People who say they don't judge a book by a cover are full of shit.
I just wanted to set the mood and let you know that this blog post won't be lathered in B.S. I won't be shoveling fake opinions in an attempt to woo you into liking me enough to buy my books.
Today, after two large coffees and not much sleep, I will be raw, honest, and probably piss you off. Not that I'm not usually honest, it's just in this moment, I refuse to sugar coat this message.
Book covers matter. Sometimes more than the implementation of the whole plot-line.
Isn't that fucked up?
For a writer, it's disappointing and horrific that before someone gives your words and characters a chance. . .they judge your cover, something that is so outside of your creative process. . .it's ridiculous.
However, as a reader, I won't buy a book if it isn't pleasing to the eyes, well-executed, or grab my attention in some way. So although I'm annoyed about book covers representing the story as an author. . .oh I'm a complete contradictory person when it comes to me buying a book.
But let's dig deeper. . .
Which book would you buy?
An unexpected experiment happened for me back in the fall of 2013 (so long ago). Amazon decided to finally regulate ebooks that they considered breaking their mature content rules. Basically, the site started deleting books that appeared to involve incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and all those things that pretty much disgust the normal population of people.
My novel The Babysitter was deleted because (I assume) it showed a "shadowy vagina" and because the woman looked like an underage girl with a teddy bear.
What is interesting is the next day I quickly grabbed a quick stock image that I believed represented the characters and the plot-line, then had an artist due the font. I more wanted my short story out there for my fans who were waiting on other books.
This became the cover. . .three hours later. . .The Babysitter was on the Erotica Bestseller's list as if triggered by magic.
With the other cover, the novel sold five books a day. With the new cover, it sold a thousand books in two weeks. The book continued to rise up to the top twenty on the Erotica list and remained there for several weeks.
Is this confirmed proof that book covers matter?
There are so many reasons why people decided to give my short story a try on that day and all of those reasons could have nothing to do with the cover.
However, do I place more significance on books covers these days?
Um. . .did you see the part about the book going from 5 sales to a thousand?