Do You Judge A Book By Its Cover?


A colleague recently remarked that she was relieved that our publisher, Crimson Romance, does not use “classic” romance covers for its cover art.  You know the kind I mean – the ones featuring a woman with long flowing hair in the throws of passion with a gorgeous, shirtless Adonis.  Well, I have a confession to make.  I love those “classic” covers.  I mean, come on.  Who among us hasn’t wished for long, beautiful hair or fantasized about being in the arms of a dark, muscular, larger than life, hunk of a man?


Hot Off the Press Actual Cover

So I was a little disappointed when I saw that the cover of my debut novel, Hot Off the Press, was definitely more modern than classically hot.  No bodice ripping here. No, sirree, Bob. Now granted, my novel does deal with serious issues like discrimination in our prison system but it also contains a beautiful romance and really great and hot sex.

Alternate Cover

Hot Off the Press Author’s “Classic” Cover

My research on the impact of a book cover revealed that in fact, your book cover may very well be the single biggest piece of marketing that book will receive.  For first time authors and writers that have not yet built up a big following, the cover may be the only thing that gets a reader or reviewer to physically pick the book up.  Talk about pressure.

According to a survey, covers play a decisive role in 21% readers’ decision to purchase a book. Moreover, 60% of readers say a cover has been the sole driving factor in their decision to purchase a book.

So although we’re all taught never to judge a book by its cover, many of us still do.

What about you? Do you judge a book by its cover? Let me know, leave your email address and enter to win a $100 or $50 Amazon gift card!

Here’s how it works:

To celebrate romance and the classic covers I love, I’ve joined the Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop. I invite you to visit the other fabulous Crimson Romance authors and also enter to win on their site. The more you visit, the better your chances of winning a prize! And, the more authors, sexy covers and amazing stories you’ll find to entice you.

Find the entire list of participants to the blog hop here:

Good luck!


32 thoughts on “Do You Judge A Book By Its Cover?

  1. I am a sucker for the Happily Ever After which is why I like the romance books. The cover of a book will get my attention. Then I read the blurb and if It still appeals to me, I will buy it. I especially like the paranormal or futuristic romance books with hot sexy alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines. They can be futuristic, or go back in time, or be contemporary or even on another planet as long as they get me hooked from the very first few chapters. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  2. Yeah, I definitely judge a book by its cover. I don’t even try not to most of the time now, even though I know I’m doing it. I’m a very visual person and I know what kinds of subgenres of romance I like and what those covers look like. I can count on what’s on the cover to tell me what the books about before reading the back cover or blurb for the exact subgenre.
    Rach(at) RachellNichole(dot) com

  3. Yep, I’m guilty! If the cover doesn’t grab me, I’ll keep searching for one that does. Have I missed out on great stories because of my cover prejudice… probably! The cover, title and blurb are the first things a reader sees. So if one of those elements is lacking, there’s a good chance you will walk past it. The cover snares you and makes you want to pick it up off the shelf (be it a physical, actual shelf or a virtual one) 🙂

  4. I judge the book by the back cover, lol…I read the description first. Sometimes I notice the front cover if it has some particularly tasty eye candy.

    elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

  5. Hell yeah! 🙂 The cover is what grabs me and make me stop to see what the book is all about. If the cover doesn’t match the book’s content, theme, story, etc. I feel disappointed and somewhat cheated. Just because your cover gets me stop, you still have to deliver the goods. I truly apprreciate the graphic artist who is trying to please the author and match the cover with the content. No easy task.

    Meline, thanks for the opportunity for both of us to share. It was nice meeting you and learning about your writing.

    Belinda G
    belgre AT comcast DOT net

  6. Yes, I judge a book by its cover. It grabs my attention then I read the blurb. Sometimes if I’m not sure and the cover looks really good, I might buy it. I actually like the ‘classic’ romance covers specially if it’s good and there’s nothing anatomically wrong. If I notice a certain body part on a cover looks odd, that’s worse than a neutral cover.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  7. I don’t *judge* the book by its cover, but I may never pick it up to see what’s inside if it doesn’t catch my attention in one way or another.

    The phrase was never meant to be literal, which of course, you know. It’s a metaphor about not making assumptions about things based on appearances.

    Just like in the dating/attraction world, does the fact that someone is comely make them interesting, or good, well rounded or virtuous? No. But appearance may well say something about self-care, confidence and perhaps (intentionally or not) send signals about who that person may be.

    So … the package doesn’t have to be attractive, it has to be evocative … in some way … to certain people.

    So, yeah, the cover makes a real difference in standing out from a crowd. I may not like what’s inside, but I’m more likely to pick that up (the book, dammit, the BOOK … er … usually) if the package intrigues me.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    Oh … and I’m not typically your target market, so all comments are *particularly* “for what it’s worth”.


  8. I must admit I DO indeed judge a book by its cover. Let’s be clear though…just books, NOT people. I think it’s very important to have a well thought out cover. I’m sure it helps sales.

  9. Your second cover is head and shoulders above the first. The first didn’t even have an attractive guy, it looked like an investigative journalist book, not a romance. You’re definitely right about wanting something more appealing to readers!

    • Thanks, Pavarti! My husband designed the second cover to cheer me up because I was so bummed about the look of the actual cover. I hope you’ll give Hot Off the Press a try despite its journalistic cover look.

  10. To me, the cover is an attention grabber, but a title will draw me in, too. Then I’ll read the blurb. Once I do, then I base my decision to ‘read or not to read’ by the blurb. As an author, I’ve gotten a few covers I’m not crazy about and hope that readers don’t pass it by. Unfortunately, it’s out of our hands.
    Best of luck!
    My email addy is donna_michaels @ msn (dot) com

  11. I definitely judge a book by its cover…everybody does! You can’t avoid it. Image is very important, whether we like it or not. It may be misleading, but it certainly does ‘lead’ a person in a certain direction.

  12. I have discovered many a new author, by chance, as I have browsed the aisles of the bookstore, and yes, it was due to the outward appearance of their novel that enticed me to pick up the book, so I would have to agree with you!

  13. Sometimes but not always — a cover may intrigue me enough to buy a book but that wouldn’t be the only reason


  14. I have to agree with you… The cover of a book is extremely important in attracting the attention of your intended audience… It’s the first thing that attracts me into looking more at what’s inside. That’s why I decided to design my own cover for my first book, The Curse of Alkanoth Novella. I don’t think I would have been comfortable with anything else, and when my intended fantasy-loving audience finally DOES see the cover, I hope that it appeals enough to get an inside look.

  15. I must admit that I do judge a book by it’s cover. They usually tell me the genre of the story, maybe something about the characters, and most definitely the title usually has some kind of tie in. It helps me to decide what to read that fits my mood.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  16. Initially the cover may be what prompts me to pick up the book but the deciding factor is whether I am left wanting more after reading the blurb. Not sure how many others would share this thought but the title has a big influence with me as well. A cheesy title will turn me off of a book even if the cover is amazing.

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