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Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Do you judge an Author by their book cover?
I have to say, I ALWAYS judge a book by its cover. It's the first thing you see. In most cases with a new book, it's the first thing that attracts me, that gets me to pick it up and read the blurb, unless I've already decided on the title because of reviews or recommendation. The cover has to at least grab your attention for those few seconds your eyes skim over the thumbnail on Amazon or the shelf of your local bookshop.
But something occurred to me this weekend after several differing reactions to my cover. Not only might my book be judged by my cover, but would I be as well? The thought came as a bit of a shock.
Now, I love my cover. I think it perfectly captures the mood of my male MC and the story itself. Some people have found it a little...well...racy perhaps? More naked than they were expecting? Generally that's been well-received (predominantly by my female friends, which comes as no surprise!). It is not, I will admit, probably a cover to attract male fans.
Now that's a bit of a conflict for me. I have never written with a target audience in mind - I follow that adage of writing the book I wanted to read - so I guess that would make my main audience, intended or not, scifi lovin' women like me. At the moment I have a straight scifi story out on sub, whereas Keir is a scifi rom, so the cover's going to reflect that. But does it mean people will view ME in a certain way? Will they take one look at my cover, and decide the kind of person I am?
Does it matter? And should it? I'm a pretty modest kind of person, but I think Keir is a damn good story and I'm proud of it. I know there are going to be people who won't like it. I get that. Honestly I do. I know I can't please everyone, and I'm not going to twist myself in knots trying doing so. For those who don't like romance, I'll have straight scifi coming out - I already have a free scifi short out that isn't the least romantic, and another I hope to release next year.
But the thing is, I don't get to chose the cover. A lot of people, especially the non-writing ones, probably don't realize that's how it works with a publishing contract. I had a form to fill out of the kind of thing I had in mind, but I get no say. I can ask for changes to be made, but in essence the cover is decided by the publisher.
So do you find that people judge you by your covers? Has it ever come up? Perhaps I'm just being too paranoid about the whole thing!