“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is an archaic quote.
That’s exactly what we do. Initially, we judge a book by its cover!
Scientifically, it takes humans 7 seconds to make an impression and 27 seconds to form an opinion. My book cover has 7 seconds to make a good impression and draw you in. I have 7 seconds to intrigue you, just by the cover, to click on my book. Then I have 20 seconds of my book bio to pique your interest enough to invest in my novel.
No pressure, right?
Judging a book by its cover isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I do it all the time; each book genre will follow a theme when it comes to their covers and this is done as a signal to their potential audience. For example, true romance novels generally use dramatic photos of people, couples, hunky muscular guys, or hearts and flowers on the cover.
On my self-publishing journey through my first novel ‘One Side of the Wall’, I knew from my research and my own reading habits that a proper book cover is where to spend my money. Book covers not only indicate your genre and catch your readers interest, but they also subconsciously dictate the quality of your work. A professional cover shows professionalism, whereas a blurry pixilated cover can indicate poor quality work. The pride one has in their book should be obvious from the cover.
If you’re not willing to invest in yourself, why should other people invest in you?
Significance of my Covers
I found my first book cover on a website called www.SelfPubBookCovers.com. My cover fits within the sci-fi/fantasy genre even though it has an underlying romantic interest.
When purchasing a cover on this site I received two front covers, one for a print version and one for e-book. Once I finished formatting for my print version, I requested/paid for a matching wrap-around spine and back cover from the artist. This is a stylistic choice of mine. I feel my print book looks more professional with a themed front and back cover rather than a fancy front and plain back.
Without giving away spoilers, I chose this cover because of my protagonist, Aurora Lovejoy. The upside down/topsy turvy perspective represents her confusion regarding her identity. Her whole life was turned upside down (hence the city view) when she was forced to move across the wall to Oxbow and she struggles to find freedom and embrace her true emotions throughout the novel (pieces of the chain link fence flying away like birds). She is torn between two worlds as an Outsider and Oxbow citizen and is often ridiculed by this fact even though she has no control over it.
The cover for the second book is also from www.SelfPubBookCovers.com.
Now I definitely can’t give away spoilers!
To summarize, Aurora and Will must navigate political, societal, and supernatural dangers in book two, which is why I loved the maze view at the top. She is being forced to conform to her Oxbow identity more through each challenge her and Will face, which is why the view of the city is upright this time. You'll also notice the foggy landscape makes the city rather grim...
My favourite part is the subtle grid outline underneath the edge of the maze (you may have to zoom in) because it makes the whole situation feel like they are tiny pieces in a bigger game/picture that’s unfolding.
I love stirring the fictional pot and spicing it up for Aurora and Will. I didn't create them to keep them happy!
Check out my page "The Partner Assignment Trilogy" to read the new bio for book 2!
Do you enjoy looking at book covers as much as I do? Are there certain covers that draw you in, or turn you away in the first glance? If so, you’re as human as the rest of us!