Is your cover selling your book genre? Pretend with me for a moment. You’re a fifty-year-old woman who wants to curl up with her fifteen cats and a low-key romantic read this weekend. You want something clean: no Fifty Shades tampon scenes! You prefer historical or contemporary, definitely not paranormal, blood makes you squeamish. Based on this, which of the following covers would you check out?
You chose the second one, didn’t you? You know what you want, and you can recognize based on these covers which is going to deliver that.
Stick with me. You go to check out this book, True Love, and read a blurb like this:
Caradee never meant to make that deal — her ex-boyfriend told her it was just a letter from his boss! But now, she’s running for her life from drug lords, and when she sees her ex again, she’s going to kick his ass.
Grant has been hired to find Caradee and take her out. She proves to be more challenging than he thought — especially when he falls for her after a hot night of karaoke. But if he decides to protect Caradee, his boss will kill his whole family. These two will have to make decisions they will never be able to return from.
Is this the book you want to read this weekend? Probably not. (The real blurb of True Love by Destin Bays, by the way, is nothing like this.)
So, you leave to find a book you want to read, that low-key romance where the only stakes are whether the hero and heroine overcome the personal issues to love each other.
Meanwhile, someone searching for a fast-paced story with passionate romance and high stakes action are going to brush right over the cover with two innocent clasped hands. They’re looking for something more along the lines of these covers:
Okay, pretending over: it’s 100% real that readers judge a book by its cover. Is your cover selling your book’s genre? Do you have a book cover designer who understands the message a cover sends to a reader? If not, your target audience may never find you, and the people who do click on your cover may be the wrong readers. You do not want to miss out on those readers who could become your biggest fans. (Unless they’re such big fans, they become stalkers. Then you could probably do without.)