Be honest - how much does a book's cover (and/or title) influence your interest?

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#21
I really want to get into Heroes Die. Have tried twice and as I read the cover stays emblazoned in my mind. It's killing me.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#22
Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. I remember looking at Gardens of the Moon and thinking 'based on the cover and blurb, this looks like it'll be terrible' and then it turns out to be part of the best thing in the history of things. There are reverse examples as well (certain books that will remain nameless, because I've named it dozens of times already) but generally I try to go purely on a combination of blurb, example chapters / pages and recommendations from people who read the same sort of thing I tend to when I'm choosing new stuff.

If a cover is going to catch me, however, leather-clad assassin types are what will draw me in quickest (see: Night Angel).
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#23
If a cover is going to catch me, however, leather-clad assassin types are what will draw me in quickest (see: Night Angel).
Quite opposite to me.
Hooded assassins on covers are a nauseating cliche that so many books have. No, just no.
Same as when books have a tagline where they are compared to Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. Fuck off with that shit. Even if I considered buying your book, seeing that completely changes my mind, because guess what, they never are anything like GoT or Harry Potter! Your publisher or you are just playing your audience and presuming they are cretins who haven't seen this shit happening over and over. Ugh.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#24
Quite opposite to me.
Hooded assassins on covers are a nauseating cliche that so many books have. No, just no.
Same as when books have a tagline where they are compared to Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. Fuck off with that shit. Even if I considered buying your book, seeing that completely changes my mind, because guess what, they never are anything like GoT or Harry Potter! Your publisher or you are just playing your audience and presuming they are cretins who haven't seen this shit happening over and over. Ugh.
It's hugely cliché, true, but the main reason it gets me is that it gives me an instant indication that this book will involve either stealth or assassination as prime factors, and both of those are usually a good sign I'll look into it further.

On my part, I have a Glyph that I'd want to be the cover of mine, purely because my main character is a (usually) hooded assassin and I want to avoid that same cliché myself.

I don't really pay attention to comparisons, but one to HP is a turn-off for me. I've no interest in kiddy books.
 

sn0mm1s

Knows how to pronounce Kvothe
#25
I don't put any thought into covers. Most of my favorite series have poor covers. I will pick up a book based on a title though.
 

iruka

A farm boy with a sword
#26
Titles don't matter to me at all. I often cannot remember the actual titles of the books I've read. Covers do influence my interest somewhat but I still read readers reviews of books that catch my interest before I buy them.
 

Sparrow

Journeyed there and back again
#27
I don't really pay attention to comparisons, but one to HP is a turn-off for me. I've no interest in kiddy books.
HA!, yeah right... you're reading books about cloaked assassins, got news for you buddy, those are kiddy books!

I just love it when someone looks down their nose at Harry Potter, and meanwhile, considers a story with a "leather-clad assassin" as high literature meant for adults.:rolleyes:
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#28
HA!, yeah right... you're reading books about cloaked assassins, got news for you buddy, those are kiddy books!

I just love it when someone looks down their nose at Harry Potter, and meanwhile, considers a story with a "leather-clad assassin" as high literature meant for adults.:rolleyes:
Right, because a book aimed at twelve year olds is totally comparable in target audience to something aimed at an 18+ audience. Mhmm. Of course.

I don't even need to pick that comment apart, it was so utterly stupid.
 

Sparrow

Journeyed there and back again
#29
Right, because a book aimed at twelve year olds is totally comparable in target audience to something aimed at an 18+ audience. Mhmm. Of course.

I don't even need to pick that comment apart, it was so utterly stupid.

You're a grown adult reading books about cloaked assassins, don't lecture me about juvenile fiction.

When was the last time you read a book that can be truly considered adult fiction. *hint* A Song of Ice and Fire doesn't qualify as adult fiction.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#30
You're a grown adult reading books about cloaked assassins, don't lecture me about juvenile fiction.

When was the last time you read a book that can be truly considered adult fiction. *hint* A Song of Ice and Fire doesn't qualify as adult fiction.
Am I reading books about 'cloaked' assassins? Interesting. As before, I don't need to pick your 'point' apart, but I'm bored and could use the entertainment of doing so.

Do assassins need to be cloaked, or do they just need to kill people? The definition of an assassin (one who assassinates, as it seems I'll need to explain that as well) suggests the latter. Stealth and shadows are useful, true, but you seem to have a very D&D definition of what an assassin has to be. And yes, whilst a stealth rogue is generally my preferred RPG class (the connection owing to my eyesight condition), I could care less what they're wearing, so long as there's blood and mayhem. Covers just tend to stick them in leather because of the D&D rogue connection again (which is understandable, but flawed, because leather isn't exactly a quiet material compared to cloth or silk).

And to answer the second point (which was laughably ill-presented), I'm presently reading Fall of Light. My signature sort of alludes to that. If you'd consider an author like Erikson as 'kiddy fiction', you're pretty much a lost cause already. Then again, people who get like this when someone derides a kiddy book for being a kiddy book...
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#31
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#32
Why not join in with the joust (admittedly it's not much of one and became boring quickly)? Unless Holland's proximity to France precludes it... ;)
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#33
Why not join in with the joust (admittedly it's not much of one and became boring quickly)? Unless Holland's proximity to France precludes it... ;)
I choose to ignore that. Just like that lousy Brit Chamberlain did with Hitler prior to WW2.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#34

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#35
You know it's kind of funny that (at least where I'm from) there's a common saying "don't judge a book by its cover"

