A book by its cover

by | Uncategorized | 3 comments

My friend, Dineen Miller, interviewed DiAnn Mills on her blog about DiAnn’s new release, When the Nile Runs Red. When I saw the cover for DiAnn’s new book, I LOVED it. It told me so much about the characters and what I could expect in the story. In fact, that cover inspired today’s blog post.

Okay, confession time–book covers are a deciding factor when I buy a book. I’m not so shallow to say the book’s cover is the only deciding factor. First, I’m drawn to the author. Is this a writer whom I can trust, whose books I’ve read in the past? Then, I go to the back cover and read the blurb it. If it catches my interest, I flip through the book to see if I like snatches of dialogue and the style of writing. Finally, I’ll check out the cover. I prefer covers with the characters’ pictures on them. It helps me create a mental image as I read their journeys. If there aren’t pictures of the characters, I look for something that ties the main thread of the novel.

One of my pet peeves (yes, there are several…) is reading about the characters in novels and picturing the heroine with short blond hair, only to have the cover show her with long reddish curls. I HATE THAT! Totally ruins the mental image for me.

Good thing covers aren’t the only deciding factor about the books I read and buy. There have been some terrific books I’ve read, but the covers are awful!! What was that art department thinking???


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  1. Dineen A. Miller

    Hey girl,
    Came by to say hi! 🙂
    I know what you mean on book covers. I think "hinting" at the characters on a cover (a ghosted image, just a part of the face, etc.) works best. Unless they really match the character in the book, it's totally distracting. Some have matched pretty well, but I still kept looking at the cover and thinking, "that's just not how I picture her." 🙂

  2. Deborah Raney

    Dineen, I totally agree. I love a cover that shows the hero or heroine in shadowed profile or from behind. That gives me a sense of the romance of the novel, but leaves me free to imagine the character any way I want.

    And I'm with you, Lisa…if the book describes the characters one way and the cover depicts them another it just about drives me loony-tunes! ; )

    BTW, I LOVED When the Nile Runs Red (and the prequel, When the Lion Roars)

    Good post!

  3. Lisa Jordan

    Dineen, I see your point about the ghosted image. Thanks for commenting.

    Deb, Thanks for stopping by. Life in general makes me looney-tunes, so I don't need anything else. 😉