Dangerous to Know: A book and its cover

Cat_243_dover_30 by Mary Jo

“He was going to be hanged on Tuesday.”  Okay, that’s apropos of nothing, but I’m not usually good at opening lines, and this was one of my better efforts.  The gentleman about to be hanged is Andrew Kane, the gamblin’ man hero of the only Western novella I ever wrote.

That novella, “Mad,  Bad, and Dangerous to Know,” has been paired with my very first Regency romance, The Diabolical Baron, in an NAL trade paperback edition called Dangerous to Know, just hitting the stores now.  The fun part is that it has a totally gorgeous cover.  I mean, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but what can I say?  The guy on the cover of DTK is hot.  Sophisticated readers choose by author, of course.  Buying a book because of a cover hunk is beneath us.  Or should be.  Dangerous_to_know_4 <g> 

I think the illustrator was the same one who did the terrific cover for Jo’s compendium, Three Heroes.  (Her volume is two novels and a novella, the results of what Jo unofficially called “The Year of Three Georges.” <g>) 

To be honest, I haven’t figured out if my DTK hunk is supposed to be Richard, the ex-army captain hero of The Diabolical Baron.  Or Jason, the Diabolical Baron himself, and also a hero.  Or Andrew Kane, the Victorian gambler who left his civilized English home to find adventure and danger in the Wild West.  The hunk’s costume looks sort of Regency, but the zippered fly on his breeches isn’t exactly period. 

But I’ve been in this business too long to worry too much about the details (though I remember my first editor saying plaintively that for the amount the illustrators were paid, they could jolly well afford to buy a costume book.  She might not have phrased it that politely.  <g>)  These days, I tend to pragmatically judge a cover by the standards of “Does it look good?  Will it attract attention?  Did the illustrator understand human anatomy?”

Dodd_three_arms That last question is the designer in me.  I studied figure drawing in art school (not that I was very good at it), and I can spot when an arm is so long or so short that it qualifies as deformation.  And then there’s the famous example of the three armed heroine on the cover of Castles in the Air, an early Christina Dodd book.  That book was on the shelves before anyone noticed. In fairness, each of the heroine’s arms looks perfectly  normal. There are just too many of them.  <g> (Here’s a link to a page on Christina’s site where she gives an amusing riff on the story: http://www.christinadodd.com/castles.php 

BDiabolical_baronoriginal_2ut enough about covers.  As an author, I’m naturally delighted when earlier work becomes available again, though I do worry about a possible disconnect between the gorgeous, modern looking cover and the content.  The Diabolical Baron was my first book, with all that implies—semi-omniscient points of view and a seriously Georgette Heyerish voice.  Stylistically, it’s rather diifferent from what I write now.  But the book was a Rita finalist (called the Golden Choice in those days), and won my first Golden Leaf award from the New Jersey Romance Writers, so I hope that my rather contrarian plot still works on a story level.  (That’s the book with the original Signet Regency cover on the right.) 

In the story, a classic Regency rake hero—tall, dark, bored, and rich, the Best Catch in the Marriage Mart, accepts that it’s time to produce an heir and picks the name of a young lady at random from a prescreened lot.  (He won’t accept anyone Diabolical_baronreissue_1 really ugly or with mad relatives.)  The contrarian part comes when the shy young lady in question has ideas of her own, and the classic Regency match doesn’t work.  But it’s a romance and has happy endings, and it was quite jolly to write because I didn’t know anything.  (The blue cover is a reissue, done up to look more like a historical.  Signet has done very nice object covers on my reissues.)

“Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know” was originally in a Signet anthology called Rakes and Rogues.  It had a good concept but a rather bad cover.  This was during the era of The Topaz Man and it had two versions of him, but the composition was weak and Steve looked distinctly green.  Rakes_and_rogues_1

I can no longer remember what my story inspiration was, but I’d read that there were a lot of English adventurers kicking around the Wild West, so one thing led  to another. The story is one of my better novellas, I think. 

So what do you think about covers?  Does a good one get you to pick the book up for closer study?  Have you ever bought a book just because you loved the cover?   And if you did—did you regret the purchase?  <G> 

POSTSCRIPT: I wrote this late last night, and totally forgot the good part–a book giveaway!  The winner of a signed copy of Dangerous to Know will be drawn from the comments to this post that go up between now and midnight Sunday Pacific Time.  (If anyone wonders, I use an internet random number generator to choose.)

Dangerous_to_know_3 Mary Jo, who has bought a book or two because of the cover art, but blames it on the fact that she’s a designer and can’t help herself 

116 thoughts on “Dangerous to Know: A book and its cover”

  1. Hi Mary Jo —
    Great post. I love knowing the background on books and their covers. And now I know how to use the Border’s gift certificate I got for my birthday. DANGEROUS TO KNOW… look out, here I come! (and yea, I’d buy that book on the cover alone. Very yummy.)
    Where an unknown author is concerned, I will (or won’t) pick up a book based upon its cover. Shallow to be sure. Last month, I picked up Jennifer Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU because it had a sad-eyed, ear drooping basset/beagle peeking around the spine. How could I not? He was soooo cute! But, I must confess, I shelled out the money because the heroine’s name was Nina. What can I say… the book ‘called’ to me.
    Such shallowness has proven quite useful in my life. Bought my first romance novel a year ago this month because I liked ‘the castle in the sky’ cover. That purchase launched a whole series of very fortunate life events which eventually landed me here. And, Word Wenches is a wonderful place to belong.
    So, yea, I proudly purchase, or not, books based upon their cover. It works for me!
    Nina

    Reply
  2. Hi Mary Jo —
    Great post. I love knowing the background on books and their covers. And now I know how to use the Border’s gift certificate I got for my birthday. DANGEROUS TO KNOW… look out, here I come! (and yea, I’d buy that book on the cover alone. Very yummy.)
    Where an unknown author is concerned, I will (or won’t) pick up a book based upon its cover. Shallow to be sure. Last month, I picked up Jennifer Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU because it had a sad-eyed, ear drooping basset/beagle peeking around the spine. How could I not? He was soooo cute! But, I must confess, I shelled out the money because the heroine’s name was Nina. What can I say… the book ‘called’ to me.
    Such shallowness has proven quite useful in my life. Bought my first romance novel a year ago this month because I liked ‘the castle in the sky’ cover. That purchase launched a whole series of very fortunate life events which eventually landed me here. And, Word Wenches is a wonderful place to belong.
    So, yea, I proudly purchase, or not, books based upon their cover. It works for me!
    Nina