You must be from Holland? :p

With my kindle covers hardly matter. Things I miss about paper books are the new smells, the clear(er) maps, and the beautiful covers which I stared at time and again. Everything being equal I buy the book with the coolest cover. If it wasn't to my taste (after reading the BACK cover and a couple pages) I avoided it. Tacky artwork always sends up red flags. Titles also attract me.​
 

Travis

Has Danced with Dragons
#36
You must be from Holland? :p

With my kindle covers hardly matter. Things I miss about paper books are the new smells, the clear(er) maps, and the beautiful covers which I stared at time and again. Everything being equal I buy the book with the coolest cover. If it wasn't to my taste (after reading the BACK cover and a couple pages) I avoided it. Tacky artwork always sends up red flags. Titles also attract me.​
That's probably a common saying, nah I'm just from the US :p Agreed on physical books though. I usually still buy paperbacks. I just love handling them - the physicality of the reading experience as a whole.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#37
Agreed on physical books though. I usually still buy paperbacks. I just love handling them - the physicality of the reading experience as a whole.
No. No. No. Please don't misunderstand me. It took a lot to get myself to give up paper for plastic. I'm old fashioned. I had so many great memories with paper reading by a fires, etc. It was one of the best decision for me ever and it not only doesn't detract but enhances my reading experiences greatly.Those 3 were the ONLY negatives for me. The positives far far far outweigh them for ne.

1. Very lightweight and easier to hold
2. Don't get smooshed and bent or fall apart. Sturdy!
3. Can read in the dark and so readable always (suggest Paper whites and up)
4. receive books in seconds (if near wifi)
5.Can adjust type size and lettering style in a couple seconds.
5. Books almost always cost less and sometines significantly. Device pays for itself in months. Many times over for me in 2.5 years. Classics are almost always free or $1 at most. Some books for $1.99 on sale
6. Can adjust type size and lettering style
Easier to transport
7. Dictionary right there at fingertips
8. Close book and saves page automatically or one tap to bookmark
9. Can store 1,000 books in one tiny device. Always with you if you want. Can't carry your library in
10. most books available on kindle and even (most?) out of print can be easily found.
11. Never yellows with age.
12-(20-30+) other things you can use it to do (I never do. In synch woth other devices.

One other thing is I still prefer paper for reference books (but that may just be me). Also maybe 1 book in (20? cost $1 more or the same just because Amazon can be greedy bastards!

**And back to the thread topic book covers. You can change them in seconds (although some are tough to get off) I like mine so I don't care.
 

Travis

Has Danced with Dragons
#38
No. No. No. Please don't misunderstand me. It took a lot to get myself to give up paper for plastic. I'm old fashioned. I had so many great memories with paper reading by a fires, etc. It was one of the best decision for me ever and it not only doesn't detract but enhances my reading experiences greatly.Those 3 were the ONLY negatives for me. The positives far far far outweigh them for ne.

1. Very lightweight and easier to hold
2. Don't get smooshed and bent or fall apart. Sturdy!
3. Can read in the dark and so readable always (suggest Paper whites and up)
4. receive books in seconds (if near wifi)
5.Can adjust type size and lettering style in a couple seconds.
5. Books almost always cost less and sometines significantly. Device pays for itself in months. Many times over for me in 2.5 years. Classics are almost always free or $1 at most. Some books for $1.99 on sale
6. Can adjust type size and lettering style
Easier to transport
7. Dictionary right there at fingertips
8. Close book and saves page automatically or one tap to bookmark
9. Can store 1,000 books in one tiny device. Always with you if you want. Can't carry your library in
10. most books available on kindle and even (most?) out of print can be easily found.
11. Never yellows with age.
12-(20-30+) other things you can use it to do (I never do. In synch woth other devices.

One other thing is I still prefer paper for reference books (but that may just be me). Also maybe 1 book in (20? cost $1 more or the same just because Amazon can be greedy bastards!

**And back to the thread topic book covers. You can change them in seconds (although some are tough to get off) I like mine so I don't care.
Ah. I see. Well I feel that there are far too many screens in our lives already - seriously not good for the health. This is one transition I refuse to make. I do understand some of the perks though
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#40
So as to covers, I come at this from the author's perspective, which is a whole different can of worms (so much so one of my author friends just threw up his hands and let his publisher design his book cover). Mainly because you've got to get all your salient points across with that image that is worth 1,000 words. So, for instance, one (totally not me) needs to get across it's 1) a fantasy book, 2) it's historical fantasy, 3) strong female lead, 4) it's dark, 5) it's based on the American Civil War, 6) it's the greatest thing that's ever been written, 7) it needs to stick out 8) cheap would be nice since I'm paying out of pocket.

Obviously you can't get all of those components all at once, so you have to start picking and choosing while also working with someone who does this for a living but hasn't actually read your book. The designer has it in his/her head what fantasy book covers look like, which is why #7 is so difficult and why I think so many (especially self-published) fantasy covers looks so similar. This is pretty much the checklist IMO:

Usually a single person standing front and center
Vaguely elvish
Probably hooded (Edit: or with cloak/ cape)
Either a weapon or magical effect in hand
Perhaps riding a horse
Mayhaps a castle in the background

Now I understand why the designers keep going back to this well since it gets across the fantasy setting/ conceit in a single concise image. The potential buyer instantly knows what s/he's getting when the book is bought, but it also makes all the covers pretty same-y. So to avoid this you (again, totally not me) end up making compromises and decide you can forgo the central female character front and center and try and get the fantasy setting across with just the font. And then you end up doubting your decision every day. Because, like all tropes in writing, they wouldn't exist for covers it they weren't what the audience didn't want in the first place.
 
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