Friday, April 27, 2012

You can't judge a book...

Even though we Intrigue authors get to have some input regarding our covers, for the most part, the final look is out of our hands.  They may use our suggestions.  They may not.  It's a crap shoot.

Even so, I'm curious—what attracts you in a book cover?  Is it people on the front?  A creepy image?  Color?  Movement?

One of my favorite of my book covers is FORBIDDEN TOUCH:

It's my favorite even though the hero on the cover does not REMOTELY resemble the hero inside the pages.  Maddox Heller in the book has sandy blond hair worn shaggy and long, down almost to his shoulders.  (Hey, LOST was still on and Sawyer had been going from bad boy to hot, partially redeemed boy.  I was helpless.)

The reason I love this cover is that the passion and longing between the hero and heroine is palpable in this image.  It sucks me right in and makes me want to know more about them. (Plus, a wet shirt on the hero is never a bad thing).

Another Intrigue book cover I love is BJ Daniels' PREMEDITATED MARRIAGE. 

Atmosphere galore!  The cover itself teases the reader.  Who's in the truck?  What is he/she doing at this secluded looking store in the middle of nowhere? Is something bad going to happen?  I love covers that tell part of the story.

I didn't care that much for the TWILIGHT books by Stephenie Meyer, but I did think the covers were distinctive and intriguing.

The use of simple iconographic symbols (apple, flower ribbon, chess piece) and the stark black/white/red color scheme is an interesting way to tie the books together while having each book cover distinctive enough to stand alone.

So, do you have a favorite cover? What do you look for in a cover?  Are you more a back blurb reader than a cover aficionado?


  1. I look at the cover, it's the first thing the reader sees; and then the blurb on the back. Although the cover is what I see first; purchase depends on the blurb. As for my favorite, goodness! There's such a good job done on the cover of's much too difficult to pick!

  2. If it's an auto-buy, the cover doesn't matter. I just hope for the author's sake it's a good one!

    If it's a new-to-me author, the cover does attract me, but then I read the blurb, front matter, and opening sentence.

    So to answer the question, I guess I'm both.


  3. I think I used to buy more by the covers but not any longer. The first thing I look at is the author and then usually read the back of the book before I really notice the cover. Although if there is a hot guy on the cover and that author is not familiar, I will probably pick it up and read the back of the book.

    The cover usually helps me visualize what the hero/heroine look like. Of course, you have those that look nothing like what the author describes and then I can't get what is on the cover out of my head usually.


  4. I like to look at the covers first,then the blurb on the back especially if it is a new author to me. Some books are like MarcieR said, an auto buy because of the author. I really would like the art department to take into consideration the description the author gives for the hero. Have had to change my mental image of the hero too many time because the cover did not match the author description. Especially if the man has chest hair or long hair in the story and the cover does not match.

  5. I got into a discussion about covers with some editors on Twitter, and they said that sometimes, they chose the more compelling image, even if it didn't match the hero/heroine exactly, rather than choosing a less appealing image where the hero/heroine matched the description in the book.

    I wish you could have both--a compelling image AND a match. But I guess publishing houses have to make compromises.

  6. Paula, I loved the cover of PREMEDITATED MARRIAGE too. Every once in a while you ask for a cover and you get it. I thought there was something eerie about it. I too love covers that give a hint of the story. They probably mean more to the author than the reader. Another favorite of mine I Gun Shy Bride. I asked for the heroine and got her. :) It was her story.

    FORBIDDEN TOUCH is a wonderful cover. I can see why you love it.

  7. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceApril 30, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    I love the covers you featured! Like everyone else there are auto-buys and then I have to read the back of the book. The art department has been doing some great covers for the Intigue line and the Love Inspired lines! The thing that drives me nuts is when the character on the cover don't match. If they don't match why not come up with a cover that is more atmosphere? I too loved the covers for the Twilight series and wonder why after a book comes out as movie they feel they have to change the cover of the book to link it to the movie. Typically the orginal cover is better.