… well, not exactly.
When I’m at the bookshop looking for my next read, the two things I rely on the most are the title and the cover… and the latter more than the former. When the books are laid out in front of me, I depend on their covers to guide me. If a cover is bland and uninteresting, I’m less likely to pick it up; but if a book has good artwork and a cool design, my hand will automatically be drawn to it.
I’m not completely superficial though. Once I pick up the book and momentarily soak up its front, I will turn to the back and read the blurb. If that catches my interest, I then flip through the pages and read a few passages to see if I like the style of the author. Then I hold on to it and continue browsing the shelves to see if there’s anything I may like better (I do this when I’m on a budget, otherwise I do buy several books at a time).
For example, look at the covers provided by the Good Show Sir and tell me honestly, would you buy any of the books listed there? I can’t in good conscience say that I would pick any of these books of their shelves. They’re really unattractive and some of them are downright repulsive. They simply do not call me to read them. A cover needs to say, “Come hither, Zen, and look through my pages. You know you want to,” or else it’s most probably not getting a second look.
When an author puts a lot of effort into writing their book, they need to exert equal effort in getting their book the best cover possible, especially now with the increase in publication and e-books. There are so many books to wade through these days, and one can’t just stop at each one to read the blurb and see if they like it, whether they are at a bookshop running their fingers along the spines, or at an online store scrolling through a bunch of titles. It’s sad when the author writes a fantastic book, and then doesn’t get any attention because their cover is unprofessional or plain.
To be fair, I think many people are becoming more conscious about the importance of covers, and you don’t see ones this terrible these days. But every once in a while I’ll come across a book and think, “What on earth was the author thinking?”
What about you? Do you care about the cover or do you focus more on the story? Do you know any books with terrible covers?