Although wisdom warns not to judge a book by its cover, both authors and readers would likely agree that a cover can make a favorable first impression. How much more of an impression, though?
To discover the truth our authors were asked, what book have you bought based on the lure of its cover? And then, many readers assume the author chooses a book’s cover and — while not exactly true — how much input have you had over your cover(s)?
The following novelists replied:
“Interesting question. It’s so easy to find out more about books now that I think it’s very rare to purchase a book just based on the cover. I was drawn to a book called “Turtle Feet” (by Nikolai Grozni) by its cover, but I bought it because of the jacketflap copy. Books whose covers I love actually include a lot of my fellow Debutantes’ books–Mia King’s “Good Things” is one of my favorites, as is Eve Brown-Waite’s “First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria” and Tiffany Baker’s “Little Giant of Aberdeen County.”
”I didn’t have any input into my cover, except to see it and fall in love immediately.”
“I know I’ve bought quite a few books based on the cover. Two that stick out, in part because they’re so different was Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
“With my YA publisher, Simon Pulse, I’ve been fortunate to be included in the cover art planning and designs. It is a huge stress reliever to know what to expect. When I saw the cover of Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood I wanted to kiss the designer Cara.”
“I can’t remember the last time I bought a book based on its cover. Usually I pick up books based on the authors. But I’m sure covers have more influence on me than I know–maybe bad covers (leading me to NOT pick up a book) more than good.
“I did not have a lot of input on my cover design, although my editor kept me in the loop along the way. She did ask me at the very beginning of the design process if there was anything in particular I really hated, which I thought was nice. (I said covers that were busy and flowery.) We had one cover that was lovely but was eventually killed because it was too “quiet”…then went to this image, but with entirely different type treatment. I really didn’t like it, but then they changed the type placement and design,which made a world of difference–and now I think it is fabulous.”
“I don’t buy books based on their covers, but a cover can make me grab a book off the pile, or draw my eye when posted on a blog, for example. One of my favorite covers was for Joshua Ferris’s THEN WE CAME TO THE END which showed the title rendered in red Sharpie marker on yellow sticky notes. For an office novel, this was perfect. I also adored the cover for Tiffany Baker’s LITTLE GIANT OF ABERDEEN COUNTY.
“I loved my cover for Real Life & Liars unreservedly, the first time I saw it. And though I’m not totally in charge of my cover for The Life You’ve Imagined, I am, right now, in discussions with my publisher about various designs. They are taking my input very seriously, and for that I’m so grateful (and all the choices are gorgeous. I can’t wait to share it when I can!)”
“Two books come to mind: Mr. Thundermug by Cornelius Medvei and Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier.
“I was asked for input on my cover—to provide ideas relating to themes, provide jpgs, anything I thought might help the cover artist. Looking back, about 95% of the pictures I provided related in some way to a woman in water. So when I saw the final cover, I was thrilled with it.”
Announcement: The winner of Kristy Kiernan’s two novels — Catching Genius and Matters of Faith — is Keetha. Congratulations! Please email: diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and your books will be sent as quickly as possible. And, as always, thank you to all who commented.
Next week all the posts’ topics will be about love…of some type. Be sure to visit.