    Reply
  3. Hi Mary Jo —
    Great post. I love knowing the background on books and their covers. And now I know how to use the Border’s gift certificate I got for my birthday. DANGEROUS TO KNOW… look out, here I come! (and yea, I’d buy that book on the cover alone. Very yummy.)
    Where an unknown author is concerned, I will (or won’t) pick up a book based upon its cover. Shallow to be sure. Last month, I picked up Jennifer Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU because it had a sad-eyed, ear drooping basset/beagle peeking around the spine. How could I not? He was soooo cute! But, I must confess, I shelled out the money because the heroine’s name was Nina. What can I say… the book ‘called’ to me.
    Such shallowness has proven quite useful in my life. Bought my first romance novel a year ago this month because I liked ‘the castle in the sky’ cover. That purchase launched a whole series of very fortunate life events which eventually landed me here. And, Word Wenches is a wonderful place to belong.
    So, yea, I proudly purchase, or not, books based upon their cover. It works for me!
    Nina

    Reply
  4. Hi Mary Jo —
    Great post. I love knowing the background on books and their covers. And now I know how to use the Border’s gift certificate I got for my birthday. DANGEROUS TO KNOW… look out, here I come! (and yea, I’d buy that book on the cover alone. Very yummy.)
    Where an unknown author is concerned, I will (or won’t) pick up a book based upon its cover. Shallow to be sure. Last month, I picked up Jennifer Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU because it had a sad-eyed, ear drooping basset/beagle peeking around the spine. How could I not? He was soooo cute! But, I must confess, I shelled out the money because the heroine’s name was Nina. What can I say… the book ‘called’ to me.
    Such shallowness has proven quite useful in my life. Bought my first romance novel a year ago this month because I liked ‘the castle in the sky’ cover. That purchase launched a whole series of very fortunate life events which eventually landed me here. And, Word Wenches is a wonderful place to belong.
    So, yea, I proudly purchase, or not, books based upon their cover. It works for me!
    Nina

    Reply
  5. I think I buy books DESPITE their covers! I would much prefer the semi-naked clinch to be in the step-back, but know that most books don’t have them. I’m loving the look of “fine art” that’s been popping up lately. An actual historical portrait or detail of a painting certainly beats the renderings of a blind or illiterate artist. Most books make me yearn for a plain brown wrapper.

    Reply
  6. I think I buy books DESPITE their covers! I would much prefer the semi-naked clinch to be in the step-back, but know that most books don’t have them. I’m loving the look of “fine art” that’s been popping up lately. An actual historical portrait or detail of a painting certainly beats the renderings of a blind or illiterate artist. Most books make me yearn for a plain brown wrapper.

    Reply
  7. I think I buy books DESPITE their covers! I would much prefer the semi-naked clinch to be in the step-back, but know that most books don’t have them. I’m loving the look of “fine art” that’s been popping up lately. An actual historical portrait or detail of a painting certainly beats the renderings of a blind or illiterate artist. Most books make me yearn for a plain brown wrapper.

    Reply
  8. I think I buy books DESPITE their covers! I would much prefer the semi-naked clinch to be in the step-back, but know that most books don’t have them. I’m loving the look of “fine art” that’s been popping up lately. An actual historical portrait or detail of a painting certainly beats the renderings of a blind or illiterate artist. Most books make me yearn for a plain brown wrapper.

    Reply
  9. A tastefully designed cover (e.g. no bared male chests, no heaving bosoms) will catch my eye and cause me to pick up the book in the book store. But what I read in the back regarding the plot is what will cause me to take the book up to the register!

    Reply
  10. A tastefully designed cover (e.g. no bared male chests, no heaving bosoms) will catch my eye and cause me to pick up the book in the book store. But what I read in the back regarding the plot is what will cause me to take the book up to the register!

    Reply
  11. A tastefully designed cover (e.g. no bared male chests, no heaving bosoms) will catch my eye and cause me to pick up the book in the book store. But what I read in the back regarding the plot is what will cause me to take the book up to the register!

    Reply
  12. A tastefully designed cover (e.g. no bared male chests, no heaving bosoms) will catch my eye and cause me to pick up the book in the book store. But what I read in the back regarding the plot is what will cause me to take the book up to the register!

    Reply
  13. From MJP:
    Nina, clearly your picking a book by a cover instincts are excellent. Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU, with Fred the bagle hound, is a good choice by any standard.
    Maggie, I’m with you about the fine art look–there have been some splendid historical romance covers in recent years. (Candice Hern’s covers immediately come to mind, but there are a good lot of others.)
    Beth, the plot is usually the final determinant for me, too. There are some story line that just don’t work for me. But if I’m wavering, a really good cover might be enough to make the difference. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  14. From MJP:
    Nina, clearly your picking a book by a cover instincts are excellent. Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU, with Fred the bagle hound, is a good choice by any standard.
    Maggie, I’m with you about the fine art look–there have been some splendid historical romance covers in recent years. (Candice Hern’s covers immediately come to mind, but there are a good lot of others.)
    Beth, the plot is usually the final determinant for me, too. There are some story line that just don’t work for me. But if I’m wavering, a really good cover might be enough to make the difference. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  15. From MJP:
    Nina, clearly your picking a book by a cover instincts are excellent. Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU, with Fred the bagle hound, is a good choice by any standard.
    Maggie, I’m with you about the fine art look–there have been some splendid historical romance covers in recent years. (Candice Hern’s covers immediately come to mind, but there are a good lot of others.)
    Beth, the plot is usually the final determinant for me, too. There are some story line that just don’t work for me. But if I’m wavering, a really good cover might be enough to make the difference. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  16. From MJP:
    Nina, clearly your picking a book by a cover instincts are excellent. Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU, with Fred the bagle hound, is a good choice by any standard.
    Maggie, I’m with you about the fine art look–there have been some splendid historical romance covers in recent years. (Candice Hern’s covers immediately come to mind, but there are a good lot of others.)
    Beth, the plot is usually the final determinant for me, too. There are some story line that just don’t work for me. But if I’m wavering, a really good cover might be enough to make the difference. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  17. I’m with Maggie & Beth. I have bought for cover before, but it’s almost always back cover. I will pick up for cover – usually a fan or jewels cover on plain background – but not buy for it. If it’s a new author or a publisher I don’t buy routinely (like I did signet/topaz) then I flip to a random page and scan it.
    And I’m all for the brown wrapper, yet I know too many readers who drool over the clinch covers to really say there’s no market for that.

    Reply
  18. I’m with Maggie & Beth. I have bought for cover before, but it’s almost always back cover. I will pick up for cover – usually a fan or jewels cover on plain background – but not buy for it. If it’s a new author or a publisher I don’t buy routinely (like I did signet/topaz) then I flip to a random page and scan it.
    And I’m all for the brown wrapper, yet I know too many readers who drool over the clinch covers to really say there’s no market for that.

    Reply
  19. I’m with Maggie & Beth. I have bought for cover before, but it’s almost always back cover. I will pick up for cover – usually a fan or jewels cover on plain background – but not buy for it. If it’s a new author or a publisher I don’t buy routinely (like I did signet/topaz) then I flip to a random page and scan it.
    And I’m all for the brown wrapper, yet I know too many readers who drool over the clinch covers to really say there’s no market for that.

