You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover . . . But You Can Vote on One! Your Opinion Counts

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We’ve all heard that tired old phrase: “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” but is it relevant today? In the era of e-publishing, when books can be purchased with one click, do readers really take the time to decipher whether or not to read a book based on multiple factors? Probably not. The three things a reader considers when choosing to buy a book is cover art, blurb, and first page (in that order). Cover art is important. It’s the first thing the reader sees. That is why I hired a professional cover design artist to create the book cover for my first novel, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other, an Arthurian parody.

I recently received some revisions to the original mock up. They are all really awesome, and I am having a difficult time deciding which I like best. Another option would be to take elements from several and combine them into one. That is where I need your help. Please check out the designs below and leave a comment telling me what you like about them and which elements I should use. For example, you might like the box being centered, the darker blue stripes, and the knight piece being larger. Or you might like the box being off to the side, the lighter blue stripes, but the font on the third picture. If there is something you do not like, please keep it constructive as I highly respect the artist I hired. She is amazing to work with, and I don’t want to offend her in any way.

Book Cover 1 Book Cover 2 Book Cover 3 Book Cover 4 Book Cover 5 Book Cover 6

Thank you again for your support! As always, I appreciate your feedback. You guys rock!

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18 thoughts on “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover . . . But You Can Vote on One! Your Opinion Counts

  1. I like the burgundy background color of the bottom right one. That color seems to tie in better with the other colors. I like the grail in the background, rather than in the box or not at all. I like the font and size of your name in the bottom left/middle. I like the shadowed letters on both “Quest” and “other.” I think it makes them stand out more. For the title, I like the way it appears on the bottom right (with the burgundy coloring, the script on the small words, and the line around “for the”), except I think it would look better with the shadowed “other.” My only other comment is that I didn’t get right away that the horse head was a knight chess piece. It could be just me, but it might be good to show a little more of the base to make it more obvious. Hope this is helpful.

  2. Jon

    Overall I like the bottom right one best, it definitely stands out more, and I like the font for your name, but I prefer the fonts used for the titles on the top left and top middle, it looks classier to me. And I second the motion for having the chess piece made a little more obvious.

  3. I like the top right one best. The colors are complementary and very pleasing to the eye. I think having the background color for your name match the coloring of the stripes works well; having it the same as the accent color makes it a tad too busy. The font on both of is awesome as well, and I LOVE the grail in the background. I never would have thought of doing that, but it looks amazing like that. It draws your attention to the box and the title very nicely. And I agree about the above comments about the knight piece.

  4. armenpogharian

    There are three things you need in a good cover – the title must be large and legible, most people look for it at the top of the book. The image, typically in the middle needs to catch your eye and should suggest the genre/type of book. Finally your name needs to be clearly visible. Your artist did a very good job in placing these elements, so to me it comes down to personal preference. For me I like the first two the best, with a slight preference for the first over the second. I find the darker backgrounds a bit distracting and think they might overwhelm the other elements, especially in a thumbnail. Of the other four, I would avoid the first two on the bottom row – or at least change the author name to be more visible, especially on the first one. The other thing to remember is that your cover is part of your brand. If you’re going to write a series or even just related books (maybe parodies of other myths/legends) then you’ll want to consider re-using some elements of the style, colors, or fonts. Sorry if that’s a bit pedantic, but I’m redesigning one of my covers now because I didn’t pay attention to the basics. I’ll probably blog about my mistakes when I’m done. It’s a lot like curb appeal – good color, nice landscaping and the style should match the interior.

    • Thank you for your feedback. I was thinking if using the blue of the second but keeping the grail in the box (maybe repositioned). Do you prefer the box in the center of the cover (pic 2) or off to the side? (pic 2). I was also considering changing the font of “quest” and “other” to match “holy something.” What do you think?

      • armenpogharian

        I prefer it a little off center. A centered picture has a little too much symmetry for me and doesn’t stand out as much as an asymmetrical placement. People look for patterns, if you want to catch someone’s attention go slightly irregular. I like the grail, which is why I think I prefer the first over the second, so I’d be a fan of including it. I’m not sure about the fonts. I understand why you’d want to make them the same – it would look more connected and less jumbled – but I’m not sure which font would look better. I suspect the “holy something” font might be tough to read if it was the size of “quest” and it might dominate the box if used for “other.” That might look cluttered with the grail added to the box – none of the covers have a grail in the box and a thick font for other. I’m sure your artist could make that type of change in a snap for you to compare them side-by-side. You’ll also want to look at them as thumbnails since that’s how many readers will see them at first. Good luck!

  5. They’re all lovely! You’re right, your designer is very talented! 🙂

    My personal favorite would be the third one from the top, but with a darker background for your name (like the first two, top row), to have your name stand out a bit more. I love the “holy something” font on that one, but would drop a shadow under “Other”, like you have on the first one of the bottom row, to make the word stand out more.

    Whichever you choose, I think it’s a winning book cover! I, for one, am buying a copy…

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