Discussion Time: How Much Do the Covers Influence Our Opinions on Books?

Really quickly before I go into this discussion my comments appear to be being marked as spam by WordPress. If you could check and break me out of spam jail if you see any of my comments there I’d be very grateful.


Everyone’s heard the phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ before, but let’s face it in some shape or form we all do. Maybe it’s not as obvious as seeing a book with a bad cover and thinking ‘oh, this is going to be a terrible story’ but I do think, for me especially and maybe you as well, covers influence our opinions on what books we do and don’t pick up.

The covers are always the first things we see. You’re browsing on Amazon, or wandering around Waterstones and you don’t have time to look at every single blurb of every single book so you use the covers to help decide what books you may want to know more about, what books you will read the blurb of.

How Much do the Covers Influence Our Opinions on Books

How Much Do the Covers Influence Our Opinions on Books?

I’ll admit there have been books I’ve ended up buying purely because of how gorgeous the covers are. Ink by Alice Broadway is one such example, the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is another. With Ink I didn’t even read the blurb, I didn’t need to, the cover was just so beautiful that I knew I needed it in my bookshelves. With These Broken Stars, although it later became one of my favourite books, when I first read it the blurb didn’t interest me that much and it was the beautiful cover that actually convinced me to pick it up and give it a go.

Fantasy (3)

starbound-series

While I haven’t read Ink yet the Starbound series is one of my favourites, and I definitely credit it with introducing me to the sci-fi genre. If I hadn’t made the choice to pick up These Broken Stars, because of the cover, despite the fact the blurb didn’t really grab me, would I have discovered sci-fi the way I did, or at all? Without reading These Broken Stars I wouldn’t have read The Illuminae Files, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, or any of the sci-fi books I’ve read and loved since before I started blogging.


I don’t think it’s wrong to judge books on their covers because when it comes down to it do we really judge books by their covers? May at Forever and Everly wrote a post on the difference between judging books by their cover and liking pretty covers that answers that question way better than I ever could.

Yes, I brought Ink and the Starbound series because of how pretty the covers were, but when it came to rating and reviewing the series it was the stories themselves that I thought about, not how pretty the covers were.


The thing is, browsing books by their covers on Amazon and Waterstones is fine, but I do wonder how much I’m potentially missing out on simply because the covers weren’t enough to catch my eye. This is where blogging has ended up helping. When I see a gushing five-star review from a blogger whose opinion I trust I immediately add said book to my to-read list. I discovered P.S. I Like You from Jill, The Last Magician and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue from Lilly, and the whole of the contemporary genre from Marie.

P.S. I Like You

How Much do the Covers Influence Our Opinions on Books (1)

These are all books I loved, books I rated highly, but the main reason I picked them up was because of the reviews. If not for them who knows how long these books would have been sat on my TBR list (a very very long time knowing me).

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is another example of this. When I first came across the book on WordPressΒ it was the US cover I saw and I wasn’t a fan, alsoΒ at that time the blurb didn’t really interest me either. It was only when I saw the UK cover, and an incredible written, five-star review from Aentee, that I started to get excited for its release, and again Nevernight was a book that ended up being a five-star read for me too.

Nevernight

Like there are amazing books where the cover hasn’t grabbed me there have likewise been really bad books where the cover has grabbed me. Just as reviews can work to make me pick up books were the cover hasn’t caught my eye they could work the other way around too, and make me put down books where the cover has caught my eye if the reviews are poor.


I’m a very visual person, there are always going to be books on my bookshelves and TBR list that I discovered because they have gorgeous covers, but I don’t judge the books on those covers. I judge them on their blurbs, on the amazing reviews I read from fellow bloggers. All I use the covers for is to guide me when I’m in a bookstore, because let’s face it no one has the time to read every single blurb of every single book in the YA section.

I’m not sure what to call it, cover influencing? Cover guiding?


Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:

Do you use covers to guide your choices while browsing on Amazon or wandering around Waterstones?

Have there been any books you picked up solely based on their covers, or are there any books you nearly missed out on because the covers didn’t grab your attention?

Or, alternately, do covers not make any impact on what books you decide to check out on Amazon or Waterstones? Are you the person who reads every blurb in the YA section of Waterstones?

Cover influencing, cover guiding, or a third better option you can think of?

Let me know in the comments below.

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102 thoughts on “Discussion Time: How Much Do the Covers Influence Our Opinions on Books?

