Do you judge a book by its cover?

Covers.  As an author, that was probably the first thing I thought about when I signed the contract with my publisher.  What is my cover going to look like?  Do I have a say?

Covers are SO important, and let me explain why.  I judge books by their covers.  I admit it.  And so do most people.  Now, obviously if I’ve heard the book is great or I happen to read about it and it sounds good, I’ll read it even if the cover is horrible, but a bad cover is not going to help sales.

Many times, people buy things based on emotional ties.  For instance, if I’m deciding between buying two vacuum cleaners, they’re the same price, only one comes in a bunch of cool colors, I’m going to go for the colored one.  Because it’s pretty.

The same goes for books.  When I’m browsing through a bookstore I grab the books whose covers catch my eye.  It doesn’t matter if it has the best blurb in the world, if the cover doesn’t grab me, I most likely won’t pick it up and I’ll never know about that amazing back cover blurb.

As I was browsing through blogs the other day, I found this great article showing statistics on how much a cover design matters when people are buying a book.  A whopping 79% of people who took the poll said that the attractiveness of a book cover comes into play when deciding to buy a novel, according to this lovely post here ( by

I know for me, this is definitely true.  For example, there was this one bestselling book (which shall remain nameless) that just kept popping up everywhere – bookstores, the library, suggestions, Goodreads suggestions, even the grocery store.  And although the book sounded great, I absolutely hated the cover.  It was bland, boring, and kind of weird.  So I wasn’t going to spend any money on it, even when the paperback version came out.  But when that book finally ended up at my library, I glanced at it and decided I might as well give it a go.

That book is now one of my favorite books ever.  EVER.  It’s amazing, and its cover didn’t do it justice.  It took me forever to finally pick it up, and when I did, it was basically because there wasn’t really anything else.  That shows you how much power a book cover can have.

The cover is basically the representation of your book.  You want it to be exciting, to match the story, to basically sum up your story in one picture, and you want it to grab the reader.  If it doesn’t stand out from the rest, or match your target audience, it’s most likely not going to do very well. Covers are for grabbing people.  That’s all they do.  Your story may be great, but your readers need to be grabbed first.  They need to want to read your book and the cover is what should do that for you.


Do you judge books by their covers?  Let me know in the comments! 🙂


Have a great day!


~ Pauline

4 thoughts on “Do you judge a book by its cover?

  1. MeaganBurgess says:

    I agree! I know I judge books by their covers. I skim the bookshelves until a cover or title grabs my attention. Those two things make me pick up a book and read the blurb. I know I will think long and hard about covers when I have my books written.

    • paulinecharris says:

      Yeah, titles are important too, I should have talked about that as well. 🙂 And yes, I was SO worried about my covers when my books came out – I really wanted to make sure they were good (it’s also really fun too!).

  2. Nom says:

    The cover of a book attracts me to look at it, which is easy in a book store. After a quick scan it’s pretty easy to tell if the book lives up to it’s cover… sadly about 80% don’t in my opinion. It’s all about getting the prospective reader’s attention then keeping it.

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