My friend, Suzanne Adair, has a new book coming out this month. She sent me a link to the cover to get my opinion. I think it's great! First I just saw the green. Then I saw the action. Great concept. And I've already read the manuscript, so I know the story is just as great. Her whole series is a terrific read.
I don't know who coined the phrase about not judging a book by its cover (and yes, I know it's meant more for people than for books) but it doesn't work for me with books OR people. Covers draw me to books faster than the author's name (unless I'm mid-series with an author and loving it.) Take Deb Baker's DOLLED UP FOR MURDER. I'd not read her work when I saw her book at a mystery conference, but I simply could not pass up a cover like that. Could you? If you grew up loving dolls, you'll love the book. And the series.
Author Carola Dunn is blessed with some of the best covers I've ever seen. Take a look at this one, it's my personal fave. But ALL of her covers are terrific. So is her writing. This isn't the first in her series, so you probably want to read that first.
I was browsing a book table at the Virginia Festival of Books in 2002 and spotted this interesting cover of Frankie Y. Bailey's book. I dithered back and forth, not having read her work before, but I knew I had to buy a copy . Her covers are all terrific and her stories have me hooked. I've read almost the whole series.
The cover created by an artist for Five Star on the front of my own mystery, FIFTY-SEVEN HEAVEN, was beautifully done and has sold a lot of books for me. The cover is on the left of this blog. A reader recently told me that the cover told it all. I agree. I was lucky. Lots of authors get NO input on covers. I was asked to give a brief description of the book and to give any suggestions I had. The artist outdid herself, and that cover has sold a lot of books for me.
I remember a friend whose books were drop-shipped to her at a huge mystery convention. When she opened the box, she was horrified by the cover. It was bland and nothing like she'd been told (or shown) it would be. Covers not only affect the buyer. They can send the author ducking for cover. (You'll pardon the pun?)
Of course, what is glued between the covers of a book has to be so well written that the reader wants to pass the word (and often the book, if they can turn loose of it long enough) to friends and family. And the author's writing talent makes the difference in whether or not the reader buys the next in the series. I know all authors try to write the very best book they can. But covers are what first catch the attention of the reader in a book store. At least they do me.
Do you have a favorite book cover? A cover so great that you could not leave the store without the book? A cover that introduced you to a new author? Care to share?