Sunday, June 5, 2011

Reviews, Blurbs and...Covers?

by Susan Santangelo

Jean Henry Mead's Friday post aboout how much reviews and blurbs translate to book sales really generated a terrific cyberspace conversation. It made me think long and hard about my own book-buying habits, and what influences me to pull out that credit card and commit to a sale.

Of course, as someone who's pretty new to the mystery-writing club, I have to confess that any good reviews I've gotten for either Retirement Can Be Murder or the just-released Moving Can Be Murder have me babbling with joy like Sally Field at the Academy Awards all those years ago -- You like me! You really like me!

But often, I'm drawn to a book by its cover art. Yes, I do believe that sometimes -- not often -- you can judge a book by its cover. If there's a body oozing blood and gore smack in the center of the cover, it immediately turns me off. I'm drawn to bright colors and art that makes me feel happy. And I hope what's inside is entertaining.

What I truly hate is when the book itself doesn't match the cover art. I feel like I've been betrayed somehow.

I'm wondering if other folks feel that way too?


Leighton Gage said...

It seems, Susan, that we both elected to hit on the subject of covers on the very same day.
Check out the post, folks, on
Murder is Everywhere where cover designer Peter Ratcliffe discusses how print covers differ from ebook covers -- and what authors should be looking for when they commission one:
Murder Is Everywhere

Susan Santangelo said...

Will check out your post, Leighton. Great minds think alike, right? (Smile.)

Unknown said...

Had this discussion on another blog recently, You can't judge a book by it's cover, but you can catch the readers eye. It's the first thing they see, and if it is interesting, they may read the first chapter. A well done cover, that visually synopsizes the content makes me think that perhaps the author paid as much attention to detail that the book might be worth reading. Barry Eisler had a good article on MJ Rose blog here: