Books If Only… Judging Book Covers

Books If Only Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

To me book covers are VERY important. (no way right?) Because I am a visual person. I know we make light of the fact that we’re “cover whores” and whatnot. But it’s really much more than that.

The saying goes,

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”


Catcher in the Rye e1341942273929 Books If Only... Judging Book Covers← Then all covers should look like this

Granted, most of us have at least heard of or even read The Catcher and the Rye, but you get my point.

A book cover draws us in and sets the pace of the story from the FIRST GLANCE. Before ever reading the synopsis.

Take this for example:

Drop Dead Gorgeous Old Cover Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Wayne Simmons.

Hmmm… Well, I suppose it looks bloody and interesting. I ASSUME it has a female main character. From the blurb at the top I also ASSUME it’s about zombies, only because I know that David Moody writes zombie books.

Would THIS COVER get me to click a link and check out the synopsis of this book? Probably. Would I buy it? No… Would I accept it for review? 93.4% chance of ‘No’.


Because it looks unprofessional. It looks “meh”. If the cover looks those things, does that mean the writing is ALSO unprofessional and ‘meh’? I don’t know, but I’ve got about 264 other books on my shelf that have yet to be read and I think I’ll give them a go FIRST.

Drop Dead Gorgeous NewCover Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

Oh WAIT!!! Wait, just one gosh darn minute you judgmental, zombie loving, brunette!!!! Take a look see at THIS COVER of the exact same book, sporting the exact same blurb and… BAM!!!!!

Drop Dead Gorgeous goes from an “easy pass”, to a Zombie Queen “MUST HAVE on my shelf YESTERDAY” book.

Because this new and improved cover says, “Check me out dude. I’m a force to be reckoned with, I ain’t messing around this time.”

I DO however think they should’ve kept the blurb from David Moody. I dislike this new one, but that’s neither here, nor there. Because I’ve already purchased it.

“Rough, Filthy and Completely Brilliant.” – David Moody

“Simmons writes like the grotesque lovechild of George A Romero and Charles Dickens” – Physical Grafitti

And here’s an example of a book I was DYING to read until they went and changed the cover… *sigh*

The Vicious Deep old cover Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

Right? Do you guys remember this one?!?! OMG!

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

This was one of my MOST anticipated releases of 2012! Right away THIS COVER says,

“Deadly, brutal and beautiful. I’ll lure you in, and kill you before you even realize you should be afraid.”

The Vicious Deep new cover Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

Then they switched it to this:

The Vicious Deep STILL has an awesome cover… But the NEW one says, “Percy Jackson and the god of the Sea or something equally as ‘take it or leave it’ to me” so I haven’t read it. Nor have I bought it, like I would have if it had kept it’s original cover.

Now so no one gets the wrong idea and starts to get the impression that I only like covers with people on them, I’m going to give you an example of book covers that I much preferred before the change and people were put on them!

The Modern Faerie Tales series by Holly Black:

Holly Back Tithe Valiant Ironside Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

I much prefer the old covers to the new covers. Not for any particular reason besides the face that they are different, intriguing and make me pause to think, “Hmm, I wonder what these are about?”

But the new covers would definitely not stop me from BUYING these books!

Holly Back Tithe Valiant Ironside new covers Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

So what do you guys think? Is it PURELY about the pretty cover as the term “cover whore” so implies?

Or is there more to it than that?

One cover on a book, compared to another with the EXACT same blurb can totally change my opinion!

Blog Signature Ash Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

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 Books If Only... Judging Book Covers
Book loving, zombie freak, stiletto wearing, twitter whore, coffee addicted Brunette with a purse fetish. Collector of flamingo paraphernalia & zombie keepsakes… Frequenter of thrift stores... cRaFtY bitch... and I match my eye-shadow to my outfit - everyday.
 Books If Only... Judging Book Covers

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42 Responses to Books If Only… Judging Book Covers

  1. Alyssa Kirk says:

    As an admitted and proud cover whore I adore this post and completely agree! The change in the Drop Dead Gorgeous cover was amazing. I wouldn’t have looked twice before and now I’m dying to read it. The new Vicious Deep cover makes me think of Ariel – the little mermaid – because I connect the trident with her dad the king, and that makes me think it’s a lighter read and for a younger audience. I didn’t know they changed the Modern Faerie but I also think the old ones were better. I think one of the most disappointing for me was the change on the Nightshade series. Loved this brilliant post!

  2. Kody Boye says:

    I actually liked the original Drop Dead Gorgeous cover. The grittiness is what drew me into it (stylistically I think it’s a great piece.) I do really like the new cover though. :)

    I should add that DDG isn’t so much a zombie book as it is an… well… you’ll just have to read it to find out. ;) One of the best zombie-esque books I’ve read in a while. It’s definitely not what you expect.

