As the old saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” How true is this?
The meaning behind this saying is a simple premise. Don’t judge a book by the cover alone. Covers can be wonderful or dreadful glimpses into the book behind them. For some books, you may wonder if the cover designer was even given the briefest synopsis of what the book is about. A bad cover can hide a well-written and thoroughly enjoyable book. Likewise, a great cover can be a lie adorning poorly written slop.
And, although you might righteously try to put yourself above it all, proclaiming to all, “I shall not judge a book by its cover alone,” you cannot truly deny the cover has some merit in your book choice.
I would like to say I chose these books entirely at random and that their cover had no bearing on my choices, but that would be a lie. Something made me choose one over the rest of the books on the screen. Knowing nothing else about them, I have to admit it is the cover.
All of these books were found on Kobo. I made an attempt at finding books that are not the best sellers, popping up as the only selections on the first 20 or so pages of every search. Let’s give a little face time to the little known authors, who are most likely indie or self-pubbed authors.
A big thing I noticed flipping through these books, is the change in trend. I remember when the main characters on the covers would be almost exclusively male, standing tall and powerful, with perhaps a woman hanging off a leg looking up to him, or in the background.
What do these covers say to you?
Sci Fi & Fantasy:
Fire Storm by Shannon Mayer
The first two thoughts in my head are, “Classic case of sex sells cover”, quickly followed by, “Is the fire storm in her crotch?”
It’s not a bad looking cover, but for me it does not say science or fantasy. The book title suggests to me this would be a fantasy book. From the cover, I’m thinking the book will be full of someone getting some action that is not necessarily related to the story.
My take on the cover? It’s probably too sexy for the story behind it.
Would I read this book? Maybe. The synopsis gives it more hope than the cover does.
One thing that confuses me. The search page shows five stars and (27). This leads me to think the book has an average 5 star or close to it rating from 27 people leaving star ratings, if not reviews also. I click the book and … where’s the star ratings? Personally, I like to see a star rating breakdown. Did all 27 people give it five stars? Because a stream of only five stars is something I question. Did every one of those people really think it was absolutely fantastic? Not one gave it a four, really enjoyed it, but did not think it was the cat’s meow of fantastic books?
Maxon by Christina Bauer
Buff shirtless dude, right? This is definitely meant to appeal to the ladies. The grey scorched sky, dead tree, and bleak lifeless earth appeal to me more on this one. I would be more inclined to go a step further on this one and look at the synopsis.
This one shows 4.5 stars from 19 ratings. The lack of perfection suggests to me that at least some of these are likely honest.
The other covers in this series show a similar bleak landscape. The difference is they feature a woman with a devil’s tale, who is not dressed to impress the boys. The consistency of the ambience of the background gives this series more hope for me. If the covers are consistent, the writing may be too.
Departure by A.G. Riddle
The silhouette of a person standing before something blowing up, watching the fiery destruction. This suggests to me this one is sci fi and involves destruction and battle.
This book has a four star rating from five ratings. There are no reviews to suggest why none of these gave a five star review. But, that doesn’t mean much. Four stars is still good. It still means they liked the book. Maybe the readers have read better, or just don’t want to give an automatic five star review to every book they read. Something has to be left for the truly spectacular, doesn’t it? They can’t all be five star books. It might just mean this book was rated by readers who are not friends and family of the author, who tend to feel anything less than a five star review would be taken as an insult.
The synopsis of this one certainly makes it sound more interesting.
Zero-G by Rob Boffard
“In space, there is nowhere to run.” Is that blood spatters? Right there, this covers tells me there should be fleeing, a chase through space, and blood.
The main character? A woman. Again, following the trend of having more female characters running the show.
This book has no stars. The cover does intrigue me enough to click and look at the synopsis. Okay, we’re still good after reading the synopsis. Now what? I’s a sequel, so I click the author name to see what it is a sequel to.
4.5 stars from two ratings. If I had seen this cover first, I probably would have flipped right past it. The cover has an old cover feel to it and it just doesn’t catch your attention like the book above does.