    Reply
  20. I’m with Maggie & Beth. I have bought for cover before, but it’s almost always back cover. I will pick up for cover – usually a fan or jewels cover on plain background – but not buy for it. If it’s a new author or a publisher I don’t buy routinely (like I did signet/topaz) then I flip to a random page and scan it.
    And I’m all for the brown wrapper, yet I know too many readers who drool over the clinch covers to really say there’s no market for that.

    Reply
  21. I do sometimes pick it up for the cover – or not. I remember a Lyndsey Sands title that I bought despite the cover because I liked her work. But I flinch every time I see the front. And I think the hero would too. If I’ve not heard of the author, the cover can make difference. I like anthologies in part because I can discover new authors without having such a strong cover influence.
    I love “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”! I’ve got that anthology and it’s on my “keeper/reread” shelf. I’ve reread it several times. I recognized that first line immediately. It’s a lovely story. But then, regardless of the cover I’ll always buy a Putney story.

    Reply
  22. I do sometimes pick it up for the cover – or not. I remember a Lyndsey Sands title that I bought despite the cover because I liked her work. But I flinch every time I see the front. And I think the hero would too. If I’ve not heard of the author, the cover can make difference. I like anthologies in part because I can discover new authors without having such a strong cover influence.
    I love “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”! I’ve got that anthology and it’s on my “keeper/reread” shelf. I’ve reread it several times. I recognized that first line immediately. It’s a lovely story. But then, regardless of the cover I’ll always buy a Putney story.

    Reply
  23. I do sometimes pick it up for the cover – or not. I remember a Lyndsey Sands title that I bought despite the cover because I liked her work. But I flinch every time I see the front. And I think the hero would too. If I’ve not heard of the author, the cover can make difference. I like anthologies in part because I can discover new authors without having such a strong cover influence.
    I love “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”! I’ve got that anthology and it’s on my “keeper/reread” shelf. I’ve reread it several times. I recognized that first line immediately. It’s a lovely story. But then, regardless of the cover I’ll always buy a Putney story.

    Reply
  24. I do sometimes pick it up for the cover – or not. I remember a Lyndsey Sands title that I bought despite the cover because I liked her work. But I flinch every time I see the front. And I think the hero would too. If I’ve not heard of the author, the cover can make difference. I like anthologies in part because I can discover new authors without having such a strong cover influence.
    I love “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”! I’ve got that anthology and it’s on my “keeper/reread” shelf. I’ve reread it several times. I recognized that first line immediately. It’s a lovely story. But then, regardless of the cover I’ll always buy a Putney story.

    Reply
  25. Once I’m hooked on an author’s work, I’ll buy it regardless of the cover. But a striking, attractive cover will make me pick up a book and read the blurb on the back and, if that appeals too, the first few pages.
    I can’t really say I’ve ever regretted buying a book because of its cover. Once recently I was enticed by an attractive cover to read the blurb, which hooked me so well that I bought the book without reading the opening pages, only to discover that I didn’t like the author’s voice and she’d made a basic historical error in the opening chapter. But that wasn’t the cover’s fault–it was the *premise* that had me so intrigued I didn’t bother to check its execution before I plopped down my $5.99!
    And I discovered one of my favorite fantasy series, Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels, because the cover of the second book drew my eye one afternoon when I’d taken refuge in a Barnes & Noble from one of our rare Seattle heat waves. (I swear malls, movie theaters, etc. pray for it to hit 90 in the summer here because so few of us have AC in our homes.)

    Reply
  26. Once I’m hooked on an author’s work, I’ll buy it regardless of the cover. But a striking, attractive cover will make me pick up a book and read the blurb on the back and, if that appeals too, the first few pages.
    I can’t really say I’ve ever regretted buying a book because of its cover. Once recently I was enticed by an attractive cover to read the blurb, which hooked me so well that I bought the book without reading the opening pages, only to discover that I didn’t like the author’s voice and she’d made a basic historical error in the opening chapter. But that wasn’t the cover’s fault–it was the *premise* that had me so intrigued I didn’t bother to check its execution before I plopped down my $5.99!
    And I discovered one of my favorite fantasy series, Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels, because the cover of the second book drew my eye one afternoon when I’d taken refuge in a Barnes & Noble from one of our rare Seattle heat waves. (I swear malls, movie theaters, etc. pray for it to hit 90 in the summer here because so few of us have AC in our homes.)

    Reply
  27. Once I’m hooked on an author’s work, I’ll buy it regardless of the cover. But a striking, attractive cover will make me pick up a book and read the blurb on the back and, if that appeals too, the first few pages.
    I can’t really say I’ve ever regretted buying a book because of its cover. Once recently I was enticed by an attractive cover to read the blurb, which hooked me so well that I bought the book without reading the opening pages, only to discover that I didn’t like the author’s voice and she’d made a basic historical error in the opening chapter. But that wasn’t the cover’s fault–it was the *premise* that had me so intrigued I didn’t bother to check its execution before I plopped down my $5.99!
    And I discovered one of my favorite fantasy series, Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels, because the cover of the second book drew my eye one afternoon when I’d taken refuge in a Barnes & Noble from one of our rare Seattle heat waves. (I swear malls, movie theaters, etc. pray for it to hit 90 in the summer here because so few of us have AC in our homes.)

    Reply
  28. Once I’m hooked on an author’s work, I’ll buy it regardless of the cover. But a striking, attractive cover will make me pick up a book and read the blurb on the back and, if that appeals too, the first few pages.
    I can’t really say I’ve ever regretted buying a book because of its cover. Once recently I was enticed by an attractive cover to read the blurb, which hooked me so well that I bought the book without reading the opening pages, only to discover that I didn’t like the author’s voice and she’d made a basic historical error in the opening chapter. But that wasn’t the cover’s fault–it was the *premise* that had me so intrigued I didn’t bother to check its execution before I plopped down my $5.99!
    And I discovered one of my favorite fantasy series, Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels, because the cover of the second book drew my eye one afternoon when I’d taken refuge in a Barnes & Noble from one of our rare Seattle heat waves. (I swear malls, movie theaters, etc. pray for it to hit 90 in the summer here because so few of us have AC in our homes.)

    Reply
  29. Having a background in art and design, too, I have tended to be hypercritical of covers, and especially of romance covers, many of which seemed to me to violate all the design principles I’d been taught. But aware that the author has little to no control over the cover, I do buy in spite of the cover very often. But I do buy because of the name, or perhaps because I’ve come to trust a certain publisher’s line. So while a bad cover won’t stop me from reading a favorite author, it’s problematic with unfamiliar names. If the cover doesn’t lure me, how likely am I to pick it up and check out the blurb on the back? And as to those back blurbs–for years I hadn’t control over those, either, and they seemed to bear only the most distant relationship to my story.