  1. I’m doing a publishing module, and we spent two weeks discussing book design. I always thought that covers are really important, but now I agree with that thought even more; NOT judging books by their covers is an insult to the designer. Book covers are supposed to represent the book visually, just like the blurb has to sum it up. If a book cover is badly done, it says something about how much work has gone into publishing the book.

    I might write a post about this at some point, cause I have strong feelings about it haha. Not so much judging books by their covers, but why book covers are so important!

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    1. Ohh, that’s actually a good point and I have to admit something I didn’t think of that much before. But you’re right, all of the covers represent some aspect of what the book is so in a way I guess the artist wants us to somewhat judge the cover. Either way based on the books I’ve read they’ve done a very good job because the books I’ve brought have all had beyond gorgeous covers! πŸ˜€
      If you do definitely send me a link, I’d love to read your opinion on this topic. πŸ™‚

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  2. You know I’m a cover whore. I just read Otherworld and loved it but I hate the cover. I loved Everless and I loved the cover too – but I have trouble recalling it as well as Otherworld – and I read that before it!
    Covers are vital to get the book into our hands…but after that, the book must stand on its own!

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    1. Ha, yeah I guess you’re like me when it comes to covers! πŸ˜€ I mean that’s a shame about Everless (I do love the US cover) but I’m glad you enjoyed Otherworld so much Stephanie! πŸ™‚
      Exactly, I’ve never rated a book more or less stars simply because the cover was gorgeous or not gorgeous. πŸ™‚

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      1. Right: the cover is key but it can’t be something we influence our rating on…though I will never understand why anyone thinks some ugly covers are pretty. I’m so totally neutral and I can say with confidence that if I don’t think it’s pretty, then it’s ugly! πŸ˜‚

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      2. I get what you mean, but then again there have been covers I’ve quite liked that the majority of people have hated. I think like the story itself it comes down to personal taste sometimes. πŸ™‚
        Then again there are covers I think everyone can agree are beyond gorgeous, like Strange the Dreamer, most people love that cover! πŸ˜€

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      3. What’s weird is I love the UK cover of Strange, but I hate the US version. I think the US one is kinda ugly tbh.
        There are some that are so pretty I would just love to have the cover blown up and hung. I’ve been really getting into the art from sub boxes even though I don’t subscribe and I trade for them…it’s like a way to have beautiful Bookish stuff around me all the time! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

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      4. Well I prefer the UK cover simply because it’s the one I own. πŸ˜€
        I’m the same, there are so many gorgeous covers out there that would make incredible prints, and it would be great to showcase them as well. What art do you have from sub boxes then? πŸ™‚

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      5. Well, I have the Spirited Away one…I just recently got a Queen of Hearts one that is too cool. I also traded for some prints that are ACOMAF-related! I really like the art in some of the boxes!

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  3. No lies, that saying about not judging books by their covers is insane hahah I think the idea should be to not ONLY judge books by their covers. Covers can also tell a lot on the quality of some books, but there’s definitely exceptions to the rule. I just love a good book having a great cover. I don’t think I’ve picked up books solely based on covers since I’m quite picky on what I read, but when I get ARCs of books that have odd covers, I’m a bit turned off really hahah Great post as always, Beth!! πŸ˜€

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    1. Nine times out of ten I judge the books by their blurbs and by the reviews they have, but there’s always that other one time out of ten that I will look at the cover and, if it’s gorgeous enough, think that the book inside must be as gorgeous to match you know? πŸ™‚
      Yeah there are definitely exceptions, I’ve read books with great covers that haven’t been that good, and read books with not-so-great covers that I’ve loved. Ha, I’ve been put off books because of their covers too, I could be missing a potentially amazing story but I just can’t help it.
      Thanks so much Lashaan! πŸ˜€

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  4. Aahh this is such a great discussion!! I DEFINITELY feel you about feeling like I’m missing good books because their covers don’t attract me. Covers are what get me to click on/pick up the book to read more about it (besides friends’ recs of course) so I think I’m definitely missing some good books out there because I only go for the good-looking ones!! πŸ˜‚

    And oh yes, the US cover of Nevernight had me doubtful, but the UK cover is absolutely GORGEOUS and I’d heard so many glowing reviews of it that I had to try it. (And ended up DNF’ing, of course. πŸ˜‚)

