of imaginary friends.She would’ve gone to college forever, but eight years and five majors tested her advisor’s patience. So she moved to Germany to explore creepy castles before landing in Spain where she’s perfecting her Flamenco.

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  1. It depends if I'm at a bookstore or not, honestly. If I've been recommended something, cover doesn't matter. But if I'm glancing through, the boring, ugly covers aren't going to catch my attention. Or the explosion of colors ones, I pass those by too. I get easily sucked in by eyes, or covers that are either mostly black or mostly white. And then ones that are just pretty. I actually really like the cover of Breaking Dawn--I found the chess pieces very cool looking. But the whole series with its mostly black covers, I liked that. And the color red, I like that as a background too.

    *Stops rambling*

  2. I have to agree with most of what Kaitlin said.

    I very much judge a book by it's cover, unless the book was recommended to me.

    I really like the cover of Wicked Lovely that you posted there. I love the darker more muted colors and more abstract realistic subjects. I also love when a cover is matte instead of glossy.

  3. I don't usually judge books by its cover. But like you said, the appearance of the cover has a lot to do w/ whether someone decides to read the book or not. Nowadays, people are more visual and if they see a book w/ appeal, they might give the book a chance.
    I go past the cover and read the summary on the back or inside the book flap, though. =D

  4. Oops. I forgot to leave my name.
    -ChinLin Pan =D

    (I just sign in under my LJ account.)

  5. I don't judge the books by their cover much. In fact, it's actually the spine that I usually see first in bookstores and libraries. So it's the title and font on the spine catching my eye first and the back blurb second. The cover is just an added bonus for me. I don't think I've ever put a book back on the shelf simply because I didn't like the cover.

    To me, that's like refusing to buy a perfect horse just because he's a bay.

    ~ Horserider aka Rachael

  6. ninety-eight percent of the time, I track down books based on reviews, buzz, or recommendations.

    however, an enticing cover does make a book stick in my head, often before it's published. like the cover for hush, hush:

    my goodness it's beautiful

  7. That is a really cool cover.

    I think I used to be drawn to books by their covers naturally, but now buying so many of ereader means that I'm seeking them out more based on reviews and word of mouth.

    By the way, if you like seeing the process of designing a book cover, this blog is amazing:

  8. Like others, my book selections mostly come from some kind of recommendation. I'll go to the library with three or four books on my mind, but I always leave with three or four more than I meant to. The extras are usually suggested by book sellers or librarians, but there are definitely times when those are books displayed prominately and have beautiful covers. So I can be sold by a great cover, but not too often.


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Item Reviewed: Judging a Book By Its Cover Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amanda Hannah