    Reply
  30. Having a background in art and design, too, I have tended to be hypercritical of covers, and especially of romance covers, many of which seemed to me to violate all the design principles I’d been taught. But aware that the author has little to no control over the cover, I do buy in spite of the cover very often. But I do buy because of the name, or perhaps because I’ve come to trust a certain publisher’s line. So while a bad cover won’t stop me from reading a favorite author, it’s problematic with unfamiliar names. If the cover doesn’t lure me, how likely am I to pick it up and check out the blurb on the back? And as to those back blurbs–for years I hadn’t control over those, either, and they seemed to bear only the most distant relationship to my story.

    Reply
  31. Having a background in art and design, too, I have tended to be hypercritical of covers, and especially of romance covers, many of which seemed to me to violate all the design principles I’d been taught. But aware that the author has little to no control over the cover, I do buy in spite of the cover very often. But I do buy because of the name, or perhaps because I’ve come to trust a certain publisher’s line. So while a bad cover won’t stop me from reading a favorite author, it’s problematic with unfamiliar names. If the cover doesn’t lure me, how likely am I to pick it up and check out the blurb on the back? And as to those back blurbs–for years I hadn’t control over those, either, and they seemed to bear only the most distant relationship to my story.

    Reply
  32. Having a background in art and design, too, I have tended to be hypercritical of covers, and especially of romance covers, many of which seemed to me to violate all the design principles I’d been taught. But aware that the author has little to no control over the cover, I do buy in spite of the cover very often. But I do buy because of the name, or perhaps because I’ve come to trust a certain publisher’s line. So while a bad cover won’t stop me from reading a favorite author, it’s problematic with unfamiliar names. If the cover doesn’t lure me, how likely am I to pick it up and check out the blurb on the back? And as to those back blurbs–for years I hadn’t control over those, either, and they seemed to bear only the most distant relationship to my story.

    Reply
  33. Personally, there are times when I think the blurb on the back of my book is better than what’s between the covers. It’s really bad when you have one of those “man, I have to read this” moments and realize it’s your own book. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen one of those exceptional back covers.
    I’ve bought books by author and book reviews and from recommendations for years now, so I very seldom do more than scan shelves to find an author’s name. It’s been years since I’ve bought a book for, or in spite of, a cover, and I can remember exactly which books they were. I bought Mickey Madden’s EVERLASTIN’ because of the superb 3D cover. I would have bought it just to own the cover, but I also liked the story. the other book caught my eye because of the title first–Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS. I figured any guy who came up with that title has to be half a bubble off, and the cover itself won me over. The rest, as they say, was all clover. Why didn’t Pratchett have a new book out this year? Anyone know?

    Reply
  34. Personally, there are times when I think the blurb on the back of my book is better than what’s between the covers. It’s really bad when you have one of those “man, I have to read this” moments and realize it’s your own book. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen one of those exceptional back covers.
    I’ve bought books by author and book reviews and from recommendations for years now, so I very seldom do more than scan shelves to find an author’s name. It’s been years since I’ve bought a book for, or in spite of, a cover, and I can remember exactly which books they were. I bought Mickey Madden’s EVERLASTIN’ because of the superb 3D cover. I would have bought it just to own the cover, but I also liked the story. the other book caught my eye because of the title first–Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS. I figured any guy who came up with that title has to be half a bubble off, and the cover itself won me over. The rest, as they say, was all clover. Why didn’t Pratchett have a new book out this year? Anyone know?

    Reply
  35. Personally, there are times when I think the blurb on the back of my book is better than what’s between the covers. It’s really bad when you have one of those “man, I have to read this” moments and realize it’s your own book. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen one of those exceptional back covers.
    I’ve bought books by author and book reviews and from recommendations for years now, so I very seldom do more than scan shelves to find an author’s name. It’s been years since I’ve bought a book for, or in spite of, a cover, and I can remember exactly which books they were. I bought Mickey Madden’s EVERLASTIN’ because of the superb 3D cover. I would have bought it just to own the cover, but I also liked the story. the other book caught my eye because of the title first–Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS. I figured any guy who came up with that title has to be half a bubble off, and the cover itself won me over. The rest, as they say, was all clover. Why didn’t Pratchett have a new book out this year? Anyone know?

    Reply
  36. Personally, there are times when I think the blurb on the back of my book is better than what’s between the covers. It’s really bad when you have one of those “man, I have to read this” moments and realize it’s your own book. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen one of those exceptional back covers.
    I’ve bought books by author and book reviews and from recommendations for years now, so I very seldom do more than scan shelves to find an author’s name. It’s been years since I’ve bought a book for, or in spite of, a cover, and I can remember exactly which books they were. I bought Mickey Madden’s EVERLASTIN’ because of the superb 3D cover. I would have bought it just to own the cover, but I also liked the story. the other book caught my eye because of the title first–Terry Pratchett’s WYRD SISTERS. I figured any guy who came up with that title has to be half a bubble off, and the cover itself won me over. The rest, as they say, was all clover. Why didn’t Pratchett have a new book out this year? Anyone know?

    Reply
  37. I have never bought a book just because I liked the cover but I have looked at books because the cover caught my eye. I love being in a bookstore and seeing all the books that I might buy. I do look for my favorite authors but occasionally a cover catches my eye and I look at the blurb on the back. If I like it I might buy it. Sometimes I have found a new author that I like and sometimes not.

    Reply
  38. I have never bought a book just because I liked the cover but I have looked at books because the cover caught my eye. I love being in a bookstore and seeing all the books that I might buy. I do look for my favorite authors but occasionally a cover catches my eye and I look at the blurb on the back. If I like it I might buy it. Sometimes I have found a new author that I like and sometimes not.

    Reply
  39. I have never bought a book just because I liked the cover but I have looked at books because the cover caught my eye. I love being in a bookstore and seeing all the books that I might buy. I do look for my favorite authors but occasionally a cover catches my eye and I look at the blurb on the back. If I like it I might buy it. Sometimes I have found a new author that I like and sometimes not.

    Reply
  40. I have never bought a book just because I liked the cover but I have looked at books because the cover caught my eye. I love being in a bookstore and seeing all the books that I might buy. I do look for my favorite authors but occasionally a cover catches my eye and I look at the blurb on the back. If I like it I might buy it. Sometimes I have found a new author that I like and sometimes not.

    Reply
  41. Count me with Maggie and others who buy in spite of the covers. My list of auto-buys is quite long, and I buy those authors regardless of format or cover. But I hate the clinch covers that reinforce all the negative stereotypes of romance fiction. I have recently invested in a large supply of elasticized bookcovers so that I can leave a romance on my office desk without having to deal with comments I have long been weary of fielding.

    Reply
  42. Count me with Maggie and others who buy in spite of the covers. My list of auto-buys is quite long, and I buy those authors regardless of format or cover. But I hate the clinch covers that reinforce all the negative stereotypes of romance fiction. I have recently invested in a large supply of elasticized bookcovers so that I can leave a romance on my office desk without having to deal with comments I have long been weary of fielding.