    Great post, and thank you to linking to one of my posts!! πŸ’–

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    1. Thanks so much May! πŸ˜€ Yeah I feel like I know I’m potentially missing out on something great but if the cover doesn’t attract me I can’t bring myself to check out the blurb you know. I feel like we can’t help but form first opinions based on the covers and if it’s not a cover that attracts me I just assume the story won’t either.
      It was mainly after seeing the gorgeous UK cover that I became convinced I needed to check out the blurb, and I’m really glad I did because Nevernight is a favourite of mine (oh, it’s a shame it was on your DNF-ed though May)!
      Thanks May, and that’s all right. πŸ™‚ ❀

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  5. Ah yes, I’m the same- sometimes covers are too beautiful to resist (I love that cover for Ink btw- WOW!) But you’re totally right- when it comes to judging the actual book and rating it, the cover really isn’t a factor. Sure it might make me buy it, but it doesn’t change the content. And yeah I do get what you mean about sometimes missing out cos of not so good covers. And it took me *ages* for instance to even get into contemporary properly cos I was so put off by the covers tbh- so it can have a negative impact as well. Anyway, great discussion!

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    1. I guess publishers realise that the key to get people to pick up their books is to have gorgeous covers! πŸ˜€ I couldn’t resist Ink but most times when it comes to actually buying books I rely on the average rating and the blurb, and basically other things that don’t take the prettiness of the covers into consideration as much. πŸ™‚
      Oh at least you did manage to get into contemporary, and yeah that’s a god example of what we can be missing out on simply because the covers don’t appeal to us.
      Thanks so much! πŸ˜€ ❀

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  6. Hahaha, I had a presentation about covers and a battle between UK and French covers and used ” β€˜never judge a book by its cover’ ” as a part of my plan! Even though I often fall for covers, I will never buy a book solely on it. I need a blurb, something to tell me about the story because sometimes covers have NOTHING TO DO with the actual content of the book!

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    1. Oh I love comparing the covers from different countries, I just enjoy seeing what designs the different publishers choose across the world. πŸ™‚ Yeah I’ve read some terrible books with amazing covers, and I always check out the blurb as well but I can’t help the fact that my eye is just drawn to some prettier covers more than others you know? πŸ™‚

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  7. Yeah, I think I really do like pretty covers, but I’m never fully convinced to try a book based out on it! I will say there are some books with less than attractive covers that I’m already not into because of their premises, and the cover doesn’t really help at all. 😝

    I definitely can be attracted by reviews, and then the cover will also pull me in. Good reviews have brought me to read good books, and then they happen to have fantastic covers so yeah for that! But I’ll happily give away a series with fantastic covers of I think the books suck, so I’m not that stingy. πŸ˜‚

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    1. It’s human of us to be drawn to the prettier covers isn’t it? Whenever I’m drawn to covers I always read the blurb as well, and if it’s a book I feel like I wouldn’t enjoy I wouldn’t buy it because books are expensive and why waste money on something you know you won’t enjoy. You’ve gotta wonder if maybe your perspective gets a little skewed, like you read the blurbs of books with gorgeous covers and are more interested in the story idea than say a book with a less gorgeous cover. πŸ™‚
      Oh reviews are how I decide which books are worth me reading more than covers, especially since I started blogging. I’ve been caught out a few times by books with negative reviews that I haven’t enjoyed either to discount the community. πŸ™‚

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    1. That’s definitelt a benefit to eBooks, and I guess you’ve probably come across some great reads that way you may not have picked up if you were browsing based on what covers caught your eye. I may try and do the same thing for my Kindle buys. I could end up discovering something amazing! πŸ˜€

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  8. The cover might attract my attention, but I would never buy a book unless the synopsis also interests me. As of now, I rarely buy books at all anymore unless I’ve borrowed them from the library and enjoyed them. There have been a few books I’ve added to my TBR because I thought the cover was great but not until I checked to make sure the story also interests me.

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    1. Yeah I think libraries are great for that because if you don’t enjoy a book, which is always a risk isn’t it, then you don’t feel like you’ve wasted your money. There have been books I’ve picked up with incredible covers, even more incredible sounding blurbs, that I really haven’t enjoyed and I’ve regretted buying them. Oh there are plenty of cover adds on my TBR list, but when it comes to my TBR list I can see the average rating as well so I have a better idea of whether it’ll be a good read you know? πŸ™‚

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      1. Definitely, although the average ratings are not always the deciding factor for me. I just find books so expensive lately, that I want to know that if I’m buying it, it’s something I’d enjoy reading. The downside to that of course is I’m spending money on a book I already read, and probably won’t read again for a while.

