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Is it Cover or the Content that Sells the Book?

Discussion in 'Writers' Room' started by drdln, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. drdln

    drdln New Member

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    I see lot of emphases on covers. That reminds me the old saying: "Don't judge book by the cover."

    I don't mean to undermine the importance of cover. But I still believe in old saying that content is more important.

    What does the other writers and readers think?
     
  2. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    For me, I'd say that it's the content that determines whether I like/love a book or not, but as I'm a very visually oriented person it's often the cover that determines whether I pick it up in the first place (assuming I'm browsing the shelves of a book shop).

    This is of course not always the case. There is a broad spectrum of authors that I will have a look at regardless of cover, but a well-designed cover will certainly catch my eye and where my eye goes my hand often follows.
     
  3. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Content is of course the most important. However I have found I have difficulty reading a version of a book that has [to me] disconcerting cover art. I know it doesn't make much sense, but there it is.
    The vibe is just wrong.
     
  4. tjwell01

    tjwell01 New Member

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    A good cover doesn't hurt! But of course the content matters most.
     
  5. A2R.

    A2R. Member

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    I believe the cover plays an insignificant role.

    Major roles include: the summary on the back of the cover - big seller. And i also find the type of font used is a major selling point as well.

    Therefore it is all content. Rarely does a reader go into a book store to browse by covers.
     
  6. Aderyn

    Aderyn Member

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    Obviously the content is most important. However, the cover art is significant. It should give us a glimpse into the story. It is the way readers notice a book in the first instance, then anything else, like the blurb on the back becomes significant, but the cover is what makes the reader pick the book.
     
  7. sparkchaser

    sparkchaser Administrator and Stuntman Staff Member

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    When browsing I only notice the cover and the author. If I have never heard of you, then you'd better have a damn good cover to entice me to pick up your book and read the blurb on the back. A real blurb, not some edited review with lots of ellipses.
     
  8. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    I typically go by the page 99 rule, however, the cover is the first thing to attract my attention so I probably wouldn't glance through the book if the cover and/or its title is horrendous.
     
  9. jes6ica

    jes6ica New Member

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    I think the cover is important in book stores for that initial attraction. If I'm not familiar with the author, it's an intriguing title and cover that makes me pick up a book. However, it's the synopsis and blurbs on the back, and the first couple of paragraphs of the book that determine whether I buy it or not.

    In digital marketplaces, it's harder to say. A strong book cover is still likely useful for attracting the eye, but again, it's the summary of content that will be the thing that sells it.
     

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