Friday, May 1, 2009

Special Guest Nita Wick

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Yeah, yeah. I know. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But let’s face it. We all do it. Especially romance readers. I know one girl who simply will not read a book, no matter who the author is, if it has Fabio on the cover. Another friend dislikes the covers with “man boobs.” Me? I don’t mind a shirtless hunk, but I must admit that my favorite covers tend to depict a man with an unbuttoned shirt. And my favorite cover model? John DeSalvo, of course.

Check out this one with John:

No, I haven’t read Escapade. Until I found this cover on John’s web site, I’d never even heard of Kathryn Hockett. But I think I might check it out. I love historical westerns—note the covered wagon in the background. A dark haired, sexy, cowboy hero is quite appealing.

See? I’m already judging this book by its cover. Escapade may be a wonderful book, but it could also be a real wall-banger. My point is that I’m interested in this book simply because of its cover. It’s not the author or the title. It’s the cover that calls to me.

On the other hand, I very much dislike covers with cartoonish, middle school type artwork. Like this:

Or this:

Yuck. Steamy Nights and GreatSword’s Woman may be the best romances ever written, but I will likely never know. I’m just not interested in finding out what’s behind those tacky covers.

It makes me wonder what people think when they see the covers of my books.

My historical western, The Wagonmaster, has a dark haired, sexy, cowboy hero. Will someone overlook my book simply because John DeSalvo isn’t on the cover? What do you think?

Wait… I’ve got lots more questions. ;-) Are you guilty of judging books by their covers? If a cover doesn’t appeal to you, do you skip by it on the shelf? Would you pick up a book by an author unknown to you if the cover catches your attention? Do you have a favorite cover? A favorite cover model? Are you Fabio fan? Not a Fabio fan? What are your pet peeves regarding covers?

I can’t wait to hear your answers. Thanks so much to the ladies of Inspiration, Ink for the invitation to visit!



Eliza Knight said...


I love to love my covers, and often while reading I'll go back and look at the cover, so it is very important to me. I also do not like cartoonish covers. I like my fantasy's to at least seem real.

Your covers are fabulous Nita! I've always liked them, and your stories are amazing :)

Nicole North said...

I judge books by their covers all the time. I know I shouldn't but I'm a visual person. I like most of Fabio's covers (in fact discovered an author who is now my favorite simply because of one of his covers.) I like John's covers too. Almost any sexy, muscular guy on the cover will catch my attention. If it's an author I've read before and loved, then the cover isn't so important. Your covers are awesome, by the way, Nita!

Nita Wick said...

Thanks, Eliza! I love your cover for Her Captain Returns. It's beautiful and so romantic. Your upcoming Her Captain Surrenders equally gorgeous. And your "In a Box" covers are nice, too.

For anyone who hasn't seen Eliza's covers, you should check them out at her site:

Nita Wick said...

Thanks, Nicole!

Your Kilted Lover cover is very sexy. Yum.

Again, for those who haven't seen Nicole's covers:

Mary Ricksen said...

Your covers are wonderful Nita, you have nothing to worry about!

Nita Wick said...

Thank you, Mary! I love my covers. But we all have different tastes. I always wonder what other readers think about them.

Teresa Reasor said...

So sorry I'm so late in commenting.
I don't like cluttered covers. Covers that have som much stuff on them you can't find the title or the author's name. Also, I think covers with at least a little bit of red on them probably catch the eye more than those that don't have it.
But I love my covers even without the red color. Because they capture the essence of the books. And I believe that is the most important factor.
I really believe the author should have the last say in the book cover because it's their words, their name that it's going to represent and it's such an important marketing tool.
Without a good cover there's no chance at good sells. I truly believe that.
By the way I love all of your covers.You got the red-orange on your Western Historical, you'll have to come back and let us know if that makes any difference in your sells. In The Gloaming has that beautiful periwinkle blue though and that's very eye catching as well. And the fairy covered in Fairy Dust is unusual. I'd be hard pressed to say which I find more attractive.
I'm sure they'll all be successful.
Thanks so much for joining us today.
Write on,
Teresa Reasor

Kytaira said...

My pet peeve is when the cover and the book don't match. The hero has dark hair on the cover but is described as a blonde.

Nita Wick said...

Red does tend to catch the eye, Teresa. But there's not a bit of red on your Captive Hearts cover and I think it's gorgeous. :) I remember voting for that cover when it was up for the Covey. I absolutely love it.

Thanks so much for having me!

Nita Wick said...

Kytaira-- All I can say to your comment is "Amen!" Like Eliza, I often flip back to the cover while reading. If the cover models don't resemble the character's descriptions it really bothers me.

Thanks for commenting!

Vicki said...

I read a lot and, when I choose a book, I will first look for authors I know and have enjoyed in the past. Then I will look for a combination of title and cover. The title doesn't have to be really catching, just interesting, though clever will sometimes get me. The cover should not be cartoonish, as you said. Modern artish is OK or a picture that suggests an interesting story. Mostly clothed interests me more that pure naked chest, for some reason. And the pose should not require a contortionist.

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