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Sandi Shilhanek | Readers are Discerning, or Buying a Book By Its Cover

April 12, 2009

Sandi ShilhanekSaturday the DFW Tea Readers were invited into the home of local author Dakota Cassidy for a truly delicious barbecue instead of our usual monthly tea. As always the conversation was lively, diverse, and I found myself trying to decide which conversation I truly wanted to follow.

However, the one the got my attention was the discussion about book covers. What type of book cover is best? What type of book cover makes you pick up a book to investigate further? What type of book cover makes you think “no way am I reading this book,” and you don’t pick it up to check the back cover blurb. Then came the question I think most authors dread most, “how do you feel when the hero/heroine on the front looks one way, but the hero/heroine in the book is described totally differently.”

ACCIDENTAL HUMANTo be honest I think I do judge a book somewhat by its cover. If the cover appeals to me I’m more likely to pick it up to see the back cover blurb. However, if the cover really annoys me I’m also liable to pick it up to see what deserved such a bad (in my opinion) cover. I would say that there’s an equal chance that both books will end up in my TBR.

I also have to be honest and say that I don’t pay much attention to the cover once I get the book home. I use a protective cover when I read, so if there’s a discrepancy between the hero/heroine’s description and the cover I might not notice that.

Curious minds want to know what you think about covers? Do you have favorite ones? Do you have ones you despise, but bought the book anyway because of the author? What happens when those discrepancies appear? Spill it all!

Until next week happy page turning.

Sandi Shilhanek

DFW Tea Readers
Readers ‘n ‘ritas… celebrating literary obsessions

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  • Fantasy Dreamer April 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    The book cover definitely attracts my attention. I have found it annoying when the cover doesn’t match the characters but I don’t let it deter me.

    I’ll admit, if the book cover is offensive I may not pick it up but honestly there aren’t many that do offend me. Like you, I use a book sleeve so it doesn’t really matter if the story is good and the cover isn’t.

    Usually, when I am reading and a description of character is on the cover, I will do a comparison. Sometimes, several times. 🙂

  • Lil April 12, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    An interesting or beautiful cover might get me to pick up a book but an awful cover won’t stop me from purchasing a book that I know I want to read.

  • EllenToo April 12, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    The cover of a book does not influence my buying a book at all. It may get me to pick up a book and read the back cover but even that is not a given. And once I buy the book and start reading it I don’t pay any attention to the cover and whether the people on the cover look like the descrption of the people inside. So basically the cover makes no difference to me.