I will be the first to admit, two things factor into my purchase consideration before I even read the blurb, especially if it’s an author I’ve never read before:
- The cover
- And the title
Yes, I am petty like that. I own it completely. And no, this is not to covertly call out anyone. I like what I like as I’m sure you do too. Now, let’s take these mock covers I created for example (Do not clown my skills. I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit):
This cover is quite ambiguous to say the least, but it’s clean and linear (Does that make sense?), but I have no idea what to expect. Is it a romance? A coming of age story? And as aesthetically pleasing as the cover is, I am more than likely to bypass this one because I see this listing right under it:
With this gorgeous couple and “call to action” title, I immediately want to know more. What is their story? Who hurt whom? And that mini blurb under the title already gives me a clue as to what this book is about.
Let’s look at another example:
This cover is cute enough, and the title is certainly worthy of an eyebrow cock (no pun intended, ok, maybe a little one, tee hee). Honestly, I’d consider this one because the cigar and drink are kinda sexy and tells me that these dudes are real alpha jerks. But let’s look at this one:
Ho-ly shit! What is this?! A story about fuckboys? The fact that the author had the balls to put “fuckboy” in the title has me going, Lemme check this out! Oh, and that sexy sexy specimen in the background…Yeah, I took the bait, but ain’t that part of your (author) trying to claim my dollars?
Trust me, I know how challenging it is for authors to find the right cover art. It’s even more challenging for those who write characters of color. I personally know because I create my own promo graphics, and I look for artwork that best represents the characters and stories I either profile or edit, and the pickings are slim, especially when you’re on a budget and can’t afford a custom photo shoot or a quality pre-made cover. I truly get it. Well, my right brain does, but my left brain ain’t trying to hear that.
And let me also stress that I do not not buy books because I don’t like the cover. I can list ten easily with less than visually appealing covers that are among my faves, so please don’t get in ya feels about this post. I’m just displaying a little snark...
So, my question to you is, how influential are book covers and/or titles to you when making a purchase decision?