Monday, October 17, 2011

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover: Or Try Not to

It's Musing Mondays again at Should be Reading. I look forward to Mondays and finding out what the writing prompt will be.

This week's prompt:

Do you judge a book by its cover?

I want to say it doesn't matter, to present myself as that person who can see beyond looks and pick a story purely on its merit and lots of reader research. But, I can't. Of course I'm attracted to a cover or turned off by one.

People always ask what attracted me to my husband. His looks! I won't deny it. But without substance to back it up, it wouldn't have mattered. After twenty years, the reasons I love him go far beyond his looks. But I can't deny the initial physical attraction.

Same is true for books. Ultimately, I won't judge a book in the end by its cover. A great cover will never save a poorly written story, nor will a horrible cover kill a memorable one. Still, with so many choices of books, why handicap yourself with a poor cover. My advice is and always will be... NEVER give a reader an easy reason to buy another book. Whether it's a bad cover or poor editing, don't hand the reader an excuse on a silver platter to put your book down. The competition for a reader's affection is simply too great.

My main influence for choosing books is reader recommendations, but even a highly recommended book with an ineffective cover will lose out to another highly recommended book with an amazing cover.

Still, I don't know if the question is quite fair. Do I judge the entirety of a book simply by its cover? No, I'm very proud to say, I do not. However, do I choose a book based on a cover? Yes.

I'd love to hear from others. Does a cover only affect your selection process or does it add to or distract from your overall opinion of a book?


Melissa said...

I won't judge the content of a book by its cover but, like you, I'm more likely to pick up a book in the first place if what's on the outside looks nice.

Tia Bach said...

I agree, and I must admit I love both your Precipice and Turning Point covers!