I totally judge a book by its cover

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Books & Reading
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Think whatever you want, I don’t care. I totally judge a book by it’s cover.

I mean, why not? The cover should reflect the book as a whole. If you couldn’t take the time to create a nice image for the front of your story, how do we know that you took the time to craft a nice story for us to read? Something that’s been poorly photoshopped or doesn’t even really represent your book tells us a lot about you.

So, make sure you have a nice cover.

And hey, not every cover is going to speak to every person. And if your book gets enough good reviews, the cover isn’t even going to matter that much.

The cover for Divergent doesn’t really do anything for me, but I picked it up and read it because everyone was saying how amazing it was. (And it IS amazing, FYI.)

Divergent Cover


And everyone’s opinions are different. I love highly photoshopped or colorful book covers. They always grab my attention.

Clockwork Princess Cover


Incarnate Cover


That’s not to say that I won’t read a book with a cover I don’t like. It’s just that when I’m browsing for something new, something I’ve never heard of before, a cover like Incarnate is going to grab my attention and intrigue me more than, say, the cover for The Casual Vacancy.

Casual Vacancy Cover

(Which I read anyway because – duh – J.K. Rowling.)

What’s your opinion? Do you refuse to judge a book by its cover, or do you feel like it does (and should) represent a book? Do you ever just browse covers that grab your attention, or do you only go by recommendations from friends or family members?


  1. Chris says:

    I absolutely judge a book by it’s cover. I think that’s partially why I never think my covers are good enough–Especially for His Only Star, but I’m working on getting a new and better one. Although I am pretty proud of my covers for Infernal Inventions and War of the Devices.

    But, yeah, covers say a lot about the book. It’s essentially the most pivotal point in the book, or the main characters, or the important parts of the book all wrapped up into once picture, so a good cover *should* indicate a good book. Although, as we all know, this isn’t always the case.

  2. If it’s an author I love, the cover doesn’t matter. But if it’s an author I’ve never picked up before, the cover is totally what interests me. I can’t help it.

    • Karen Rought says:

      Oh, absolutely. I mean, obviously I picked up The Casual Vacancy anyway, haha. But yeah, unless the book comes highly recommended or sounds really, really interesting, the cover is a major factor for me.

  3. ddog13 says:

    The reason why I picked up the Alex Rider series years back was because of the cover. The cover is what has me turn the book over to read the summary. So you’d better have a good cover, or else I could miss your book on the shelf. Great post.

  4. i’d have to say, the cover only really influences me when it’s for a book by a writer i’ve never read before. (i totally agree with you on the casual vacancy cover btw – horrendous!)

    i’m ashamed to say that i absolutely hated the hunger games cover when my daughter first tried to get me to read it. i thought she’d picked up some old hard boiled crime novel from the 70’s. so ugly. it took her months of nagging to get me to finally crack open that book. so glad i did.

    • Karen Rought says:

      I totally get that. And, yeah, the Hungers Games cover is nothing special. I think I like it more now because I know what it means, but at first glance you kind of have to wonder if it’s going to be about people eating pigeons.

  5. Julie Glover says:

    I feel exactly like you do…that a bad cover means maybe the author didn’t care enough about the book as a whole to also make sure the contents are high quality. And I also agree that different covers appeal to different people, so the main thing is just a professional look in my opinion.

    But yeah, I have picked up a book and read at least the blurb or a few pages based on the cover. If the story concept or writing doesn’t interest me, the cover’s not enough. But the cover can capture my attention.

    Now with classics, I don’t care. They’re classics.

    • Karen Rought says:

      It’s a sad fact of life, but it’s definitely true. The cover is absolutely never just enough, but it is that thing that makes me pause, and that can be a vital moment for an author.

  6. EM Castellan says:

    I buy books based on reviews and recommendations, regardless of what the cover looks like. But I agree: if I haven’t heard of the book, and its cover doesn’t appeal to me, I most definitely won’t buy it.

  7. Covers attract readers. Covers sell. Definitely. This to the point where publisher contracts remove any say over them from the author. Same’s true of the blurb, technically.

    • Karen Rought says:

      When I first found that out, I was pretty incredulous. But it makes sense. That’s such a selling point, that I can see why they wouldn’t want to leave it in the author’s hands if they have no idea what they’re doing.

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