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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover...Or Can You?

I have a confession to make. The only time I look at book covers is a) when I'm browsing in a bookstore; b) when my friends post their new cover art; and c) when I'm filling out my own cover request forms.

The first time I looked through the Ellora's Cave site, the covers didn't really grab my attention; it was the title. The first two e-books I ever bought were Water Lust by Mary Winter and Sudden Desire by Lauren Dane. Why those two? I haven't any idea. I think I decided on two random titles and read the blurbs and excerpts, then decided to see if I would enjoy reading a book at my computer. I was instantly hooked. I've read both books at least four times, and they are saved on CD, because I had no flash drive at the time and certainly did not want my teenagers accidentally bringing up the files! That was either in 2002 or 2003, several years before I joined the online community.

I first began blogging in 2007, and joined my first chat loop. It wasn't long before I was reading interviews with other authors and captivated by spicy excerpts. I began a To Be Bought (TBB) list and read an average of nine to twelve books per month. But it was never the cover which made me say 'Ooooohhh...I want this!'

Here are a few covers from my early library and why I like/dislike it.

Here is a perfect example of a lousy cover. It was my first attempt; I filled out the form of what I wanted; this is what iUniverse cover gods sent. Being the first time, I looked at it and thought, "Okay; not exactly what I wanted, but what the hell..."

Not only is the title lousy (it should and will be renamed Love On The Rocks at a later time!), but during the first promo 'tour', everyone thought it was an autobiographical account of my life as an alcoholic. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

The first time I spotted this cover in a bookstore, I kept passing by it. About the third or fourth time, I picked it up; read the inside jacket, and put it back on the shelf. A year later my sister called and asked if I'd read it. When I said no, she raved about the storyline and how I could have written something like this. I bought it for my daughter, but read it first, and was instantly hooked on the characters. (I'm on Team Jacob, by the way:)

I did a much better job on my second cover; I picked out the photo, designed the AU logo, and while it's received some criticism, I like it and more importantly, readers likes it!

I hope I'll be able to carry the logo through with whomever publishes the rest of this series.

This is my good friend Anny Cook's first cover. At first, I assumed this is what she looked like (GRIN!), and I've read this story many, many times. In fact, I own three copies of it. One electronic; one signed print copy; another personalized print copy.

This is the first Cindy Spencer Pape book I ever read, and again, the cover is one my favorites. I'm looking forward to having a print copy, as I've read this one at least three times.

This was Kenzie's first cover. While I'm not cracked up about all the green, and I would have liked the kitchen scene depicted better, I'm happy with it. It portrays Marc and Amber in a happy, reunited moment, and could be the moment when he formally asks her to marry him, not described in the book.

And finally, my best cover yet! I've had people tell me they'd buy this book strictly for the cover art. Valerie, kudos to you! Our minds were definitely in synch with this one!

This portrays Kevin and Tammy's second seduction scene in his classroom. She's fighting her feelings; he has been looking all over for his mystery lady. And when he finally finds her again, the sparks fly.

So what's your take? Yes, we all post our covers, hoping to drum up excitement for our upcoming releases. But in the end, it is still the relationship I have with online authors, as well as the blurb or excerpt, which ultimately affects my buying habits.


April Ash said...

I agree with you about your first gotta sometimes wonder what goes on in an artist's head...especially after you fill out "what I'd like to see" forms!
Teacher's Pet is a provocative cover...very sexy and gets your attention quickly!
Covers can help or hurt sales.

Katalina Leon said...

Teacher's Pet is the best cover because it conveys all the elements you want to show to a reader-it's attractive, the content is strongly hinted at and we know it's erotic. It's a great cover.
( Whoever designed the the Love is Sober cover must have been drunk... lol)

Molly Daniels said...

LOL:) Thanks Kat:) I requested 'college party scene with H/H holding drinks' or something like that. Shows there was NO communication whatsoever!

I only paid $160 for the whole thing; I got what I paid for.

See there? Four covers down...I'm learning:)

Linda Kage said...

What I like best about Teacher's Pet cover is the picture plus the title. Together, they make me want to buy the book. That same picture with a different title probably wouldn't have caught my eye as much. But I LOVE them together.

I usually don't choose to buy a book by the cover either. It's the title or blurb or excerpt that snags my attention.

Paris said...

I love the Teacher's Pet cover for all the same reasons that Kat mentioned. It's perfect.

My motto is to always plan for the day when the cover gods are napping. In which case, an eye-catching title and intriguing blurb will hopefully do the same job!

Molly Daniels said...

Thanks Paris and Linda:) Now my only fear is when I display the TP cover this summer during my 'tour', will I get run out of town or will people flock to my table? Hahahahahaha....

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting blog. Good luck on your new cover...looks good. Jean

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