I was browsing http://www.goodreads.com/ this morning….and I realized something.
I am a Book Snob.
I choose books to read by their cover- a LOT. I mean to tell you….I have never realized how turned off I get by a bad cover. In person, at book sales or at the library, I will pick up a book for a good cover. THEN I will look at and read the description. IF I am looking for a specific book (recommended or favorite author), I will actually not pick something up if the cover doesn’t interest me. Even if it is an E-book and the description rocks, I find myself looking for reviews before reluctantly adding it to my book bag, if the cover sucks.
I am sure that everyone looks for specific words that interest them. I notice that words call to me…words like Dystopian, Paranormal, creepy, and ghostly. These are some of the words that lead me. I follow them into the shelves, reviews, and various websites. I open books by authors unknown, self published, and trampled on by others. But only if the cover is interesting. I am worried that I miss out on some good books this way- but there it is.
Sad, but true. So…Authors?!? Listen up.
You need to rock a cover. Even if your name is John Saul, Stephen King, or Laurell K Hamilton. I actually stopped reading Stephen King because his covers are…unremarkable (and his writing has become, IMHO, a little pretentious). Yet, I picked UP a John Saul, having not read him for years, and dived in gratefully- due to interesting cover art.
On a side note: Putting a shirtless/ripped open/half-naked man on the cover of a book is NOT a good marketing strategy. Lots of adult women get over that in their teens, and prefer a little subtlety. I turn away with an eye roll when I see these covers. Makes me wonder about the weakness of your plot, if you have to stoop that way. Again, just my opinion.