Thursday, March 27, 2008

Booking It Under the Covers

The time to read is any time: no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary. It is the only art which can be practised at any hour of the day or night, whenever the time and inclination comes, that is your time for reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness. ~Holbrook Jackson

Just a reminder: Comments on my blog posts put you in a drawing to win one of these books. Good luck!



While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

I do prefer reading paperbacks, just because they're easier to hold, and that's what I have most of in my library, because they're cheaper to buy. But covers? Let's talk about covers.

Funny thing is, I just commented to Dru about this because she mentioned she'd heard about a book that sounded really good, but when she went to buy it, she just couldn't because she disliked the cover strongly.

I think covers influence my buying quite a bit. I went on a rampage this month and bought about 20 category romances...very randomly. I seldom even looked at the blurbs. It was all about the cover, the line they were part of, and the title.

And, yes, the title can influence me as much as the blurb. I intensely dislike the silly category titles like "The Billionaire Sheik's Virgin Mistress's Secret Baby". I just can't take the book seriously at all. The sad thing is: I may be missing out on a decent story. But, GAH.

And the covers? I despise clinch covers. I don't mind the softer version of a clinch cover, with the hero and heroine holding each other. But the overly-dramatic, 80's Fabio covers, with long dresses and flying hair and half-naked bodies? Ack. Can't bring myself to pick them up.

Recently, I started reading Lynsay Sands Argeneau series. The first book was "The Accidental Vampire". Here is that cover:


Next I read "Vampires Are Forever". Here is that cover:


I really liked both these covers... I liked the soft, blurry edges. I especially liked the cover to "Vampires Are Forever". And, I enjoyed the books so much, I decided to buy her backlist. I took my trusty B&N gift card I'd gotten for my birthday and trotted to the store. And almost came back empty-handed. These are just a couple of the covers for her backlist (I HATED them):



Had I come across those books first, I probably never would have read the series.

So... do covers influence my buying habits? Absolutely. You?

===============================

Worked more on plotting the HQA. Gave my hero a job, a hobby and an apartment. Gave my heroine a job and a pet. And, no, I'm not saying what her job and pet are ... but they are both unusual. I'm working on the collage, and will post it here when it's done.

================================




You Are Dr. Pepper



You're very unique and funky, yet you still have a bit of traditionalism to you.

People who like you think they have great taste... and they usually do.

Your best soda match: Root Beer

Stay away from: 7 Up

20 comments:

Ceri said...

I'm a Dr. Pepper. Funny, I can't drink the stuff.

Covers play a big role as to whether or not I'll buy a book, unless I know and love the author or have heard good things about the book. I really wanted people on the cover of Sweet Forever, but I couldn't stand the models that they came up with. No one fitted what I had in mind. Better to go without.

Judy Thomas said...

UH OH... we're in trouble!!!!

A true original and classic, you represent the best of everything you can offer.
Just the right amount of sweet, just the right amount of energy... you're the life of the party.

Your best soda match: Mountain Dew

Stay away from:Dr Pepper

DeN said...

"And the covers? I despise clinch covers. I don't mind the softer version of a clinch cover, with the hero and heroine holding each other. But the overly-dramatic, 80's Fabio covers, with long dresses and flying hair and half-naked bodies? Ack. Can't bring myself to pick them up."

You got that right! I strongly, strongly dislike those covers. Ew! But I do like the Lynsay Sands (and the like) covers. I'm in the mood for vampires right now. Are her stories any good?

Jennifer Shirk said...

Hmm...covers will make me pick up a book or want to check it out, but then I have to read the blurb on the back. That's what will make it sink or swim with me.

Dena said...

My first influence is author, then blurb. I do get drawn to a book if I like the cover, then I will read the blurb and decide. I wouldn't have been interested in Lynsay's books either from the earlier covers. I love the new covers with one solid color over it. A lot of other covers are doing this too.

The first book I read of Lynsay's was Bite Me if You Can the book before Accidental Vampire, so I learned about what the do's and don'ts of being an immortal. So when I read Accidental Vampire it was so funny! Without reading BMIYC before AV it would have still been a great read because I fell in love with sweet Elvi, the desperate guys, and the town. I think it added more to it though. Since you read more now what do you think? I didn't buy her backlist, I bought the last ones released and have about 10 pages left of Vampire Interrupted. I am going to miss these Vampires.

Lianne said...

Interesting post. I'm with the person who says she buys by author first, then blurb. If I like an author, or if I've heard a story line for a book and it interests me, I don't care about the cover. But...when I was reading the Outlander series and checking them out from the library where they have some with the newer covers and some with the older covers, I picked which version of the book I took home by the cover. So I guess I am still influenced by the cover. And I did not like the cover of the one book I had published. I guess if I were a cover buyer, I wouldn't have bought my own book. Oh well. :)

groovyoldlady said...

I hate covers. Period.