    Reply
  43. Count me with Maggie and others who buy in spite of the covers. My list of auto-buys is quite long, and I buy those authors regardless of format or cover. But I hate the clinch covers that reinforce all the negative stereotypes of romance fiction. I have recently invested in a large supply of elasticized bookcovers so that I can leave a romance on my office desk without having to deal with comments I have long been weary of fielding.

    Reply
  44. Count me with Maggie and others who buy in spite of the covers. My list of auto-buys is quite long, and I buy those authors regardless of format or cover. But I hate the clinch covers that reinforce all the negative stereotypes of romance fiction. I have recently invested in a large supply of elasticized bookcovers so that I can leave a romance on my office desk without having to deal with comments I have long been weary of fielding.

    Reply
  45. I love looking at covers, but I practically never actually buy a book based only on the cover. Because I certainly have learned plenty of times throughout the years a great cover doesn’t always mean a great story or a lousy cover doesn’t always mean a lousy story. But the time I might do it is for example, I notice a cover of a book that isn’t on my to buy list but it’s an obvious regency cover. Something like that will get me to pick it up to see what it is about. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  46. I love looking at covers, but I practically never actually buy a book based only on the cover. Because I certainly have learned plenty of times throughout the years a great cover doesn’t always mean a great story or a lousy cover doesn’t always mean a lousy story. But the time I might do it is for example, I notice a cover of a book that isn’t on my to buy list but it’s an obvious regency cover. Something like that will get me to pick it up to see what it is about. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  47. I love looking at covers, but I practically never actually buy a book based only on the cover. Because I certainly have learned plenty of times throughout the years a great cover doesn’t always mean a great story or a lousy cover doesn’t always mean a lousy story. But the time I might do it is for example, I notice a cover of a book that isn’t on my to buy list but it’s an obvious regency cover. Something like that will get me to pick it up to see what it is about. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  48. I love looking at covers, but I practically never actually buy a book based only on the cover. Because I certainly have learned plenty of times throughout the years a great cover doesn’t always mean a great story or a lousy cover doesn’t always mean a lousy story. But the time I might do it is for example, I notice a cover of a book that isn’t on my to buy list but it’s an obvious regency cover. Something like that will get me to pick it up to see what it is about. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  49. I also have the original “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know” anthology! Love that story! I discovered it when I first started reading romance and I still reread it. I’m a sucker for deathbed romances and this one is, of course, very well written. 🙂

    Reply
  50. I also have the original “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know” anthology! Love that story! I discovered it when I first started reading romance and I still reread it. I’m a sucker for deathbed romances and this one is, of course, very well written. 🙂

    Reply
  51. I also have the original “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know” anthology! Love that story! I discovered it when I first started reading romance and I still reread it. I’m a sucker for deathbed romances and this one is, of course, very well written. 🙂

    Reply
  52. I also have the original “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know” anthology! Love that story! I discovered it when I first started reading romance and I still reread it. I’m a sucker for deathbed romances and this one is, of course, very well written. 🙂

    Reply
  53. I love, love, love “the Diabolical Baron”. Great book. Don’t miss it, those of you who haven’t already read it. “The Rake” follows it, and they are great to read together. I will, of course, rush out to pick up a copy of “Dangerous to know”.
    Merry

    Reply
  54. I love, love, love “the Diabolical Baron”. Great book. Don’t miss it, those of you who haven’t already read it. “The Rake” follows it, and they are great to read together. I will, of course, rush out to pick up a copy of “Dangerous to know”.
    Merry

    Reply
  55. I love, love, love “the Diabolical Baron”. Great book. Don’t miss it, those of you who haven’t already read it. “The Rake” follows it, and they are great to read together. I will, of course, rush out to pick up a copy of “Dangerous to know”.
    Merry

    Reply
  56. I love, love, love “the Diabolical Baron”. Great book. Don’t miss it, those of you who haven’t already read it. “The Rake” follows it, and they are great to read together. I will, of course, rush out to pick up a copy of “Dangerous to know”.
    Merry

    Reply
  57. I may notice a book based on its cover but I don’t judge it on that alone. I have read tons of books that sadly did not have great covers! So it takes me a while to go through all the new books in the bookstore 🙂

    Reply
  58. I may notice a book based on its cover but I don’t judge it on that alone. I have read tons of books that sadly did not have great covers! So it takes me a while to go through all the new books in the bookstore 🙂

    Reply
  59. I may notice a book based on its cover but I don’t judge it on that alone. I have read tons of books that sadly did not have great covers! So it takes me a while to go through all the new books in the bookstore 🙂

    Reply
  60. I may notice a book based on its cover but I don’t judge it on that alone. I have read tons of books that sadly did not have great covers! So it takes me a while to go through all the new books in the bookstore 🙂

    Reply
  61. The only book I have ever bought because of the cover is SUDDENLY YOU by Lisa Kleypas and it was more for the color than the image. I’m a sucker for that coral red
    Re: Candice Hern’s fine art covers for her Merry Widows series. They have been much admired by everyone but the fact remains her best selling historical is still THE BRIDE SALE with the cheesy Avon clinch cover.
    [small voice]I always liked the Topaz Man and I like the original MAD BAD DANGEROUS cover. The new one aint bad though 😉

    Reply
  62. The only book I have ever bought because of the cover is SUDDENLY YOU by Lisa Kleypas and it was more for the color than the image. I’m a sucker for that coral red
    Re: Candice Hern’s fine art covers for her Merry Widows series. They have been much admired by everyone but the fact remains her best selling historical is still THE BRIDE SALE with the cheesy Avon clinch cover.
    [small voice]I always liked the Topaz Man and I like the original MAD BAD DANGEROUS cover. The new one aint bad though 😉

    Reply
  63. The only book I have ever bought because of the cover is SUDDENLY YOU by Lisa Kleypas and it was more for the color than the image. I’m a sucker for that coral red
    Re: Candice Hern’s fine art covers for her Merry Widows series. They have been much admired by everyone but the fact remains her best selling historical is still THE BRIDE SALE with the cheesy Avon clinch cover.
    [small voice]I always liked the Topaz Man and I like the original MAD BAD DANGEROUS cover. The new one aint bad though 😉

    Reply
  64. The only book I have ever bought because of the cover is SUDDENLY YOU by Lisa Kleypas and it was more for the color than the image. I’m a sucker for that coral red
    Re: Candice Hern’s fine art covers for her Merry Widows series. They have been much admired by everyone but the fact remains her best selling historical is still THE BRIDE SALE with the cheesy Avon clinch cover.
    [small voice]I always liked the Topaz Man and I like the original MAD BAD DANGEROUS cover. The new one aint bad though 😉

