Don’t judge a book by its cover.
It’s an old saying, and perhaps the world would be a better place if we never based our decision to pick up a book purely based on its cover.
However, this isn’t a world any of us live in.
I have definitely committed the crime of judging a book by its cover, and I know most others would say the same. Publishing companies know this: there’s a reason why art departments spend tons of money on cover design. A good cover could end up being the thing to make or break a book, particularly if the author is debuting.
Especially in YA, I think covers are important. A cover needs to make a statement, and if you have an attractive cover, the chances are more people are going to at least pick up your book, even if they don’t buy it or even turn the first page.
Kiersten White’s recent blog about the importance of covers to her also reflects how big a deal a cover is, not only for the readers but for authors too. Of course, a good or bad cover isn’t the be-all and end-all. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important. It’s just another thing to make it all real, to remind you hey, this is actually going to be published!
I’ve seen some beautiful covers out there. Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy series, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures series, Maggie Stiefvater’s British Shiver trilogy covers to name a few. I remember my decision to pick up the incredible Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld was mainly due to the unusual covers (which have sadly been redesigned since the many years ago that I picked up the series).
I can only hope that if I’m ever published, I’ll be happy with whatever cover the publishing company deems worthy.
Do you judge books by their covers? Can you think of any covers which have particularly stood out to you?