Well, that's not exactly accurate. I like covers, but I prefer blank ones. Whenever I get a hardcover with a jacket I immediately toss the jacket. Pictures on covers distract and almost always disappoint me. I prefer to read the work and IMAGINE what all the people look like. Funny, but they next to never look like those stinkin' covers!

I'm weird about illustrations too. If they deviate in the slightest from the author's description of the scene, I WILL grab the nearest hapless passer by and force them to note each difference.

Do it right, or don't do it at all!

So there.

Hmph!

Karen H in NC said...

I like PB MM books for the size and the price. I like covers that are reflective of the story and the H/H. I especially love the clinches in the setback covers. For example, Sabrina Jeffries' School for Heiresses series has some terrific covers; soft, slightly sexy on the outside with hot stuff on the inside.

A cover will influence my buying to some extent, but I have learned never to buy a book that is not on my BTB list. If it isn't, I make a note of the title & check it out later. If it looks good in the store, I might already have it on my shelf (I have over 1000 books on my TBR pile). I have been known to buy books at UBS because the cover looked good as did the blurb only to find out I had a copy of the very same at home. No wonder it looked good to me!! DUH!!

Books are on my BTB list based on author, reviews & reader recs and if the book is in a series.

Tori Lennox said...

Now, see, I think those latter two Lyndsay Sands covers are cute. Her newer covers are nice, too, though. I loved Linda Wisdom's 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover but I loathe the cover. If I hadn't had so many recommendations for it, I might have passed it by.

You Are Coke

A true original and classic, you represent the best of everything you can offer.
Just the right amount of sweet, just the right amount of energy... you're the life of the party.

Your best soda match: Mountain Dew

Stay away from:Dr Pepper


Well, of course. *g*

Table Talk said...

It's hard to credit that they're from the same writer. I wonder who the publishers thought the implied reader was/ presumably someone very different.

Megan said...

I am root beer (which I hate!)
Ultra sweet and innocent, you have a subtle complexity behind your sugary front.
Children love you, but so do high end snobs... when you're brewed right.

I don't mind being loved by snobs! And my kids don't seem to have a problem with me, though occasionally my daughter has been saying "I don't want to live with you anymore!"

I am happy to hear that someone is just as obsessed with covers as I am. I was starting to feel very shallow.

I don't like to know much about a book when I buy/read it. So I rarely read the blurbs, if I read anything I want to know if any authors I like commented on the book. (Found Cold Sassy Tree because Pat Conroy blurbed it.)

Melissa said...

You Are Root Beer

Ultra sweet and innocent, you have a subtle complexity behind your sugary front.
Children love you, but so do high end snobs... when you're brewed right.

Your best soda compatibility match: Dr. Pepper

Stay away from: Diet Coke

I absolutely love Root Bear!!!!!

Jeane said...

Wow. I see what you mean. Those two covers from the backlist books are really tacky and hideous (in my opinion). I wouldn't buy them, either!

gautami tripathy said...

I don't read romances much. If I do, I pick up historical ones!

Booking through cover

Brandy said...

Just to let you know, Lynsay Sands has the new cover for her next Vampire book up on her blog. *g* I'll just say it's niiiiiiiice. *g*
I prefer MMPB because they are easier to hold and more friendly to my book buying budget.
Covers sometimes influence me, but not often and I have all the older Sands books with the cartoonish covers. I will say I don't buy many books with covers that are almost explicit. It's kinda hard to read those with 2 kids around!

I was Mountain Dew and hate the stuff, enough said. *g*

Have a great day working on your HQA!

Dru said...

There are less than 10 authors that I will buy their hardcover books. All others I'll get from the library or buy MM paperbacks, especially since I have limited space.

When I reserve books from the library, I actually prefer hardcovers because I find them easier to read on the subway.

You Are 7 Up

Understated and subtle, people warm up to you slowly.
But once they're hooked, they can't imagine going back to anyone else!

Your best soda match: Diet Coke

Stay away from: Mountain Dew


I don't drink soda

Allie Boniface said...

Interesting...covers make almost no impact on whether or not I'll buy the book. It's all about the blurb/author/what I've heard about the story.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Covers are a huge advertising tool, but I notice there are also a lot of trends and it makes sense that her back issues had the more cartoony style.

char10 said...

I'm a coke. The cover is what draws my attention first, but the blurb is what usually makes me buy the book.I like paperbacks the best ,but I read alot of ebooks too.
char

Caffey said...

They were wrong about the pop today. Told me I was a Dr. Pepper. I'm always a diet pop person. Usually love my diet coke or pepsi.

I think when you sell a book, you sell the whole 'package'. I want something that appeals to me and makes me say 'pick me up' and 'want to know more' You can get a feel for the genre of the book by the cover as well as the sensuality. I then find something that interests me then I will want to read the blurb to see if its a theme and subject I want to read. Most of the time thats plenty for me to decide. So its not that we judge the book by the cover, but its part of the package that sells the story. I knew Lyndsay Sands books so hers I would pick up but I'm one who doesn't care for cartoon covers. I love to read comedy romance, but sometimes you can't see that its a romance that way. I see less of the cartoon covers now.