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      2. Good point, I’ve loved books with a low average rating and hated books with a high one. I think they’re a good guide for the most part though.
        Oh I completely get what you mean. It really sucks when you buy a book and then really don’t enjoy it, and I should probably try and re-read the books I own more come to think of it. Get my moneys worth and all. πŸ™‚

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  9. UGH I hate spam jail! I’m so sorry you’re stuck in it! Have you tried contacting Akismet?
    As for your discussion question: I definitely pay attention to book covers. The cover is what initially grabs me, from there I read the blurb on the back to see if the story sounds like something I’d be interested in. But yeah, if a book has a stupid cover there’s a 95% chance that I won’t buy it lol sorry!

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    1. I actually think I’m out of spam jail now. I haven’t contacted Akismet but I have in the past and they’re quite good about getting things sorted aren’t they? πŸ™‚
      It’s the same for me, I don’t just pick up books based on the cover but if the cover doesn’t draw me chances are I’ll never look past it to read the blurb. I’m probably missing out on great books but that’s a worry for another day. πŸ˜€

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  10. Great post Beth! πŸ˜€ I am a visual person as well, but it’s very rare when I actually buy a book… I usually just use the library. For the books I do own, yes some have beautiful covers, but most of the time I buy based on how popular a book is. For example, I bought Caraval last year 1) because yes the cover is beautiful 2) eveeeerrrryone was talking about 3) it was on sale when I bought it, but that’s just a technicality. But the main reason I bought it was for the first two reasons, so does that mean I was judging by its cover? Somewhat, since I used to it base part of my decision. I think we all use it as a base in our decisions, it may not be the main one, but it is there in the back of our minds!

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    1. Thanks so much Meghan. πŸ™‚ Libraries are great because that way if the book doesn’t live up to the gorgeous cover that caught your eye you don’t have to feel guilty about spending your money on something you didn’t enjoy. I should probably use my local library more often thinking about it. πŸ˜€
      To be honest cover and hype are what draw me to books more often than not. I guess it wasn’t just the cover that led you to Caraval though was it, yes it was part of why you picked it up but not the main one. There’s always something else asides from the cover that draws us to books, I think the cover is normally just the first thing on that list you know? πŸ™‚

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      1. You’re welcome! Haha yes! Support libraries, because there are jerks out there who think we don’t need them!!!
        I completely agree, it’s the initial ‘love at first site’ sort of thing, but then you read the description or what people are saying and that gives you a better understanding! πŸ™‚

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      2. Oh we’re always going to need libraries. Even though I don’t visit mine all that often I love that I have one nearby I can visit if I ever need to.
        The covers are kind of a love at first sight thing, the blurbs are love at second sight maybe! πŸ˜€

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  11. Awesome post! I think anyone that says that they don’t judge books by their covers is lying. Even if it’s just your first impression we use visuals to let us know what things are about. So I must admit that o have been drawn to books simply because of their cover art. Some of my favorite books were picked up due to their covers. Although there are a lot of books that are pretty on the outside and bad on the inside, especially in YA which has some of the most amazing cover art I’ve ever seen. It’s always disappointing seeing a beautiful book and checking out its goodreads score and seeing all the negative reviews.

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    1. Thanks so much! πŸ™‚ Ha, yeah it’s kind of hard not to judge books by their covers when the covers are the first thing to see and our brains kind of automatically form first impressions based on them. I say a lot of the time in posts and reviews that I’ve been drawn to books because of their pretty covers, and it’s meant I’ve discovered some brilliant books as well, but I let the blurbs and the stories themselves speak louder when I’m reading.
      Ha, yeah there are a few books I’ve picked up with gorgeous covers but unimpressive stories. I guess it’s the risk we take with any book and it’s also one of the positives about online ordering because then you can see the average rating. πŸ™‚

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  12. A decent cover will definitely make me pick up the book for a look-see. I ended up getting Capital by John Lanchester because the cover was so good, and the blurb on the back was intriguing. Pity the book was well written but not very well thought out plot-wise.

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    1. Yeah we really can’t help it when out eyes are drawn to pretty covers can we? I mean, the blurbs are always what help me make the final decision as to whether I buy a book or not but the covers are always the first thing I’m drawn to. It’s always a shame that sometimes the books can’t live up to the gorgeous covers, like you found with Capital, but for every book like that there are more with gorgeous covers and better plots.

