How Important is a Book Cover? Guest Post by Marcia A Richards

Hi, All! I’m filling in for Jess while she and Joe are out west on a well-deserved vacation. She’d better bring back a ton of pictures to share, right?

Jess does a lot of amazing book reviews here and we even get to meet an author now and then! That girl reads A LOT! So, in keeping with the theme of book reading, here are a few questions for you.

Do you read the blurbs on the book covers? Do you look at the publisher’s name, read the excerpt? Do you read the bits of book reviews on the cover?

Before eReaders became popular, the book cover was the conveyance of the main character or the tone of the book. The colors, the font and the images all melded into a message. It was how we knew if the book was right for us.

Walking into a bookstore or library transported me into a magical world of hushed voices, the scent of paper and ink, the visions of the authors’ imaginations. That world always promised a happy experience.

Today with many bookstores closing due to the popularity of eReaders and digital books, our children or grandchildren may never have that same experience unless we take them to a library.

Now that all eReaders present in color, we can see the beautiful book covers, teeny tiny as they are, and read the blurbs and review quotes. We can let the message of the cover flow through us, just as if we were physically standing in front of the bookshelf.

But do you still go looking for the cover on your eReader? Or do you read the synopsis and purchase the book based on that and price alone?

What is it about a book cover that attracts you? Is it the color or the image that draws you in?

For me, it’s the subconscious message the cover conveys. I get the feel of the book from the images and it gives me context.

Here are some examples of covers that spoke to me so loudly I had to buy the book:





What book covers have WOWed you? Do you need to see the cover before you buy?

If the cover isn’t important to you now, was it important before eReaders and what does that say about the effect of technology on us?

Marcia Richards is the author of Marcia Richards’ Blog…Sexy. Smart. From The Heart. Marcia writes about women, history, and the path to realizing your dreams. She has a Historical Trilogy and a collection of Short Stories in progress. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with the grandkids or her husband, traveling or turning old furniture into works of art. She believes there is always something new to learn.

Come hang out with Marcia at: or .

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17 responses

  1. I agree that book covers are so very important…. and you have picked three of my favorite authors (James, Angela, and Jill!). 🙂

    1. Tiffany, your cover for Football Sweetheart is another great example! And you know I liked the blood droplet.

      1. I agree, Jess. I love Tiffany’s cover.

      2. Ooo, yeah, i just saw that a couple of days ago, Tiffany! Great job-it really grabs your interest!

    2. 3 of my favorites, too! We have very talented friends!

  2. Thanks for including Elemental Magic, Marcia! I love book covers, and wish e-readers would start on the cover instead of the first page. I always back up to see the cover, even though it’s black and white on my Kindle.

    1. I totally agree! I want to see the cover up close on there!

    2. Oh you’re so welcome, Angela! It’s a great story!

  3. Hi Marcia

    I like the colours and textures of James’s books, they’re a unifying theme to his Sigma series. Jill’s That Boy and That Wedding book covers are iconic in color and style along with the font she uses.

    I think color and texture will be very important for a while with ebooks because the icon sizes are so small it’s hard to make out details. Gradually screen resolutions will improve and covers will be able to have more detail.


    1. Spoken like a true engineer!

      I’m going to put you to work when I’m ready for a book cover. Make sure you can see it!

    2. I agree, Nigel. James’ books always catch my eye! And Jill’s really pop with color!

  4. I do appreciate a good book cover. I have this sense that if they bothered to put together a professional, fitting cover, it speaks well of the diligence they used inside with the writing.

    1. Are you working on a cover for your books yet, Julie?

    2. That’s a great way to look at it, Julie! Books with truly ugly covers don’t induce me to buy.

  5. Outliers & Tipping Point. Love those covers.

    1. Oh, I agree! Simple and straightforward. Almost elegant in their simplicity. Thanks, Lance!

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