Monday, June 19, 2006

In the eye of the beholder

And yes, I'm talking about art - and especially cover art. I remember being really turned off by poser cover art when I first started reading e-books. The covers were (to my eyes) really awful. But that didn't stop me from buying the books (I have to admit, I never judge a book by its cover art - I read the blurb...I don't even pay attention to reviews.) I got over it - the really awful poser cover art that used to bother me doesn't seem so awful anymore. I didn't mind when my first book (A Grand Passion) came out with a poser figure holding a soccer ball. I know that covers do sell, and I understand some authors who complain bitterly about covers, but I won't be one of them. Why? Because art and cover art is subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (Lots of clich├ęs here, lol) But it's true - one person's disaster is another person's poster. I hate one of my covers (I won't tell you which one - it really doesn't matter) but one day a woman said to me, "I bought 'X' because of the cover. I just loved it." Lesson learned.

9 comments:

barista brat said...

i read agent nelson's blogs about covers and it really opened my eyes to a lot!

i'm really curious as to which cover of yours you don't like, haha.

December Quinn said...

I agree. I tend to basically ignore covers and read the blurb instead, the exceptions being historicals. I look at those covers to give me an inkling of the time period, but even then it isn't always accurate and you have to look at the first page to be sure.

It's what's inside that counts. Some of the best covers I've ever seen were on books I didn't like, and some terrible covers have sheltered pages I read again and again.

sexmuse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sexmuse said...

oops, my paras got all mixed up ... blame the cursor shift ...

here's my intended order

The cover to Memoirs of a Geisha was the deciding factor for me (the new cover, to coincide with the movie) and it stays on my keeper shelf for that reason alone -- the cover art. The book was on the meh side and the movie, while visually stimulating (*beautiful like the cover*), was only a little better in its storytelling.

I think that's the only cover that has influenced me, one way or another, but i'm not the average reader. And I tend to appreciate, or nitpick, a cover AFTER I've read the book for how well of a reflection it is (or isn't) of the book's content (or how it enhances, when you've read a story full of symbology, for example).

I love Poser, Maya, 3dsMax, Vue, Carrara, and all the other CG art programs. There's horrible, bad, good, and excellent art on covers in all mediums. But CG created art seems to be getting more than its fair share of bashing lately.

Ann

Anonymous said...

The cover art is what initially gets my attention. But, that is not what makes me decide to read the book or not. The exception is romance novels. I don't really pay attention to it because it is usually, well, cheesy (although I have seen some intriguing ones on december quinn's site. -JTC

Bonita said...

For e-books, I rarely look at the cover art; instead, it is the excerpts and chatter about the books that catches my attention. For print book, if it is an unfamilar author, the cover art does help to catch my attention, but will not cause me to buy the book.

Sam said...

I wonder how many people are influenced by covers NOT to buy the book - I haven't done that yet, but maybe I'll see a cover some day that's so repulsive I won't even read the blurb!

And I'm sorry - I won't say which cover I don't like because it's so subjective and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings! LOL - it's really a matter of opinion after all!

Tara Marie said...

Covers don't overly influence me, and a bad cover isn't likely to stop me from buying a book I'm interested in. But, I wonder how many good book are missed because of bad covers, if it's a book that I'm not familiar with, will I pick it up. I don't know. I'll have to put it to the test.

Nairobi Paul said...

As a reader (and designer) I wish it would be possible to see all versions of each book's covers. It would be interesting to see which one matches the book best.

Do you have a lot of influence over which cover is the final one?