She Gets It! She REALLY Gets It!

This post is dedicated to my Mom who there’s hope for yet.  🙂  Don’t worry.  I can talk about her because she never reads my blog.  Trust me on that.

Anyway, Mom and I had gone to the mall specifically for Cinnabons yesterday.  Where the delicious goodness sits, you have to pass the Barnes and Noble (my favorite one) to get there.  She wanted to stop to pick up a magazine and I wanted to look for book.   When you walk through the doors of my B&N, the sci-fi/fantasy section is one of the first sections you come to.  I stopped there to see if they had my book.  What came next left me doing a double take.

You see, my mom doesn’t read genre fiction.  Just not her thing, and I’m not out to convert her either.  It’s her prerogative.  The most she’ll read is a magazine or a newspaper.  She loves articles because they’re short, sweet and to the point.  Even with her bird books, they had better have plenty of pictures and information about the size of a People Magazine article. 

I expected Mom not to follow me into the sci-fi/fantasy section.  She did just that and ended up taking a moment to take in the fabulous covers.  Startled, she said, “Wow.  These covers are amazing!  They’re the first thing you see and the main thing to get you to buy the book.  I’d buy some of these for the artwork alone.”

SAY WHAT?!  Was that my mom talking?  The same chick who says Unstable Environment is too long to hold her short attention span, but buys my books anyway to support me? 

Nevertheless, I played it cool and decided to share my experience with how book covers come about and how all of it plays into marketing.  Even though Mom doesn’t read sci-fi/fantasy, she said I’d buy some of these for the artwork alone and that’s what marketing is hoping for.  That’s what we authors are hoping for.  That’s what the publishers are hoping for.  People like her who are in awe of book covers so amazing that it’ll convince them to part with some of their cash and take a chance on something different.  That’s why I can’t stress the importance of cover art.

Before you ask, no.  She didn’t buy a book.  She bought an astronomy magazine instead.  🙂  But it helped her understand what had drawn me into reading and eventually writing my own.  Who knows?  Maybe next time she’ll actually take that chance and part with her cash.

I’d be lying if I said book covers aren’t the first thing that catches my eye when I want something new and different to read.  They are.  Other things come into play like the blurb and the title, too.  But when it comes down to it, ask yourself.  Which book would you pick up first, if you knew nothing about the author and why?  As for me, I’m definitely reaching for A.  Book B will only get a WTF from me as I continue to pass by.

A.                                                        B.

                    ick cover


12 thoughts on “She Gets It! She REALLY Gets It!

  1. Cool blog! How were the Cinnabons? Didn’t we buy some at the Carousel last fall? (Seems like only yesterday…)

    Yes indeed, I’ll buy a book for the cover art, especially hard covers. One that pulled me in like a flapping marlin was Gail Tsukiyama’s The Street of a Thousand Blossoms. Never mind the fact that I love her stories – I could have waited for the book to come out in paperback, but the cover blew me away! Check it out:

    • 😆 Those Cinnabons are long gone. Heck, I’m thinking about going back to the mall to get some more. I think we bought some while at Carousel, too. Dang, I miss those good times.

      Looks like Gail lucked out with the covers all right. I especially like both versions of Dreaming Water. Her covers are simple, but yet, they say something that makes a person stop a moment and wonder what her book is all about. Once the book is in someone’s possession, I can see the marketing people rubbing their hands together thinking hook, line, and sinker.

  2. I am more or less a book snob, when it comes to cover art and since I am all for the shiny and beautiful I find it exponentially harder to feel an emotional connection with a novel, because the cover repulses me. I instantly get in a distrusting mood.

    • There was a time when I thought I wasn’t a cover snob. While I’m extremely attracted to book titles, too, the cover will make me pick up a book even more these days. If the cover has nothing to do with the blurb, then like you, I get in a distrusting mood and will most likely leave the book on the shelf where I found it.

    • Tee hee. 🙂 We talked about this Edie. Give that chick a huge hug for me. I absolutely LOVE the Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. And here I thought historical books were the hardest for me to get into.

      And isn’t that cover amazing? In fact, I think I like it better than the first. Girlfriend is on a roll!

  3. Like Harry said, certain covers have turned me off. I’m not saying that the story within is bad, but there’s something about burgeoning boobs over a tight corset while the heroine is being mauled by a man that screams misogyny to me. Even though it’s said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” in the case I mention it really does.

    • Man-titty overs turn me off. They had better have something extra special added to them to make me pick one up. And nothing turns me off more when it’s just man-titty with the title thrown across the top. There are so many on the shelves like that that they all look like carbon copies. Sadly, that’s how I see the stories between the covers, too.

      I’m sure I’ve missed out on some good reads because of preferences, but I know what I like when it comes to covers. Originality.

  4. So cool that your mom followed you to the sci-fi/fantasy section. She sounds totally adorable! I’m one of those people who will buy a book for the cover. It’s the best way to find new voices. Most often I read the back blurb and if I’m still iffy, I refer back to the cover for the final decision. 🙂

    • That’s pretty much how I decide whether or no to pick up a book. The cover is the first thing that catches my eye and the blurb will either entice me or not. If I’m on the fence, then I’ll crack open the middle and start reading. From there, I go back to the cover. Sure, it’s a long process, but given how tight I’m holding onto my wallet these days, I don’t have much of a choice.

      And yes, Mom is totally adorable. It’s why I love her so. You hear that single, middle-aged men out there without any hangups or freaky tendencies? 😆

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