The overused adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is more of an author’s plea when they are not satisfied with their cover art that will represent their content. Some covers are a little less than works of art. Others, well you know they look like everyone elses. And still, there are those that you wonder what some were thinking when they approved the design.

What doesMan Browsing a book get judged by if not for its cover?

I have lurked in many a bookstore simply trying to figure out what makes the consumer procure the books that they do. Some it would appear have favorite authors that they rush to for the latest release. (How we love these readers). Some perhaps are browsing for something new.

Food for thought:

“A picture is worth one thousand words”

So does the consumer turn to the cover for 1K words at a glance or to the back cover where the author is supposed to create a hook, line, and sinker in about 200 words or less. Sounds like a bit of personal preference. Sounds like we’ll have to take a poll about that. Cover or blurb?

On a more serious note though covers are a very important facet to our books including the eBook. The cover art draws the attention for the unknown author – it is the face of the book, your billboard, and the one of the main reasons people take interest in your book.

The cover should consider quite a few things:

  1. The content of the book. Does the cover capture the feel of the story?
  2. If you printed a traditionally bound book, you will want to take a look at the proposed layout for the spine. Most books are spine out. What will attract your reader?
  3. The currently climate of the industry. As with the release of anything timing plays an essential part in a story’s success.
  4. Understand your demographics.

If you engage a graphic designer discuss the mood, tone, and voice of your book. You may not want to create a happy, warm, light cover if the tone of your book is sombre and moody. Try and capture the essence and message you as the author want to convey when considering the cover art. Take a look at see what your competition is producing and decide what works best in representing your work. If you are self-publishing you want to avoid having a cover that yells, kicks, and screams that you do not have a professional cover.

Equally you may want to take a look at what is going on in the world. While there is no recipe for success you may opt to delay your story about exploding buildings if a real life incident has just occurred.

So the question has to be asked. Which do you check out first? The Cover or the Blurb? We all want to know?