Judging a Book by its Cover


Your book is finally complete after days, weeks and months of blood, sweat and tears. After editing and revisions you are now faced with the next step which is the book cover. Some will argue that the book cover is the most important aspect of the publishing process. Forget about the content itself, if you do not draw in readers with a tantalizing picture then you are pretty much screwed, right?

I’m only one small voice in a vast sea of experts but after perusing hundreds of covers I am finally ready to address this issue in my humble point of view. When I choose the cover for my first book, Isle of Skye, I had no clue what I wanted. I finally settled on a simple, yet dramatic picture of the setting sun over the ocean. I continued the theme for my trilogy and was happy with the end result.

The more I write my novels though the more interested I become in this subject. I decided to do a little research and proceeded to go through the Kindle Store with great enthusiasm. My findings were mixed to say the least. I found some really amazing covers that ranged from very famous authors to the just getting started indie authors.

But I also found some real cheesy, oh my God are you f-ing kidding me, I cannot believe someone thought that was a good idea, horror shows.

Let’s take for example Fifty Shades of Gray. The cover is simplistic and I think it makes readers want to dive into the book for curiosity sake. Why is there a tie? What does fifty shades of gray mean? These are questions I believe a majority of people asked and were also very much surprised at the content of this seemingly innocent yet strangely sensuous book cover.

Then there are others that make you cringe. I am just making up this title (hopefully) but when you have a book called Billionaire seeks slut I’m pretty sure we all get the drift. I don’t need you to shove some raunchy photo of naked people on the cover down my throat. I’m also not even going into the ridiculousness of some of the titles I saw. I think if you want to put it out there that this is erotica, great but E.L. James didn’t and she now has the most successful erotic book of all time.

My point is this: Sometimes, like our mothers all use to say, it’s good to leave some things to the imagination. I don’t need to see a woman bending over and a faceless man whipping her behind. I would much rather be intrigued and then pleasantly (or unpleasantly depending on the writing) surprised by the content after I started reading.

I also am somewhat offended as a woman. I think it’s objectifying woman on an extremely uncomfortable level. I am not a prude by any means but c’mon ladies let’s not go down that road. Yes, I am woman hear me roar. I can purchase erotica and not be ashamed of my sexuality or fantasies but can we try to invoke some sense of mystery and decorum?

I know there are probably hundreds, perhaps thousands of other authors who will look at my covers and think they’re boring and that’s cool because honestly I would rather be thought of as tame than trashy. I also would rather my kid’s look at me with some amount of respect.

So can you judge a book by its cover? In this case, it is a resounding yes!

1024x1024-TheAppBuilder-icon photomorropbay.com                  Isle of night book cover 3             Isle of Dawn book cover


2 Comments Add yours

  1. What are your books about? The cover and title makes me think it’s about an island (the Isle of Skye presumably!) and that it’s probably set in a remote place but I don’t really get anything else. I agree that tacky covers are bad but yours don’t seem to give anything away but at the same time aren’t unusual enough to be intriguing (the way the 50 shades ones were). But that’s just my opinion on first impressions, I haven’t read the books so wouldn’t know if they sum up the action perfectly.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly that my book covers are a bit tame. As a new indie author I was somewhat naive about how important a cover really is and that is why I wrote this article. I now look at a book cover much differently than I did before I published my books and I hope my next ones will be more intriguing. I have several links on my site pertaining to the Skye Trilogy if you’re interested and thanks for the honest analysis.

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