    Reply
  65. From MJP:
    Merry, I’m glad you’re willing to buy DANGEROUS TO KNOW even though you’ve read the main story! I hope you enjoy the novella enough to justify the purchase. 🙂
    It sounds as if “Mad, Bad, etc.” has some fans here, which is nice to know. I have a particular fondness for that story.
    I’m not surprised to learn that while most of us are attracted to a good cover, that’s not usually the deciding factor. It does underline the importance of strong covers, especially for new writers with unfamiliar names.
    As to Candice Hern’s bestseller being The Bride Sale with the cheesy cover–well, the book itself is a factor, and that’s a terrific book. It was one of Library Journal’s Top Five Romances that year, IIRC. Word of mouth is still the best sales tool!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  66. From MJP:
    Merry, I’m glad you’re willing to buy DANGEROUS TO KNOW even though you’ve read the main story! I hope you enjoy the novella enough to justify the purchase. 🙂
    It sounds as if “Mad, Bad, etc.” has some fans here, which is nice to know. I have a particular fondness for that story.
    I’m not surprised to learn that while most of us are attracted to a good cover, that’s not usually the deciding factor. It does underline the importance of strong covers, especially for new writers with unfamiliar names.
    As to Candice Hern’s bestseller being The Bride Sale with the cheesy cover–well, the book itself is a factor, and that’s a terrific book. It was one of Library Journal’s Top Five Romances that year, IIRC. Word of mouth is still the best sales tool!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  67. From MJP:
    Merry, I’m glad you’re willing to buy DANGEROUS TO KNOW even though you’ve read the main story! I hope you enjoy the novella enough to justify the purchase. 🙂
    It sounds as if “Mad, Bad, etc.” has some fans here, which is nice to know. I have a particular fondness for that story.
    I’m not surprised to learn that while most of us are attracted to a good cover, that’s not usually the deciding factor. It does underline the importance of strong covers, especially for new writers with unfamiliar names.
    As to Candice Hern’s bestseller being The Bride Sale with the cheesy cover–well, the book itself is a factor, and that’s a terrific book. It was one of Library Journal’s Top Five Romances that year, IIRC. Word of mouth is still the best sales tool!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  68. From MJP:
    Merry, I’m glad you’re willing to buy DANGEROUS TO KNOW even though you’ve read the main story! I hope you enjoy the novella enough to justify the purchase. 🙂
    It sounds as if “Mad, Bad, etc.” has some fans here, which is nice to know. I have a particular fondness for that story.
    I’m not surprised to learn that while most of us are attracted to a good cover, that’s not usually the deciding factor. It does underline the importance of strong covers, especially for new writers with unfamiliar names.
    As to Candice Hern’s bestseller being The Bride Sale with the cheesy cover–well, the book itself is a factor, and that’s a terrific book. It was one of Library Journal’s Top Five Romances that year, IIRC. Word of mouth is still the best sales tool!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  69. I rarely buy a book based on its cover. I usually rely on word of mouth, recommendations from the RRL listserv and a few websites, and reviews in Library Journal. It’s worked fairly well the last few years. 🙂
    The last exception to this was when I bought the “Chicks in Chain Mail” anthology. The title and cover made me giggle, and the story about the Bronze Bra Guild made me laugh out loud. I bought it on the spot and I’ve never regretted it.

    Reply
  70. I rarely buy a book based on its cover. I usually rely on word of mouth, recommendations from the RRL listserv and a few websites, and reviews in Library Journal. It’s worked fairly well the last few years. 🙂
    The last exception to this was when I bought the “Chicks in Chain Mail” anthology. The title and cover made me giggle, and the story about the Bronze Bra Guild made me laugh out loud. I bought it on the spot and I’ve never regretted it.

    Reply
  71. I rarely buy a book based on its cover. I usually rely on word of mouth, recommendations from the RRL listserv and a few websites, and reviews in Library Journal. It’s worked fairly well the last few years. 🙂
    The last exception to this was when I bought the “Chicks in Chain Mail” anthology. The title and cover made me giggle, and the story about the Bronze Bra Guild made me laugh out loud. I bought it on the spot and I’ve never regretted it.

    Reply
  72. I rarely buy a book based on its cover. I usually rely on word of mouth, recommendations from the RRL listserv and a few websites, and reviews in Library Journal. It’s worked fairly well the last few years. 🙂
    The last exception to this was when I bought the “Chicks in Chain Mail” anthology. The title and cover made me giggle, and the story about the Bronze Bra Guild made me laugh out loud. I bought it on the spot and I’ve never regretted it.

    Reply
  73. Howdy,
    Did your editor tell you what the illustrator was getting paid? Rates for illustration haven’t changed much since the Seventies.
    That said, being an illustrator of romance novels has an even worse rep/rap than being a writer of romance novels. You’d never catch Brad Holland or Chris Payne near one.
    I hope to convince an editor I can do my own covers, as I actually am/was an award-winning illustrator with a degree and everything. I couldn’t make it pay, so I embarked on this next even more lucrative endeavor.
    All I can say about zippers and 3-armed ladies is that those artists must have been working very, very fast or else they hadn’t eaten in days…

    Reply
  74. Howdy,
    Did your editor tell you what the illustrator was getting paid? Rates for illustration haven’t changed much since the Seventies.
    That said, being an illustrator of romance novels has an even worse rep/rap than being a writer of romance novels. You’d never catch Brad Holland or Chris Payne near one.
    I hope to convince an editor I can do my own covers, as I actually am/was an award-winning illustrator with a degree and everything. I couldn’t make it pay, so I embarked on this next even more lucrative endeavor.
    All I can say about zippers and 3-armed ladies is that those artists must have been working very, very fast or else they hadn’t eaten in days…

    Reply
  75. Howdy,
    Did your editor tell you what the illustrator was getting paid? Rates for illustration haven’t changed much since the Seventies.
    That said, being an illustrator of romance novels has an even worse rep/rap than being a writer of romance novels. You’d never catch Brad Holland or Chris Payne near one.
    I hope to convince an editor I can do my own covers, as I actually am/was an award-winning illustrator with a degree and everything. I couldn’t make it pay, so I embarked on this next even more lucrative endeavor.
    All I can say about zippers and 3-armed ladies is that those artists must have been working very, very fast or else they hadn’t eaten in days…

    Reply
  76. Howdy,
    Did your editor tell you what the illustrator was getting paid? Rates for illustration haven’t changed much since the Seventies.
    That said, being an illustrator of romance novels has an even worse rep/rap than being a writer of romance novels. You’d never catch Brad Holland or Chris Payne near one.
    I hope to convince an editor I can do my own covers, as I actually am/was an award-winning illustrator with a degree and everything. I couldn’t make it pay, so I embarked on this next even more lucrative endeavor.
    All I can say about zippers and 3-armed ladies is that those artists must have been working very, very fast or else they hadn’t eaten in days…

    Reply
  77. Book covers do not tend to influence my purchases, but word of mouth and positive buzz on blogs and message boards certainly does. I love blogs like WW, Squawk Radio and Fog City for example, as we tend to get a glimpse of a writer’s particular voice and many a time if I like how a particular writer blogs, I’ll pick up one of her books (It’s via this blog that I decided to buy a Loretta Chase novel as I hadn’t previously read her books and now have ordered most of her backlist!)
    As for covers, give me anything BUT a half naked man or a clinch. I love castles, landscapes and gorgeous headless figures!

