Covers – How important are they?
I have to confess, a good cover will get you a second look. A great cover will get you an in depth “I must find out more about this book. A bad cover might get you a “Meh, probably not what I’m looking for.”
So let’s talk covers. I’ve had some good ones, some phenomenal ones and some that I would not have chosen myself if given the option. For the most part, unless you are self-publishing or handy at your own cover making, there is going to be some aspect that is completely out of your hands. I’ve been lucky to have far more “LOVE IT!” than not.
I hear that it’s important to not only have a good cover but one that looks good small. Not too busy and not to indicative of the story. You want something that draws the reader in and makes them stop long enough to read the blurb. Something that gives the mood of the story. Romantic suspense with a pretty heavy death toll might not be best represented by a puppy eating an ice cream cone, if you know what I mean.
My take on covers is pretty close to yours. The cover draws me in first. Like Misty, a good cover will get me to pick the book up (or click on it for an ebook). A bad one? I might look again if it’s an author I know, a genre I love, one that’s been recommended to me, or if the title is intriguing.
As for mine – the first one I ever had, I was excited to see my name on the cover of an actual book so I liked it, but honestly? Meh. It wasn’t great. While it did reflect a scene from the story (one of several I had recommended), it didn’t have the hero or heroine, no indication that it was a fantasy story, nothing. It was most definitely not my favorite. Since then, I’ve had some amazing covers from incredibly creative people. I have absolutely loved every cover since that first one. So I’ve been really lucky.
Not every author has as much input into their covers as I’ve been lucky enough to have. Some publishers give authors no input. I’ve talked with authors who have been given covers they absolutely hated, but there was nothing they could do about it. The publishers I’ve been with have all given me extensive forms to fill out and their artists create the covers from those suggestions. I will right now state for all that these people are amazing. They take a few sentences of description and come up with a visual representation that most often is amazing. Yes, some of them are caricatures that are more cartoon than art, but still, even some of those are really good.
So yes, it is the cover that draws me in, makes me look more closely at the book, but as always, it’s the writing that keeps me turning the pages. Once you get past that amazing cover, there had better be an amazing story behind it.