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  13. Great discussion! I am guilty of judging a book by its cover on several occasions. I love going to a bookstore and discovering new books and the first thing I see is obviously the cover. The cover art draws me in or it doesn’t, and I am not saying I haven’t read and loved books that had awful covers, but when it comes to discovering new books, first impressions matter. A great example is A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. It’s not the type of book I typically read but I loved the cover and so I bought it, and I ended up loving the book!

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    1. Thanks so much. πŸ™‚ Yeah it’s hard not to judge books by their cover when they’re literally the first thing we see, and I think we automatically form opinions on covers anyways so even if the blurb was the first thing we saw we’d still eventually see the cover and have an opinion on it. Yeah I’ve discovered some amazing books with not so good covers too, not sure how I discovered them when the cover didn’t draw me in in the first place but in the end I’m glad they did. Oh The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is actually one of my favourite books from last year, and yeah not the kind of book I’d have picked up with but I’m glad I did. πŸ˜€

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  14. I’ve never hidden the fact that I am an absolute cover snob. It’s just a reality that if I browse and see a cover I like, I am that much more likely to pick it up. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Of course, it doesn’t mean that all pretty covers have good stories or vice versa, but I put a lot more trust into something the publishing company or the person who published the book clearly put a lot of thought and energy into the design.

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    1. I think in a way it’s something we all are. I’m drawn to pretty covers more than I am anything else and I know that means I’m potentially missing out on a great story with a not so great cover but I can’t help it. Oh no definitely not, I’ve seen some incredible covers which have ended up being bad stories but I get what you mean because if the publishers/author puts the time and money into the cover it shows they value the book more you know? That they think it has the potential to warrant that time and money. πŸ™‚

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      1. The English lit section at my bookstore has grown over the past year, but most of the time they are still behind. I’ll be browsing and there’ll be more books that I’ve already read than not read haha It’s just no the same.

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  15. Hi Beth, what a great topic. I have been preparing a blog post about it too because I’ve done some research on Chip Kidd, a famous graphic designer, after watching his fantastic TED talks about books covers!

    I used to do some drawing and painting and I also like things around me to look nice and beautiful. So yes, cover is important to me when Im buying a book but …only partly. If a book has a great cover but I dont like the blurb then I wouldnt buy it. Cover is first thing what we see so I think all of us pay attention to it in some way.. I like when the cover is in a light colour like white or yellow particularly haha πŸ˜‰ My space looks more organised if there is a lot of white around and yellow is very positive, isnt it? πŸ˜‰

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    1. Hi Aggie, and oh thanks so much. Ohh, that sounds interesting and it sounds like you’ve done a lot of research on the topic as well. You’ll have to link me to your post when you have published it because I’d love to read it. πŸ™‚
      I think it’s part of being human isn’t it? Being drawn to pretty things, but yeah I’m the same I use the covers to draw my eye to a book that looks interesting but unless the blurb is also interesting I won’t pick it up and buy it. In the end the cover is always going to be the first thing we see, and we’re always going to form opinions on it. Honestly I don’t think there’s anyway around it. I’m not sure what draws my eye to particular covers, thinking of the books I’ve read there’s nothing I can pinpoint about the ones I’ve loved the covers of more than others you know? πŸ™‚

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      1. What I find interesting is that even if I dont like a book cover much but I read the book and I find it great/interesting then I kind of start to like the cover more πŸ˜‰ I’ll link you to the post about Chip Kidd, no problem. Thank you for your reply πŸ™‚
        Aggie

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  16. Amazing discussion, Beth!
    I’m such a visual person myself too and covers are a big thing for me. I will definitely pay attention to them while browsing any library or bookstore and unless I’ve read some reviews beforehand on books that haven’t caught my attention, I will probably not even pick them up to read the blurb on the back.
    It’s unfair, I know, but if a publisher didn’t take the time to create an awesome, eye-grabbing cover then they’re really making their lives harder. Bloggers are a huge help in this department, of course, but they reach a much smaller audience than the places that sell books.
    Marketing is key for any company, so they should be focusing on that. How many terrible books have been hugely popular solely because the people behind them knew what they were doing marketing-wise? The opposite happens with amazing books that end up being overlooked…
    I really hope more people have this in mind when deciding to publish a book. We, readers, are extremely vain in this department and I don’t think everyone’s realized it yet! xD
    Again, awesome, awesome post ❀