    Reply
  78. Book covers do not tend to influence my purchases, but word of mouth and positive buzz on blogs and message boards certainly does. I love blogs like WW, Squawk Radio and Fog City for example, as we tend to get a glimpse of a writer’s particular voice and many a time if I like how a particular writer blogs, I’ll pick up one of her books (It’s via this blog that I decided to buy a Loretta Chase novel as I hadn’t previously read her books and now have ordered most of her backlist!)
    As for covers, give me anything BUT a half naked man or a clinch. I love castles, landscapes and gorgeous headless figures!

    Reply
  79. Book covers do not tend to influence my purchases, but word of mouth and positive buzz on blogs and message boards certainly does. I love blogs like WW, Squawk Radio and Fog City for example, as we tend to get a glimpse of a writer’s particular voice and many a time if I like how a particular writer blogs, I’ll pick up one of her books (It’s via this blog that I decided to buy a Loretta Chase novel as I hadn’t previously read her books and now have ordered most of her backlist!)
    As for covers, give me anything BUT a half naked man or a clinch. I love castles, landscapes and gorgeous headless figures!

    Reply
  80. Book covers do not tend to influence my purchases, but word of mouth and positive buzz on blogs and message boards certainly does. I love blogs like WW, Squawk Radio and Fog City for example, as we tend to get a glimpse of a writer’s particular voice and many a time if I like how a particular writer blogs, I’ll pick up one of her books (It’s via this blog that I decided to buy a Loretta Chase novel as I hadn’t previously read her books and now have ordered most of her backlist!)
    As for covers, give me anything BUT a half naked man or a clinch. I love castles, landscapes and gorgeous headless figures!

    Reply
  81. I don’t buy a book based on the cover but they do often call out to me when I’m in the bookstore and jummp in my hand. When that happens, I write down the title and read more about it when I get home. If it sounds good, it goes on my list for the next trip to the store. I love the cover for Dangerous to Know!

    Reply
  82. I don’t buy a book based on the cover but they do often call out to me when I’m in the bookstore and jummp in my hand. When that happens, I write down the title and read more about it when I get home. If it sounds good, it goes on my list for the next trip to the store. I love the cover for Dangerous to Know!

    Reply
  83. I don’t buy a book based on the cover but they do often call out to me when I’m in the bookstore and jummp in my hand. When that happens, I write down the title and read more about it when I get home. If it sounds good, it goes on my list for the next trip to the store. I love the cover for Dangerous to Know!

    Reply
  84. I don’t buy a book based on the cover but they do often call out to me when I’m in the bookstore and jummp in my hand. When that happens, I write down the title and read more about it when I get home. If it sounds good, it goes on my list for the next trip to the store. I love the cover for Dangerous to Know!

    Reply
  85. Eidtors seldom agree with me about what I consider a good or bad cover.
    But I confess I want to buy books by their covers and doubtless have passed on some good ones because of that. And I’m phony enough to be sure that books I take on planes have respectable covers.
    And Pat: Pratchett did have a new book out this year: Wintersmith. It’s a Tiffany Aching book, with the wee free men.
    I’m hoping for a new one for grown ups too.

    Reply
  86. Eidtors seldom agree with me about what I consider a good or bad cover.
    But I confess I want to buy books by their covers and doubtless have passed on some good ones because of that. And I’m phony enough to be sure that books I take on planes have respectable covers.
    And Pat: Pratchett did have a new book out this year: Wintersmith. It’s a Tiffany Aching book, with the wee free men.
    I’m hoping for a new one for grown ups too.

    Reply
  87. Eidtors seldom agree with me about what I consider a good or bad cover.
    But I confess I want to buy books by their covers and doubtless have passed on some good ones because of that. And I’m phony enough to be sure that books I take on planes have respectable covers.
    And Pat: Pratchett did have a new book out this year: Wintersmith. It’s a Tiffany Aching book, with the wee free men.
    I’m hoping for a new one for grown ups too.

    Reply
  88. Eidtors seldom agree with me about what I consider a good or bad cover.
    But I confess I want to buy books by their covers and doubtless have passed on some good ones because of that. And I’m phony enough to be sure that books I take on planes have respectable covers.
    And Pat: Pratchett did have a new book out this year: Wintersmith. It’s a Tiffany Aching book, with the wee free men.
    I’m hoping for a new one for grown ups too.

    Reply
  89. From Sherrie:
    I posted an erudite, thought-provoking comment *g* on this subject yesterday and then accidentally deleted it. Was so disgusted that I didn’t attempt to re-do it. However, here I am back today, and because the subject of book covers is one of my hot buttons, I can’t let it go.
    I have an art background, and am an artist myself, but that doesn’t automatically confer the Crown of Good Taste on me. My tastes are extremely eclectic. I’ve been known to frame a pretty greeting card, or to purchase a musty dusty oil painting from Goodwill, or to pay far too much for a lovely sculpture, or to buy a battered folk art piece at a garage sale because it simply appeals to me. Every wall and surface in my house is covered with artwork.
    That said, my tastes in book covers are highly personal and often run against popular opinion. Unlike Liz, who has Very Good Taste, I do not like covers with fans, lace, jewelry and flowers. They tell me nothing of what’s inside, and there is an inexplicable part of me that feels vaguely offended that a publisher thinks they can buy me off with a foo-foo cover. (Probably has deeply disturbing psychological roots, but there you have it.) I just feel like I am being devalued–that if the publisher throws something feminine and fluffy at me in the way of book covers, I will fall for it.
    As has been mentioned, Candice Hern’s covers are gorgeous. I love classical portraits. And the covers where you only see a glimpse of the lower portion of the face are enticing. I love Mary Jo’s DTK–that man’s lips are sexy as all get out!

    Reply
  90. From Sherrie:
    I posted an erudite, thought-provoking comment *g* on this subject yesterday and then accidentally deleted it. Was so disgusted that I didn’t attempt to re-do it. However, here I am back today, and because the subject of book covers is one of my hot buttons, I can’t let it go.
    I have an art background, and am an artist myself, but that doesn’t automatically confer the Crown of Good Taste on me. My tastes are extremely eclectic. I’ve been known to frame a pretty greeting card, or to purchase a musty dusty oil painting from Goodwill, or to pay far too much for a lovely sculpture, or to buy a battered folk art piece at a garage sale because it simply appeals to me. Every wall and surface in my house is covered with artwork.
    That said, my tastes in book covers are highly personal and often run against popular opinion. Unlike Liz, who has Very Good Taste, I do not like covers with fans, lace, jewelry and flowers. They tell me nothing of what’s inside, and there is an inexplicable part of me that feels vaguely offended that a publisher thinks they can buy me off with a foo-foo cover. (Probably has deeply disturbing psychological roots, but there you have it.) I just feel like I am being devalued–that if the publisher throws something feminine and fluffy at me in the way of book covers, I will fall for it.
    As has been mentioned, Candice Hern’s covers are gorgeous. I love classical portraits. And the covers where you only see a glimpse of the lower portion of the face are enticing. I love Mary Jo’s DTK–that man’s lips are sexy as all get out!