    • It SOUNDS like a zombie book! ;)

      Well when I tried to buy it on Amazon yesterday, either there was some issue or they’re out of stock or SOMETHING. Because they don’t have it on kindle OR to buy from Amazon, I’d have to buy it used-third party. :/

  3. Kristy F says:

    I so agree about The Vicious Deep! As much as I still want to read it, the cover throws me off. It absolutely makes me think of Percy Jackson! It looks more like a middle grade book, than a YA.

  4. Becky says:

    Wow!! I got the vicious deep at BEA this year and completely thought it was either a middle grade or a Percy Jackson-esque book. Was totally going to give it to my little brother. I wish it still had the old cover because that is beautiful and way more my style!! Definitely going to keep it n

  5. Becky says:

    Wow!! I got the vicious deep at BEA this year and completely thought it was either a middle grade or a Percy Jackson-esque book. Was totally going to give it to my little brother. I wish it still had the old cover because that is beautiful and way more my style!! Definitely going to keep it now and try it out =D

  6. Charlotte says:

    I completely agree with this post. One thing I noticed you didn’t mention was Movie Covers. Those throw me off. No matter how much I enjoyed the movie, I will NOT buy the movie cover… I do own a few, in fact I got The Descendants movie cover recently, but I think all my movie cover books were gifted, as that was. And I’ll always accept a gift.

  7. I would kill to have an ARC with the original Vicious Deep cover. Oh, my GAWD. I love it so much. The new one…meh.

    I agree with Drop Dead Gorgeous (My gay boyfriend can suck it *sticks out tongue at Kody Boye). I hated that original cover. LOVE the new one. I’m meh on the second version of the Holly Black books. I love the originals.

    As for my own books, I’m getting ready for all new covers for The Vampire Bride Series. Too many complaints about the covers. Covers sell. That’s just the truth.

  8. The Muggle says:

    I agree! I remember covers, so if someone says have you heard about “blah blah” I say the one with the “blonde on it holding a jigglypuff?” – and that is how I remember books.

    So if I don’t like the cover, or it doesn’t stick with me I most likely won’t remember the name and therefore not read it.

  9. I agree with you completely on this one but I must say, I actually prefer the original cover for Drop Dead Gorgeous, lol. I love a cover with good ART on the front, photographic covers often put me off. I see them as being more of the same and it takes a fantastic blurb and amazing reviews to change my mind very often. Typography can have a lot to do with it, as well. If the title is able to grab your attention then that’s even better. Give it some shiny and I’m probably won over. ;)

  10. Felicia says:

    I love both covers for Drop Dead Gorgeous —I think the first one was meant to draw in the Walking Dead Graphic Novel fans because it has that look/feel on it. That being said for the mainstream audience the second has a higher visual appeal.

    Covers are a huge part of a book’s success these days especially for debut authors who have no word of mouth or built-in fan base to get them going. I think it is worth the extra time and money to invest in a good cover. If 5 books down the line you have a HUGE following then I think you can put less into a cover but until then it needs to be in your top 3 priorities. :)

    • Yes!!! Like I said (whenever it was) when J.R. Ward released the cover of Blay & Qhuinn’s book, “I don’t care if this book has little dancing trolls on the cover.” because honestly at this point, there it NO book I can recall needing so badly to read in my entire life.

      Seriously. But, that’s the, what? 12th book in the series? Lol

  11. Covers are a tricky business. We had 2 different covers with Sirenz and it’s still a 50/50 hate-love with the blue cover, red shoe. And it’s again 50/50 with the cover for Sirenz Back In Fashion with the pink, illustrated cover. It’s just so hard to predict what catch people’s interest. Right now we’re seeing so many similar covers (and same models!) that maybe our illustrated cover will stand out a bit more. Who can tell? But I use the blurb on the back to help me decide.

  12. Oh the original cover of The Vicious Deep would have had me pining for it like crazy. I have to say I never saw that cover and I had no real interest in the book with it’s current cover. Dude!! The new cover for Drop Dead Gorgeous just begs to be read!! I would have passed on it with the first one too. Great post. I totally get what you mean with the visuals. Take for example The Hunger Games. I was so late to that party. I didn’t read them until after all three books were out because the covers didn’t really appeal to me. It wasn’t until all the raving about how freaking awesome the books are that I finally bought them and read them. (One after another in like 2 days)

    • See I had heard so many amazing things about HG that it really didn’t matter to me what their covers looked like, but I actually REALLY like the simplicity of them and how each book and symbol stands for what’s inside.


