Book Covers

My son and I had an interesting discussion the other day about choosing a book by the cover. He almost exclusively chooses that way.

He attended a writer’s conference with me to help out. Between sessions he browsed some of the self-published books. I have done enough simple web design and even designed a few book covers for print on demand (POD) books so I don’t always trust my judgment about book covers, I think I can be too picky.

When my 16-year-old said he would never read a book where it looked like the author’s photo had been shrunk-to-fit, I listened. You might say that I passed a criticizer’s eye to him but I would bet he learned it in his high school design class.

It is so simple to re-size and crop a picture that if the cover designer didn’t take the time to do it– but rather hit ctrl-F what else did they compromise?

I know as a writer I should never chose a book by its cover… I know traditionally published writers have little control over their covers…I know…but I did it anyway.

And I am so glad. Look at how intriguing this cover is:

My son thought so too, so he grabbed the whole series. When I realized it was written in first person (how I write) I decided I needed to read it. But the back cover didn’t interest me because I am not a fan of “spiritual thrillers.” Or at least that is how I categorized myself. It sat there several days, almost calling to me.

Why is that guy in the water? Did the water make him pale and small?

It ended up being one of those books I couldn’t put down and I finished it instead of writing, ironing my husband’s karate uniform, making bread…I haven’t shirked my life for a book in years.

Have you ever successfully chosen a book by the cover?

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