Confident Reads (2): Let’s Talk Covers! (Part 1)

Hello everyone!  Welcome to the second week of this brand new feature!  Confident Reads is a way to open communication between readers and indie authors.  It is to help readers feel confident in the books they spend their money on, and for authors to feel confident in the book they publish.  You can find this feature each week (Wednesdays except in September when it will be Tuesdays) discussing a different subject regarding indie books and authors.

Last week we discussed the differences in publishing and Jeff Bennington helped clarify the differences.

This week we are talking covers!  Any book person knows that a cover is important.  It’s the first thing we see.  If we see a cover that catches our eye we’re likely to look up the description.  Personally, I’ll often get a book if it has a great cover and sounds good but I skip a book if it has a lame cover even if it sounds good (unless I see a rave review by a reviewer I trust).

Indie authors are different than traditionally published authors because they have full control over their covers.  They can do whatever they want.  Sometimes this is good and they go all the way making sure their cover is perfect.  Unfortunately others don’t have a clue and end up with not so great covers.  The things is, we all have different tastes and we can’t really speak for everyone when we dislike a cover.

I asked people “What do you want/need in a cover?” and this is what they said:

Robbi Sommers Bryant at www.robbibryant.com says:

Something that draws me in.

 Beth Cutwright at bethartfromtheheart.blogspot.com says:

 I like a cover that is like a work of art…inviting, lovely…

 Jessica @ Books: A true story http://www.booksatruestory.com says:

To look professional. If it looks thrown together I might think the book was thrown together, too. I love this indie cover of Urban Hunters by Gary Taaffe. It was a big reason I picked up his book.

 Lizzy http://erlessard.wordpress.com says:

 I like it to accurately describe the book.

Jim Collette at www.jimcollette.com says:

Simple is good.

 While I agree with all of these comments the ones I want to point out that may not be as obvious to people is to look professional and to accurately describe the book.  Another one that’s big for me is that I want to stand out.  In a good way, of course.  There are so many covers that are similar or even just remakes of other books and I REALLY don’t like that.  I did some searches and I found that there are quite a few covers that seemed to be based off of some big name traditionally published books.  Please don’t do that.  Come up with your own cover, don’t copy someone else’s.  Now, I do know that covers can be made from stock photos and other people may use those same ones for their covers.  I don’t like this, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Robbi Sommers Bryant talks about covers in a post HERE and this is a fabulous example of a cover accurately describing what’s in the book.

Now, does anyone buy a book JUST for the cover?

Beth Cutwright at bethartfromtheheart.blogspot.com says:

Not really, but if it is eyecatching, it helps.

 Jessica @ Books: A true story http://www.booksatruestory.com says:

I don’t purchase books just based on the cover, but I have passed up a lot of indie books because the cover looked poorly done. If there aren’t many reviews for an indie book, the only thing I have to go off of is the cover.

 Lizzy http://erlessard.wordpress.com says:

My favorite book covers echo the genres I enjoy. I’m attracted especially to those with a Gothic feel. I generally avoid covers that hint at erotic or contemporary literature because I’m simply not interested in those genres.

Jim Collette from www.jimcollette.com says:

I’ll pick the book up if it has a good cover, but the first few paragraphs I read had better do something for me or it goes back on the shelf.

 My opinion?  If I see a cover I love I’ll look further.  If it’s free I’ll grab it for cover alone.  But if it’s .99 cents and up I need to see at least a description.  And if someone I trust has reviewed it and loved it then I’ll probably grab it.

Each week I spotlight an indie title that has my stamp of approval.  This weeks Stamp of Approval is Exiled by M.R. Merrick

 Check out my review HERE.  This book was so fantastic that I actually labeled it as EPIC.  This was one of the first indie books I read and I wasn’t sure what to expect and was blown away!  This is a good mix of urban fantasy and epic fantasy and has fantastic characterization!  AND it’s a male narrator, which is a personal favorite. 
This book was so fantastic that it’s ended up on my favorites list for this year.  I very highly recommend you check it out!

And since we’re discussing covers this week, this is an example of a good cover.  I love trees on covers and the font is bold and easy to read.  It’s a unique and memorable cover.  Love it!

Buy the kindle book of Exiled (The Protector Book 1)or Buy the paperback from amazon*These are affiliate links and if you purchase through them I will receive a small percentage which goes toward maintaining my blog.*

There are a few authors that want your opinion on their covers.  This is anonymous.  They won’t know it’s you and so please be honest without being mean.

For the comments:  What do you want/need in a cover?  What is important to you?
Check back next week as M.R. Merrick is going to guest post about covers!

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Comments

  1. I need a cover to be very eye-catching, to look professional, to not be too busy, and to have a great font. I prefer a cover to have something to do with the book, not just a pretty wrapping.

    • Yep, I agree, it has to match what’s inside. And not too busy is important. I’ve noticed that sometimes it’s a fine line. And some font is just a bit too much and makes it look more busy.

  2. Book covers are generally the reason why or why not I try the book. I like simple covers with a an interesting font and a cover that has to do with the book itself. Great post!!!! Thanks for sharing.

    SeeitORreadit

    • Yeah, I’ve discovered that font has a lot to do with whether it looks professional or not. And it’s so important that the font is readable!

  3. Covers are hugely important for me. I come from a design background and deal with design everyday, so it’s always fun for me to see different covers and how they incorporate their imagery and type. I can’t say I’ve ever bought a book based strictly on the cover, but I’ve added many to my list based on that alone, and then I’ve read the blurbs and other reviews to see if I want to actually purchase them. I have definitely not purchased a book based on the cover though, so I think it’s vital that the cover be visually appealing to capture that initial interest:)

    • I think the only time I get a book on cover alone is when it’s free. And even then I *usually* check to make sure it’s something I’ll like. But if I dislike a cover than sometimes I don’t even give it a glance.

  4. Oh! That was fun Candace. Thanks for giving us a way to provide some honest feedback. I can imagine that cover design is hard, and the pressure to have an original and attention grabbing cover must also be high, but it is really important.

  5. Oh interesting topic. Covers are more important than one would like…they really do draw me into a book and it’s usually the first thing I KNOW about a book. I don’t get something for cover alone of course, because the book has to sound good, but a good cover is needed to grab my initial attention.

    -lauren

  6. See this is what happens when I ignore the blogging world for an entire month! I come back and you have a new feature that you are doing! So excited for you! Thank you so very much for coming around and commenting on my blog even though I haven’t been around to comment on yours in the past few weeks.

    I love this new feature and I have to say that covers are so important, especially with indie books. Many indie books are told to be amazing yet they have barely any cover or the cover they have doesn’t attract much attention. I always root for the indie authors though!

    Thanks!

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