Judging Books by Their Covers

Guilty or not guilty?


A while back on Instagram someone I follow asked for feedback on a couple of draft covers for their new book. The book sounds amazing, but the draft covers I hated. After taking on a lot of feedback the final cover is wonderful. Here’s the thing though. I would never even pick up the book with the draft covers but would be happy to read it with the final cover. Same book, just different cover.

I don’t want to think to hard about what this says about me as a person, but surely I am not alone.

This is my reasoning for judging books by their covers. Books with nice covers are normally published by respected publishing houses and these publishing house tend to have decent books because they can pick and choose. So, good book = good cover.

I know this reasoning is flawed and I have read some great books with craptastic covers but these are normally based on personal recommendations not simply browsing the shelves. I have also read some horrendous books with amazing covers. I am foremost a very visual person.

Whilst my logic is very iffy I will still continue to do as I have always done. So to the authors of the world make sure you have a cracking design team to make the outside as good as your inside or I probably won’t be picking your book up.

Anyone else as shallow as me or follows the same logic? Why not share a book you read that you feel the cover didn’t do it justice (for me it would be A Discovery of Witches) or one where the cover far exceeded the books quality?Β 

Happy reading xΒ 

7 thoughts on “Judging Books by Their Covers

  1. allymemes says:

    I’m 100% guilty of this, although I’ve definitely read some crappy books with great covers and vice versa. There are other books I’ve read on my kindle that I loved where I saw the cover after I read it and definitely would have never bothered to pick it up

    Liked by 1 person

  2. baking_thad says:

    Definitely! I don’t think its shallow though – book covers help me know if it’s, say, a classic or a thriller.

    I take the view that they’re a marketing tool, just trying to let the right audience know who the book is for, and sometimes that’s not me. I know it means I might miss a few crackers, but word of mouth usually brings good books to my attention rather than the cover – like the Girl with the Gifts. Would never have picked that one up based on its cover!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fictionophile says:

    I often choose books by their covers. One in particular, that has a stunning cover was “That darkness” by Lisa Black. It didn’t quite live up to it’s cover, but it wasn’t bad. My review: https://fictionophile.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/that-darkness-by-lisa-black/
    Also, you might be interested in my series of blog posts called “Cover Love”. Of the twenty installments I’ve published so far, my favorite has to be “Seeing double”. https://fictionophile.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/cover-love-part-13-seeing-double-or-even-triple/


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