Jun 5, 2013

Judging A Book By It's Cover....

By Helen Lacey

I love book covers and do tend to look at the covers when I'm deciding what books to buy/read. Of course that's quick to do when trawling a site like Harlequin, Entangled or Amazon etc, because you can flick through titles easily and select what you want with a click of a button. But what I really love is checking out the new releases in a bricks and mortar book store.

Last week I took a trip to my local book store and spent a fun half hour looking over hundreds of titles. I bought two - Half Moon Bay by Aussie author Helen Young (I always buy her books but the cover of this one is fabulous) and The Storyteller by Jodie Picoult. I've only read one other Picoult book, but this one caught my eyes based only on the cover. One of my favourite covers is from an old Doreen Owens Malek
romance called The Highwayman... it's got the 80's/90's bodice ripper cover thing all over it. Plus it's an awesome book.

I'm something of a lazy reader, so I like the cover to tell me a bit about the story...if it's a romance I like a good shot of the hero and heroine in some kind of clinch. If it's sci-fi or fantasy I want something relevant to the quest. Remember the cover of Jaws? A lone woman swimming and a massive shark head looming underneath her....frightening....and there was no doubt what that book was about.

When I look for a category romance novel, I love how the covers tell something of the story. A Presents book about a smouldering Greek hero and feisty heroine will usually have them in a passionate embrace. A home and heart story about a single dad will often have kids on the cover too. And what's a sexy as sin cowboy without his horse?

Harlequin have recently  given some of their lines a cover makeover and my next Special Edition looks like this.....

What do you think?

Do you judge a book by it's cover?

Does a fabulous cover make you love a book even more?


  1. Helen, now that is a fabulous cover! I confess I'm not a cover addict. I notice them but buy based on the back cover text and the author, though yes, a truly fabulous cover will make me pause and pick it up, so then that's a good way to discover a new author. If the cover is outstanding and then I like the sound of it I'm likely to try it.

    I'm really enjoying a lot of the changes to Harlequin covers. Some of them are just fabulous. I feel the cover gods have smiled on me for one lately, and obviously they like you too, with this one.

  2. That is one gorgeous cover, Helen. The title and image work so well together. Magic!

    Hmm, good question about covers. Like you I do love browsing through book shops. I love a pretty cover but I tend to buy my books based on the author and reviews.

    Like Annie, I'm enjoying watching the Harlequin cover revolution. Some beautiful covers!

  3. That's a lovely cover, Helen! As an author I love getting a pretty cover. :-) But I have to admit that as a reader i don't give two hoots -- it's author and back cover blurb that sell it for me. Mind you if I can have all of that with a pretty cover too... ;-)

  4. Hi Annie - I'm liking the new Harlequin covers too. I think you're right...a truly great cover can add to the appeal of a good book :)

  5. Hi Jennifer - I love hearing how other readers decide on their books. And yes, some of the new Harlequin covers are stunning.

  6. Hi Michelle - yes, a good story and a great cover...the whole package :)

  7. Hi Helen, i'm a cover fan too, i think they can really give an insight into the style of the book. For example your beach cover for Date with Destiny, i think seeing these characters not quite close together, like a meeting - and being on an empty beach - screams - destiny!

    Jane B

  8. Hi Jane - you're right...I think that's what I like, it's like a peek through a window into the story.

  9. Love your cover Helen!
    I think covers are meant to be eye-catching not necessarily accurate :-) but I dont buy on a cover alone.
    Oh actually that's not true - I actually bought Erica Hayes's UF fae books because of their totally gorgeous, utterly touchable covers. And man - I was not disappointed. Fab books!

  10. Doh! Also meant to say that the new KISS covers from Harlequin are some pretty nice eye candy too. The colours totally pop and they're even more vivid when you're actually physically holding a copy of the book.

    I wanted to lick Driving Her Crazy when the box first arrived! :-)

  11. That's a gorgeous cover, Helen! I love the colours, the coral of her dress against the expanse of sand. Must say that's one thing I miss with e readers, not seeing the cover every time I pick the book up...

  12. Hi Amy - you're right, covers can be deceiving too...and I do LOVE the new KISS covers.

  13. Hi Barbara - I agree....I love my kindle but wish it was in colour. :)

  14. Helen, I *love* that cover. It's dreamy and romantic and gorgeous. I'd totally pick it up in the shops and read the back.

    Covers are important to me. I've even been known to buy another copy of a favourite book just to get the new cover. Of course, I still keep the old copy too - if it's a favourite, you can never have too many copies. :)