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    1. Thanks so much Sophie. πŸ™‚ ❀ Yeah I'm a really visual person as well, I like things that are pretty so I'm always more drawn to books that are aesthetically pleasing than those that are not. That being said now I've started blogging the majority of books I pick up now are ones I've seen incredible reviews for, and that are by authors whose work I've read before and really enjoyed. It's actually rare I wander into a bookstore and pick up books on a whim based on their covers to read their blurbs and see if they interest me you know? I get what you mean, in a way a cover is like a books advertisement and if it doesn't look good and grab the readers eye it's going to get lost among the others on the shelves.
      Oh yes that's a really good point. There have been a few books I've read that I thought would be really good, because of the hype and the marketing, but that have really let me down. It's kind of impressive in a way how much marketing can do for books even before they're released and read.
      Hopefully, someone else made this point earlier and I really agree, but since I was a teen there have been more and more gorgeous books being released, so I think publishers are catching on to that fact! πŸ˜€
      Thanks so much Sophie! πŸ™‚ ❀

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  17. Humans tend to be very visual creatures. A shiny cover will draw me to a book, then I read the blurb. I won’t get it if the blurb doesn’t interest me tho. Sometimes it’s the title that draws me to read the blurb nstead, even if the cover is boring.

    For years I avoided a book that has since become a favourite because the cover put me off so badly. It was a late 80s/early 90s fantasy cover. The covers have since been updated πŸ˜†. A friend got me to read the book before the cover update and I’ve devoured he entire series. The book in question was the Dark Elf Trilogy by RA Salvatore, which was actually an omnibus, and the beginning of the Legend of Drizzt.

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    1. Ha, yes we definitely are. If the blurb doesn’t interest me I won’t buy it either, even the books I’ve brought that have been more cover buys than anything else still have had interesting blurbs that grabbed my attention. The title is another thing that needs to be attention grabbing, but if a book is buy an author I love it could have any cover, any title, and I’ll still pick it up and love it. πŸ™‚
      Oh cover updates can be the best thing in the world sometimes. There is a series I love that I only picked up recently, but when I saw the old cover I knew I never would have read the first book if it had still had the original cover (it was The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers). I’m really glad you were able to love the Dark Elf trilogy so much. πŸ˜€

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  18. I think we all want covers not to influence us as much as they do, but… we can’t help ourselves, ahah. Whenever I am browsing through books, on Goodreads or when I’m travelling and able to go to Waterstones’, I ALWAYS look at book covers and that’s what catches my eyes. Sometimes, on shelves where you just see the spine, I am attracted to an original title as well, but… covers are a big catch, for me. I wonder as well how much I am missing out because of that, haha, but I am grateful for the bookish community to recommend me tons of books and making me buy books, not because of the cover, but because the book itself sounds fantastic.
    I did just like you for the book, Ink! I loved the cover so much, I had to get it ahah. The story also sounded great, so… it just made me buy it πŸ˜›
    All of this to say, covers do have a huge impact on me ; but I always try and read the blurb or listen to my friends and bloggers’ recommendations before actually buying the book. Sometimes, it’s hard, but it’s better to have books we could actually love on our shelves than books that are “just” pretty, haha πŸ™‚
    Great discussion, Beth!! πŸ™‚

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    1. Yeah it’s why I like the idea of those book blind date places, where they wrap up books so you can’t see the cover and you’re forced to pick up something based on if the few words describing the story sound like something you’d enjoy. It’s a great way to take the cover out of the equation when it comes to picking something new to read. Covers are just the first thing we see and it’s almost automatic to form an opinion on a book because of it. I suppose one of the good things about Goodreads is that as well as the cover you can see the average rating as well, which gives a clue as to whether the book is good or not even before you’ve clicked on it. Yeah since I started blogging a lot of the books I’ve picked up have been because of the blogging community writing incredible and gushing reviews for books that wouldn’t have been on my radar otherwise. πŸ™‚
      There are just some books, like Ink, that are so gorgeous you can’t resist right? Luckily the story itself sounds good too so hopefully we’ll both enjoy it when we get around to it.
      I get what you mean, books are so expensive we can’t really buy them based solely on the cover (there are so many gorgeous covers out there can you imagine how many we’d end up with if we did that?!) when it comes down to it recommendations and blurbs are more telling in what I end up buying, but the covers are more telling in what books I end up looking more into you know?
      Thanks so much Marie! πŸ˜€ ❀

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    1. It’s something I may try and come out of this year as well. It would be great if I could discover a book I loved that I came across because of something other than the cover. I know there are amazing books out there with not so good covers, it’s just a matter of finding them isn’t it? πŸ™‚

