Am I a Book Snob?

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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.

Wow….shallow much?

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.

#PhotoadayMay:  Love

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3 responses »

  1. But here’s the problem — and it’s a serious one for authors like me up against readers like you. We don’t get to choose our covers! Or even discuss them directly with the designer. Yes, stars like Stephen King do but they’re huge and millionaires already and have that clout….the rest of us are given “cover consutation” rights in our publishing contracts. rarely “cover approval.” I love both my non-fiction book covers but if I didn’t…too bad for me (and all the readers I might have lost.)

    • That has GOT to be frustrating… and it seems to me, quite silly. Authors spend so much time and energy birthing a book- sweat, tears, blood, etc….and then NOT to be able to choose the perfect cover? ARGH!
      I’m sorry, but the fact is- a bad cover is a REAL problem for both sales and marketing.
      (I should also add…since I have already admitted that I AM, in fact, a book snob…I have chosen a few books with fantastic covers that have sucked in a big way. It is JUST as disappointing as knowing that I didn’t pick up a GOOD book due to a cover.)

  2. It depends who you write for. Some writers get input on their covers. I’m friends with many writers who do and they’re not the big names who sell bazillions of books. But it’s true that sometimes you don’t get input. However, I judge books by their covers all the time. :p

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