Saturday, 14 May 2016

Judging a Book by its Cover.

I have been thinking about book covers. I've seen quite a few really beautiful covers recently. and I've read a lot of quite lively discussions about what 'should' be on them, what sells and how important they are to sales. To me that last point is obvious. No one is going to buy a book with a really bad cover unless they know the author or have been particularly recommended.

Human brains are wired to judge. We can't help it and although we can program our brain to a certain extent we will never be able to stop judging. That's a good thing because if we do lose our judgement we will die. Is that man dangerous? Is that woman going to tear out my heart and eat it in front of me? Are those berries poisonous. There's a reason that poisonous foods tend to have bright colours (or black) It's to give us that instant warning. We glance at something. Within seconds we make a judgement, then we move on, either to look more closely or pass by.

Therefore, although a good blurb and immediate hook will help to sell the book nothing will do so as well as a cover.

So what makes a good cover? I appreciate the answer to that is always going to be "It depends" or "It varies" What one person sees as a beautiful cover, another might see as a mess or a complete turn off. I think, though, sometimes covers can be a thing of beauty in themselves and that has to be appreciated by [almost] everyone.

On that note, I'm asking for help. I have pictures of all my book covers (not including anthologies) and I would like to get a quick poll of what you like and don't like. I would be over the moon if you would give me quick feedback on the covers you like most and least. You don't have to say why just leave a comment with two numbers - first best: second worst. You can, of course elaborate if you wish

Please feel free to comment on anything to do with book covers you might want to share. I'd love to hear from you

1 Lab Rat

2 Hostage

3 Shade's Champion

4 Ari

5 Enigma

6 Draven's Gate

7 Memories of Forgotten Love

8 Project X

9 The Face in the Window

10 Enigma II Fighting the Man

11 The Runaway

12 Upstaged: Opening Act

13 Hump in the Night

14 Upstaged : Waiting In the Wings


  1. My favourite is Enigma. Although it's quite simple it's extremely striking and if I hadn't already read it, it's the type of cover that would make me want to read the book without even checking the blurb. There aren't any I really dislike, although Project X is probably my least favourite as I find it a bit creepy.
    Louise Lyons x

    1. Thank you for your input. Enigma is definitely one of my favourites. Red is a very talented man. I know exactly what you mean about Project X, but then it's kind of a creepy story, so all good :D

  2. All your covers are wonderful, but I like Lab Rat as the one that stands out the most.
    Above his head it look like a cage or grill (imagination tells me he's caged or in a holding pen of some description.
    His eyes look chemically induced to shine in that ethereal way.
    He doesn't look afraid though, he looks as if he's seeing what he's thinking, or what he has been told to think. That's my gist of it anyway.
    Great Cover x

    1. Thanks for commenting. It's not a cage, it's lights. Lots of lights. Strong medical lights. He is afraid, but more angry I think and yes, he is definitely seeing what he's thinking and hearing too. You're not far of Marky :D

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you for your input. I have a soft spot for The Face in the Window so I'm delighted you picked that as best :)

  4. My favourites are 9 The Face at the Window and 3 Shades Champion. In 9 I like the cool colours and the hint of mystery offered by the reflective lenses. In 3 I like the clarity of the silhouette against the golden foliage. In both cases the title is really clear and easy to read, ditto the author name, which is really important. Hard to make out covers are off putting to me. I find the first Upstaged book baffling, likewise Ari, at thumbnail size which makes it doubtful I'd bother to click to make them larger.