Judging books by their covers

We all do it, don’t we?

I know I do. Especially if I don’t know the author well, or at all.

And, if the cover attracts me, I’m far more likely to click through and consider reading, or buying, or at least adding to a list. We’re all visual animals. Which may explain why 97.3% of the internet is porn and the rest is poetry.*

Anyway, this ‘books-and-cover’s’ issue began to feel less academic after I uploaded my first title to Amazon a month ago …

My defenseless darling – on whom such care, love and exhausting proofing had been lavished – wandered off, friendless and alone into the wilds of Amazon. And there, among 75 000+ other titles in its category, it has nothing but its cover and a description to differentiate it. And no trust fund (a.k.a. marketing budget) to help out if it worst comes to worst and it ends up unemployed and indigent.

My defenseless darling – on whom such care, love and exhausting proofing had been lavished – wandered off, friendless and alone into the wilds of Amazon.

All in all, a sad state of affairs, which I’ve tried to remedy by haunting social media like an unskilled, restless and repetitive spirit, rattling my chains and groaning predictable patter:

  • Have you seen this …
  • Here’s a sample from …
  • And another …
  • … and another …
  • … and another …
  • … by the way, in case you hadn’t noticed
  • And, Ooh – it’s free this weekend!
  • And … Please review it BTW … (Very few did, the author mused, with only a little bitterness.)

Even so, said cover will appear on people’s screens (god willing) in a tiny thumbnail, mere centimeters high.

So, I need your advice…

Created with GIMP

The image above has three options:

  1. the current cover
  2. a grayscale on white option (rough and hand drawn)
  3. a white-on-black option (rough and hand drawn)

Obviously, I’d clean up the rough versions before using them – they’re just concepts for now…

But, which is most appealing to you?

Which would you be likely to click through to, and read more about?

Or do you have any alternative ideas – aside from putting a bunch of cavorting nudes on the cover. (That has already been suggested, but I suspect it counts as false advertising.)

Please leave your preferences in the comments below.

This whole self-publishing thing is a very steep learning curve so any and all advice is welcome and will be taken seriously!

* Not an actual statistic.

A P.S. to existing subscribers: Again, apologies for the many emails at the weekend! And a correction to the note I sent with my first new post on Saturday: It’s quite possible that I’ll post several times a week, since this blog will feed a lot of my social media pages.

But, please don’t unsubscribe because of too many emails. It’s easy to edit your settings and receive a single mail per week. Just click on ‘Manage Subscriptions’ at the bottom of the notification email. That way your inbox won’t be clogged with missives from me! 😊

One thought on “Judging books by their covers

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