What’s on your mind TWG? – Do you judge a book by its cover, literally?

Good afternoon you lovely lot! I am back again this week with another ‘What’s on your mind TWG?’, last weeks blog post seemed to go down a treat! Thank you to everyone that got involved in the discussion. If you missed the post, you can find it again here:  What’s on your mind TWG? – Spoilers in a review, yes or no?

So what IS on TWG’s mind this week? Let’s talk about judging books by their covers, literally. When I was younger, book covers didn’t seem as vibrant, fancy or eye-catching as they do these days. To me anyway. Although, I guess an 5-6 year old wouldn’t really stand at shelves stacked with books going ‘mother, this book cover isn’t catching my eye, I shan’t read this one today!’. I would be rather impressed if I did though! As I have grown into a late twenty something woman, as well as starting my blog, I pay attention to individual book covers more than anything. Maybe it’s because I am more aware of how much work goes into creating them, or maybe it’s because I appreciate them more now that I am older.

But there is a difference between appreciating a cover for its beauty and using a book cover to decide whether you will buy the book or not.

When you go to buy a book do you:
a) read the blurb first, then make your decision based on that – or –
b) judge a book by its cover and base your decision on what it LOOKS like – or –
c) will you only buy the book if you like BOTH the blurb and the cover.

I know, I know, it’s a well-known phrase that you should never ‘never judge a book by its cover’, but is that allowed for books?

Before I began blogging, I had a very thorough way of choosing whether I was going to read a book or not:
1. Look at the cover & title.
2. Read the blurb.
3. Read the first couple of lines on the first page.

Do I do that now? No, I don’t. When you work with publishers and authors, you can’t exactly say ‘hang on a second, I need to read the first page before I decide whether I’m going to review your book or not’, that is a tad rude. It is rare that I read the blurbs of books now too because I find that they seem to give more of the story away.
So TWG, how DO you choose a book to read? Well, I decide based on the cover and the title. If both of those catch my eye and make me intrigued, then I will read it. That said, my way isn’t set in stone. Sometimes I do delve further into the information of the book before choosing, but predominantly my decision is based on the cover.

When I get asked to review a book one of the first things that sit in the e-mail (apart from Hi Kaisha) is the book title and author. Yes, the information of the book is included, but I don’t read it. I probably sound like a book snob here, but using my logic, I find I accept more books to review because it broadens my genres and I have found many different and new authors because I chose their books based on the covers.

So yes, it does play a big part in my decision with books. But I am a complete book nerd and I appreciate all the hard work that goes into making a cover shout the story visually. It’s quite clever when you think of it that way.

My question to you is: do you judge a book by its cover? As always I want to hear your thoughts on this weeks topic. Please let me know how you choose a book to read using the choices above in your answers, or do you do something completely different? Authors: do you have a lot riding on your covers to help sell the book?

To join in this discussion pop your comments in reply to this blog post, or you can tweet me @kaishajayneh, or find me on The Writing Garnet on Facebook. I cannot wait to hear what you think! If you have any topic ideas please e-mail them to kaishajayneh@gmail.com!

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “What’s on your mind TWG? – Do you judge a book by its cover, literally?

  1. Yes – a book cover is really important especially with todays online buying market where you are often relying on just a thumbnail picture of your book to grab the buyers attention. So it needs to be uncluttered, have a clear title and author name and somehow stand out amongst the squllions of other books all vying for attention.
    Once a book cover has my attention, then I look at the blurb which needs to hit the mark, I want a good hint at the genre, the blurb has to be not be too short, or too long, not give too much of the storyline away, but intrigue me, have me asking questions and wanting more.
    Finally I’ll look at the price, books need to be competitive if they stand a chance, unless they are from the small percentage of extremely successful authors like JK Rowling, Stephen King etc If the author is new to me and I’m going to gamble with my money I want a fair price.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have to say the only effect a book cover has ever had on me is a negative one (to turn me away from a book), which is why I’m glad I rarely look at covers anymore (especially easy with ebooks), as there are a lot of great books that I would not have read because they had a pink cover or had a six-pack on them (I don’t know what it is about six-packs on covers – happy to stare at them anywhere but on a book cover!).

    I always buy books based on the blurb – if I don’t like the blurb or can’t work out what the book’s about from the blurb, I move on. Harsh? Maybe. But less harsh than basing it on a single image that may not be reflective of your perception of the book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Definitely agree with the 6 pack thing! I don’t think your reasoning is harsh just as I don’t think basing opinion on just the cover is harsh. If blurbs didn’t give too much away then I would go back to looking at them

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do tend to gravitate and pick up a book to read the back or inside flap based on the cover. When I released my book, I spent hours agonizing over every bit of it, because I wanted to grab a person’s attention by the front cover from across the virtual Amazon room. So far, it’s been working pretty good. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s quite a difficult answer these days I think – on the one hand if I am looking for a book ‘blind’, so no notion of a favourite author or following up on a review, and I actually have time in a bookstore (sadly that doesn’t happen too often these days), I have been know to un-focus my eyes and go for which every blurry blob catches my attention. I know that is hardly scientific, but it is a starting place. Covers with high heels as their central or only component I tend to avoid ( tho, ‘ the Devil wears Prada’ was an honerable exception. Ditto with the six pack thing, and I’m not a huge fan of Barbie pink either.
    The blurb is the thing though, it has to hook me without telling me too much, but say enough to spike my interest, and it should go without saying that it has to be well written and proof-read, nothing will make me walk away faster than a glaring spelling or grammatical error!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think the order you specified (looking at the cover, then the blurb, and then reading a sample) is the valid order for most book buyers. On Amazon, that thumbnail photo of the cover is often what first attracts me to a book. If it’s professionally done, I’ll keep going. If it’s not, I will often skip over that book.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s