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    1. When I’m in bookstores I normally rely on the covers to draw me to certain books, and then I rely on the blurb to see if it interests me enough to buy it. I rarely look at reviews on my phone while in bookstores, which I guess is something I should start looking at. πŸ™‚
      When it comes to libraries I always feel it doesn’t matter as much if I can’t check out the reviews because I’m not spending money on the books. Either way I’m sure you’ve discovered more good reads than not there right? πŸ˜€

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  19. A sparkly cover will definitely catch my eye but then I always read the book flap to see if the story is any interesting. I will say that some of my favorites don’t have the most flashy covers. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is very ugly and cheap looking imo, but I loved it! Strange the Dreamer’s cover was stunning but the book put me to sleep three pages in and I gave up. But more than anything, what catches my eye is usually the very thin books and the giant tomes.

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    1. I do the same, it is very rare (though it has happened a time or two) that I buy books solely because of the cover art. Actually yeah thinking back the first time I saw Daughter of Smoke and Bone it didn’t have a great cover, but it ended up being a book I loved. Oh that’s a shame about Strange the Dreamer, it did take me a while to get into that book, it was really heavy at the beginning, but in the end I loved that one too. Ha, yeah I guess with giant tomes there’s a certain intimidation factor there as well, like how long you know it will take to actually read it. πŸ˜€

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  20. I am 100% someone who lets covers influence them while browsing for books! I mean, if you’re looking at a big number of books, you need to create some sort sorting mechanism which is usually exactly where covers come in because they either grab your attention and make you want to check out the blurb, or they push you away from the book because they aren’t appealing to you. I’m sure there are gems hidden underneath unfortunate covers, but when I’m just browsing, I’m won’t discover them.

    And then there are the ridiculously beautiful covers that grab your attention so you have them on your radar and when people start gushing and fangirling about them, that’s usually when I’ll make the cover buy because they book has gotten a ton of positive feedback from bloggers and reviewers.

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    1. There are so many books being released now it’s really hard to choose which ones you want to buy when you’re just searching for a book on a whim. Covers are the first things we see so we kind of automatically form opinions on the stories from them, even if it’s only until we read the blurb and decide whether we want to buy and read it or not. For me it’s a little bit the title as well but as the cover is such a large part of books it’s mainly that. I tend to find hidden gems with not so good covers on Amazon more than in bookshops, I think because on Amazon there’s more information at your fingertips (like the average rating) than just the cover and the blurb you know?
      Yeah since I started book blogging I’ve been more and more swept away by the hype. There are books I’ve brought without reading the blurb simply because there have been nothing but amazing reviews from other bloggers whose opinions I trust. And yes I’ve actually ended up enjoying those books as well. πŸ™‚

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    1. No it’s the same for me, in none of my reviews have I given a book more or less stars because of how pretty the cover is or isn’t. Covers draw me to certain books I’ll admit, but once I start reading it’s the story that decides how much I enjoy it. πŸ™‚

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    1. Yeah it’s the same for me. There have been books I’ve stumbled on (not quite sure how) which I have read and loved even though the cover doesn’t really draw my eye. I always feel like those are hidden gems in a way and it does make me wonder how many other amazing books are out there that I’ve yet to discover because the covers haven’t caught my eye. πŸ™‚

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  21. I did this a lot when I was younger, but I realized more and more as the YA genre grew that a pretty cover definitely did not equal a great story, so I gave up on it. I do remember only reading the blurbs of books that I personally thought had nice covers. Maybe it’s because I’m borderline broke these days but I cannot get behind the idea of a cover buy. I have never bought a book that I didn’t know anything about just because of the cover. I have to know that the story is something that I’m interested in. I have noticed that since finding the online book community I no longer feel compelled to go for a book strictly based on the cover because I now recognize what most of the books I see are about when I go to the book store, the library, or while online shopping.

    Despite this I do still love the beautiful cover art, especially with the books being released in the past few years or so. Books definitely weren’t this gorgeous when I was a teenager. I also love seeing how much a books cover art reflects the story in the pages as I read it.