    Reply
  91. From Sherrie:
    I posted an erudite, thought-provoking comment *g* on this subject yesterday and then accidentally deleted it. Was so disgusted that I didn’t attempt to re-do it. However, here I am back today, and because the subject of book covers is one of my hot buttons, I can’t let it go.
    I have an art background, and am an artist myself, but that doesn’t automatically confer the Crown of Good Taste on me. My tastes are extremely eclectic. I’ve been known to frame a pretty greeting card, or to purchase a musty dusty oil painting from Goodwill, or to pay far too much for a lovely sculpture, or to buy a battered folk art piece at a garage sale because it simply appeals to me. Every wall and surface in my house is covered with artwork.
    That said, my tastes in book covers are highly personal and often run against popular opinion. Unlike Liz, who has Very Good Taste, I do not like covers with fans, lace, jewelry and flowers. They tell me nothing of what’s inside, and there is an inexplicable part of me that feels vaguely offended that a publisher thinks they can buy me off with a foo-foo cover. (Probably has deeply disturbing psychological roots, but there you have it.) I just feel like I am being devalued–that if the publisher throws something feminine and fluffy at me in the way of book covers, I will fall for it.
    As has been mentioned, Candice Hern’s covers are gorgeous. I love classical portraits. And the covers where you only see a glimpse of the lower portion of the face are enticing. I love Mary Jo’s DTK–that man’s lips are sexy as all get out!

    Reply
  92. From Sherrie:
    I posted an erudite, thought-provoking comment *g* on this subject yesterday and then accidentally deleted it. Was so disgusted that I didn’t attempt to re-do it. However, here I am back today, and because the subject of book covers is one of my hot buttons, I can’t let it go.
    I have an art background, and am an artist myself, but that doesn’t automatically confer the Crown of Good Taste on me. My tastes are extremely eclectic. I’ve been known to frame a pretty greeting card, or to purchase a musty dusty oil painting from Goodwill, or to pay far too much for a lovely sculpture, or to buy a battered folk art piece at a garage sale because it simply appeals to me. Every wall and surface in my house is covered with artwork.
    That said, my tastes in book covers are highly personal and often run against popular opinion. Unlike Liz, who has Very Good Taste, I do not like covers with fans, lace, jewelry and flowers. They tell me nothing of what’s inside, and there is an inexplicable part of me that feels vaguely offended that a publisher thinks they can buy me off with a foo-foo cover. (Probably has deeply disturbing psychological roots, but there you have it.) I just feel like I am being devalued–that if the publisher throws something feminine and fluffy at me in the way of book covers, I will fall for it.
    As has been mentioned, Candice Hern’s covers are gorgeous. I love classical portraits. And the covers where you only see a glimpse of the lower portion of the face are enticing. I love Mary Jo’s DTK–that man’s lips are sexy as all get out!

    Reply
  93. Forgot to mention clinch covers. Not particularly fond of them. I prefer a single male or female on the cover, not both. It seems whenever you put the two together, they forget they’re in public and do something naughty.

    Reply
  94. Forgot to mention clinch covers. Not particularly fond of them. I prefer a single male or female on the cover, not both. It seems whenever you put the two together, they forget they’re in public and do something naughty.

    Reply
  95. Forgot to mention clinch covers. Not particularly fond of them. I prefer a single male or female on the cover, not both. It seems whenever you put the two together, they forget they’re in public and do something naughty.

    Reply
  96. Forgot to mention clinch covers. Not particularly fond of them. I prefer a single male or female on the cover, not both. It seems whenever you put the two together, they forget they’re in public and do something naughty.

    Reply
  97. Like most of the people who have posted, a book cover will catch my attention but not make me buy the book. I always read the back (or inside cover) and usually the first couple of pages, if it is an author that I have not read before. I do have a list of authors that, regardless of the cover, I will buy their new books. I say new books, because I probably already have most of their older ones – and yes, Mary Jo is definitely on that list!

    Reply
  98. Like most of the people who have posted, a book cover will catch my attention but not make me buy the book. I always read the back (or inside cover) and usually the first couple of pages, if it is an author that I have not read before. I do have a list of authors that, regardless of the cover, I will buy their new books. I say new books, because I probably already have most of their older ones – and yes, Mary Jo is definitely on that list!

    Reply
  99. Like most of the people who have posted, a book cover will catch my attention but not make me buy the book. I always read the back (or inside cover) and usually the first couple of pages, if it is an author that I have not read before. I do have a list of authors that, regardless of the cover, I will buy their new books. I say new books, because I probably already have most of their older ones – and yes, Mary Jo is definitely on that list!

    Reply
  100. Like most of the people who have posted, a book cover will catch my attention but not make me buy the book. I always read the back (or inside cover) and usually the first couple of pages, if it is an author that I have not read before. I do have a list of authors that, regardless of the cover, I will buy their new books. I say new books, because I probably already have most of their older ones – and yes, Mary Jo is definitely on that list!

    Reply
  101. I don’t pay any attention to covers. I pick up a book and read the first paragraph. If I like the writing, I read further. This probably works because I don’t read all kinds of romances. I mostly read historicals set sometime from 1700 to 1900–in England. I usually only read books with other settings if I am already familiar with the author. I confess, I am terribly limited. De gustibus non est disputandum.
    Merry

    Reply
  102. I don’t pay any attention to covers. I pick up a book and read the first paragraph. If I like the writing, I read further. This probably works because I don’t read all kinds of romances. I mostly read historicals set sometime from 1700 to 1900–in England. I usually only read books with other settings if I am already familiar with the author. I confess, I am terribly limited. De gustibus non est disputandum.
    Merry

    Reply
  103. I don’t pay any attention to covers. I pick up a book and read the first paragraph. If I like the writing, I read further. This probably works because I don’t read all kinds of romances. I mostly read historicals set sometime from 1700 to 1900–in England. I usually only read books with other settings if I am already familiar with the author. I confess, I am terribly limited. De gustibus non est disputandum.
    Merry

    Reply
  104. I don’t pay any attention to covers. I pick up a book and read the first paragraph. If I like the writing, I read further. This probably works because I don’t read all kinds of romances. I mostly read historicals set sometime from 1700 to 1900–in England. I usually only read books with other settings if I am already familiar with the author. I confess, I am terribly limited. De gustibus non est disputandum.
    Merry

    Reply

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