  13. Love your post! I am all about covers! Like you, my TBR list is miles long. Everyday I get notifications about new releases or requests for reviews. Often times, if the cover doesn’t speak to me, I’m on to the next book on the list.

  14. Kim Mullican says:

    Book covers give me a stomach ache. I stress and worry every time I create one. While I know the ins and outs of the story, I fret that my covers won’t tantalize the buyer into at least clicking on the sample.

    But you’re so right!

  15. Jen Smith says:

    OMG! I love this post!! I love covers and totally 100% agree with you! <3

  16. I agree, I am a total cover whore. AND I totally want that first book, with the second cover. I will admit that most of the time I don’t even read blurbs, it has gotten me into trouble a few times thinking a book was about one thing then getting to page 100 and it goes a completely different way than I expected (not always a bad thing) This is a great post! Covers are IMPORTANT!

  17. Jenny says:

    I definitely preferred the first cover for the Vicious Deep as well, it was all creepy and I couldn’t stop looking at it! I can’t help but evaluate the cover first, it’s the first part of the book I see – like what you wear to a job interview. A first impression. And that so often determines whether or not I’m interested in learning more:) Yay for stunning covers!

  18. I couldn’t agree more girl. Covers make it or break it for me sometimes. The Butterfly Cabinet was recently put on our book club list at work and the cover we have is something I would never pick up to read the synopsis for, ever. Then I stumbled on it on GoodReads, looked it up at work and found that it was the cover I hated. Awesome story, hideous cover. I also started reading a book a while back that I stopped on the first chapter because I thought eh I probably won’t get into this. I bought it last week because it’s the sweetest cover I’ve ever seen. Covers are very important to me! Love this post!

  19. Krista R says:

    Totally agree about the Vicious Deep. I’ve never seen the first cover before, but if I had I would actually more inclined to pick it up. The second cover does look like Percy Jackson theme. I may check it out if I have time, but eh…who knows? I think that there are a lot of cover changes lately too. I’m most upset over the Across the Universe series being changed. I understand they did it to widen the audience, but I still believe the starry book covers are the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen. Great post!

  20. Stephanie D. says:

    The story definitely counts but how are we going to know about it if we’re not lured by an attractive and appropriate cover. What I do hate are gorgeous covers that hide mediocre stories. They lure me and then I regret it.

  21. To me, a bad cover can really deter me from reading a book — if the cover isn’t eye catching and appealing, I don’t even want to read the synopsis!

    I definitely prefer the first cover for The Vicious Deep — you’re right! The second one really does look very Percy Jackson-ish. And I much prefer the old covers to the Holly Black books.

  22. candace says:

    Mostly I hate the unprofessional looking ones. The ones that look like an author just put together real quick. Also the font, that one thing is SO important!
    A bad cover keeps me from buying a book unless I have heard lots of great things about it. And if I love a cover I may buy it for that (or at least look up the reviews to decide).
    A memorable cover is VERY important too. There are lots of gorgeous covers with girls in beautiful dresses but other than a select few many of them are starting to blend together. I can’t remember if its the one I added to my WL already or not… I think people need to switch it up cause standing out is important too.

  23. Sherre says:

    Cover’s are everything to me. They help set the whole scene for the book, and help set the book off from the rest. Even moreso, I think the title and spine work help as well. There’s nothing to daw me to a book it it’s spine doesnt include a wonderful title, and perhaps some artwork or beautiful font. There needs to be something that draws you to pick up one book in a sea of hundreds…

  24. A story can sell itself, if it’s really good, but nothing draws your attention to a book like an awesome cover. 90% of my tbr list are because the cover drew me in, then I checked out the story. Sometimes the story is crap, but the covers are awesome! I know it sounds superficial, but it is reality.I’m 100% #coverwhore!

    I agree with you, on all of the above. I have to say I really prefer the old Holly Black’s covers, the old ones drew me in as a mystery, to what this series was about.

  25. [...] Books If Only… Judging Book Covers [...]

  26. [...] can read a more in depth account of Books If Only here…  Short and sweet version [...]

  27. A cover are huge factors for me. I do give audios a wide berth and listen to the sample first.

  28. [...] not the only one. Ashley, The Bookish Brunette, actually has an excellent post on this subject, Books If Only… Judging Book Covers. In her posts she touches on the subject of changing the books cover prior to release and I get it, [...]

  29. [...] not the only one. Ashley, The Bookish Brunette, actually has an excellent post on this subject, Books If Only… Judging Book Covers. In her posts she touches on the subject of changing the books cover prior to release and I get it, [...]

  30. TC says:

    Book covers draw me inside before the first page opens the door.

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