Still, it's advice that I'm sure you've heard a lot. I know I have. And many times, people DO mean in the bookish sense. But you know what? They're wrong.
I know, because I followed this advice for a while. The result? I downloaded 200 free kindle e-books onto my kindle because, even though 80% of their covers were practically poo on digital paper, (harsh, sorry) 'there could be a good story in there, and I wouldn't want to miss it!'
A lot of times, in my opinion, it's GOOD to judge a book by its cover. Here are some reasons why I judge books by their covers.
1. Didn't pay for good cover, didn't pay for good editor
With self publishing, editing has become more of a non-essential. There are a couple self-published authors that I know of who, in the process of trying to save money, skipped on both the cover and the editor. A lot of times, if they skip on one, they skip on the other. So, sometimes, a non-professional looking outside can mean typos and run on sentences and a poorly stitched-together story on the inside. Now, this isn't ALWAYS the case...but I found it to be true A LOT.
2. You can tell when the book was published.
It's not that I don't like reading older books, but sometimes it's hard to identify with the book's plot or themes because it's from a really different era. Note that when I say 'old', I'm not talking about timeless classics here; I'm talking about those beat up books that you find at the thrift shop that no one under the age of forty has EVER heard of. Books with covers that scream:
3. You can tell the age demographic.
I read mostly YA and older middle grade. So if I see a book that has, I don't know, a cartoon fairy dressed in a disco costume, I know that most likely it's too young for me. Though hey, fairy dressed in disco costume...that may be something I could get for someone younger because seriously that sounds AWESOME.
4. Good covers motivate me to read more.
Maybe it's just me, but I reaaalllllly want to read books that have covers I find eye-catching. Even if it doesn't sound like something I would usually love, 90% of the time I'll try it just for the cover. So, good covers can be major motivators for me.
|This is how I act when I see a book with an awesome cover. I'll be honest, I really just wanted to incorporate Dory into this post somehow.|
5. They let you know about the content of the book.
Two teens kissing? That'll be romance. A huge freaking dragon? Some high fantasy of some sort. True, there are some covers where it's like, "why the heck is that what they chose for this book??" but a lot of the time it's not too hard to guess the genre of the book based on what the cover looks like.
This is mostly how I judge covers! I know it's 'frowned upon', but honestly, I don't care. I'm gonna judge anyways.
Are there certain things that you look for in a cover? Or certain cover characteristics that will cause you to not pick up a book? Let me know below!