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    1. Oh I completely get what you mean. There have been books I’ve seen with gorgeous covers that just haven’t been good stories, and vice versa because there have been books with not-so-great covers that have had brilliant stories inside. So, when you are book shopping how do you decide which books you want to read the blurb of, or if you’re on Amazon what books do you decide to click on to learn more about? Do you just select at random and read the blurbs or is there something in the title that draws you to them? I will say because of blogging I do pick up a lot of books now solely on recommendations from other bloggers, and then there are books from favourite authors which are automatic buys for me, but I find I’m usually drawn in first by the cover and that’s what leads me to check out the blurb to find out if it’s something I’d like to buy and then read.
      I think we’re always going to love cover art even if we don’t love the stories inside. There’s something about the pretty covers that really draws the eye and yeah I agree books definitely weren’t this pretty when I was a teenager either. Guess it goes to show how much the books designers have changed since then right? πŸ™‚

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  22. No doubt book covers are the first thing I notice. But I do not buy books based on only book cover. I read blurb and if I like the blurb, I get the book. If not, I don’t buy it because books are meant to read and not to stare at the book covers and use them as showpieces.

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    1. I don’t think anyone buys all their books based on the covers (I have one or two exceptions like Ink where the cover was so gorgeous I had to buy it, but I will be reading it one day). When it comes to the books I buy I use the blurb to largely influence what ones I pick up, but it’s always the covers I notice first and which draw me to the books I tend read the blurbs of you know? πŸ™‚

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  23. Oh, of course covers are an influence! Like you said, they’re the biggest factor in whether I will decide to click on a book and read the blurb. = We don’t have time to read the blurb for every single book we come across, so that’s important. It’s not necessarily even what has the prettiest cover, just how well the covers reflect their story and look professional and all that (though pretty helps, but I think the covers we find prettiest tend to be the ones in our favorite genres). I do sometimes read books with awful covers, but I also sometimes wonder if I’m missing out on books because they’re covers didn’t entice me.

    But also like you said, I imagine for most of us the cover doesn’t affect our rating/review once we’ve read the book. And I can’t even blame you for buying that Ink book because WOW that is gorgeous!

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    1. Yeah and as covers are the first thing we see it’s hard to not decide what books we decide to click on or read the blurb of because of them. It’s why part of me kind of likes the idea of those blind book dates (where the books are wrapped up so you can’t see the paper and there’s just a few words about the story written on them), because those ones you are judging on the story more than the cover. πŸ™‚
      I completely get what you mean, and I guess prettiest isn’t kind of the right word but it’s about the design and how well it catches the eye. You’re right about the genres, thinking of the books I have on my shelves some of my favourites have similar-ish covers.
      Oh no definitely not. I’ve never rated a book higher because it has a gorgeous cover, and the same I’ve never rated a book lower because I wasn’t a fan of the cover. Ha, yeah I’m hoping the story will be as amazing as the cover is. πŸ™‚

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  24. I do like my pretty covers, it definitely influences what books I pick up or not. And I don’t think thats a bad thing at all. I once heard someone working at a publisher talk bout how covers are catered to the audience they are written for… like β€˜if you liked that book you will also like this one’ – so we made it look kinda similar.

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    1. Pretty covers just catch our eye that little bit more, and for me I think if a cover is gorgeous I’m more likely to want to know what the book is about. Ohh, that’s interesting, and yeah I guess if you have a book that’s similar in terms of the plot to another you’re going to give it a similar-ish cover to attract the same audience. πŸ™‚

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    1. Yeah when it comes down to it we don’t have the time to read every single blurb of every single book in bookstores. You have to narrow it down to what ones you think will interest you and that’s where the covers and title come into play and affect decisions. I’m the same when it comes to browsing. πŸ™‚

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  25. I do like a pretty cover and it does make me buy some books and not others. And when I do buy a book that has several cover options (US cover, UK cover, hardback, paperback), I do tend to go to the one that is aesthetically the most pleasing. If I don’t like a cover, the threshold to buying the book definitely becomes higher.

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    1. Yeah that’s exactly how I am as well. My bookshelves are filled with books I’ve picked up simply because of how gorgeous the covers were. Oh I’ve brought books all the way from the US (I live in the UK) just because I prefer that cover to the UK one. Shipping is expense but it’s worth it in my mind. πŸ˜€

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  26. I am alwaaays buying books based on the covers – it’s a bad habit and I really should read blurbs more. I do find though that if a cover looks really cheaply designed I don’t want to read it either – not sure if this is just because I have a creative design background though!

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    1. I think the thing is there are so many books out there we can’t really read every blurb can we? Can you imagine how long that would take? I only really read the blurbs of the covers I like and yeah I get what you mean because I’m kind of put off by cheaply designed covers as well. πŸ™‚

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