I was browsing Goodreads for recommendation so I can add even more books to my ever growing wishlist.
While browsing I came across the book This Case Is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova. The cover wasn't that spectacular, but the cityscape together with the dark haired girl drew my attention enough to read the blurb, and (when that sounded interesting) to look up the book on bookdepository.com to see how expensive it was. To find an almost similar cover with a different girl:
And here I will have to confess I'm shallow! If the cover with the dark haired girl with her stern look had been available I would most probably have bought it. The blonde with her bland expression... Didn't tempt me at all!
This made me think about covers and how they are a huge influence to me in buying a book or not. Of course when I know an author and have enjoyed their previous books, the cover doesn't matter much. I have bought books with hideous covers because I knew the story would be good. But how about unknown authors? Have I skipped over wonderful books just because I didn't like the cover? I think it's a safe bet to say I most certainly have.
For example: I only read the first book in the Grigory Legacy because I loved the cover of the second book in the series, and because blogger friends kept raving about it. I disliked the cover of the first book (which isn't even hideous, just struck me wrong) so initially had no intention to pick up the book. But for every book with a cover I disliked but still picked up, I'm pretty sure there are tons I never gave a chance.
So yes, self pubbing authors: If you want to catch this piggy's attention you will have to invest in a professional and good looking cover as well. Take a good look at the covers in Shauna Granger's Ash and Ruin trilogy for example. They're all priced over 10 Euro, the highest amount I usually want to pay for new to me authors, but the cover of World of Ash made me forget that rule.
Just for fun here are some more books that have several covers, and my thoughts on them.
First a recent read: And I Darken by Kiersten White (based on the life of vlad the Impaler)
The left cover is one of those generic YA covers with a flower. What's with that? YA = Flowers? Why? Anyway, if i had seen this cover I'd most probably have skipped over it. What I did see however, was the cover on the right. And it immediately grabbed my attention. I read the blurb, and the book ended up on my wishlist. The fact that the headpiece the girl is wearing is the same as Vlad the Impaler is wearing in the most famous painting of him is an added bonus :-)
Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat
When I saw the book on the left in my local bookstore I bought it without even reading the back! The picture of a stern queen Victoria holding an ax and a zombie head, together with the tagline, sold me on this book. The one on the right isn't bad, but too busy so to speak. It's easy to miss what's going on on this cover when you're browsing books. It's a fun cover, but not as strong as the one on the left. Another tip from this pig: the less 'crowded' a cover is, the more attention it can draw to it.
And lastly City of Falling Angels by Cassandra Clare
I have this whole series and have the edition with the cover on the left. But that cover on the right! I will confess I almost bought the book at bookdepository.com when I came across this cover even though I already own another edition. What a gorgeous cover. If I was a rich piggy I'd buy all the books in this series with these new and beautiful covers.
How about you? Are you as shallow as I am when it comes to covers?