Friday, October 19, 2007

Guest Author: Patrice Michelle!

Today's guest is my new friend Patrice Michelle, who I totally accosted into coming to do a blog post. Patrice is talking about covers - and she definitely has some stunning ones. She'll also be giving away a cowboy *grin*. Read on to find out more. (Just leave a comment to enter the contest. Winner will be posted in the comments.)

“Never judge a book by its cover."

That saying has been around for a long time, but the reality is something more along the lines of “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.”

Ha! I’m all philosophical this morning, because as much as we’d like to “think” we follow the first saying, the truth is…in a lot of cases, we do judge a book by its cover.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket That’s why authors sweat bullets waiting for their book covers. They know that a very compelling book cover could garner them new readers by the fact that the book’s cover was intriguing, unique, beautiful, etc. An arresting cover will draw the reader over. They pick up the book and then…

It’s up to the blurb on the back and the writing inside to “keep” the reader interested. ;o)

Did you know most authors don’t have any true say so in their book covers?

One of the nice things about starting my writing career off with a small publisher was that I had a large say in what my book covers looked like. I wanted to project a specific image for my books and I knew the book covers could go a long way in helping with that. So I was detailed and diligent in my requests, and for the most part, I got exactly what I wanted. Yey!

Now that I’ve sold to a larger NY publisher, the ability to have true input into my covers is very minimal. I know that the marketing department is going to go with a cover they know is proven to sell books. So it was with much trepidation and holding of breath that I opened the email with my first NY book cover.

And it was beautiful!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket And no, nothing of what I asked for was on the cover, except the cave in the background. :) But the cover gods smiled on me. And I was happy. All was well with the world.

So tell me, do you judge a book by its cover? Have you been known to buy a book just because the cover was so gorgeous? Did you ever regret such a purchase? Or did the book live up to that fabulous cover on the outside?

And what about the opposite? (The one we authors worry about the most) Have you passed over a book because you didn’t like the cover? Did you ever go back and buy the book once you heard rave reviews on it?

Inquiring minds want to know.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I’m going to be giving away a download up my upcoming cowboy release ANTICIPATION coming out October 23, 2007, so get involved and tell us your thoughts on book covers. :)


Anonymous said...

I had no idea that authors sometimes don't have the choice for book covers. I have to admit, if its got a steamy cover its more to catch my eye! So great to see you here by the way, and love that cover :)

Dawn Epton said...

I am an avid reader, but I must admit that usually I stick to my favorite authors and their recommendations. The cover never really grabs me.

Sue A. said...

I'll admit I may pick up a book because of the cover, but it's not the cover that makes me buy a book. It's the back blurb and the buzz and whether I like what I've learned about the book that gets me to buy it.

The cove of ANTICIPATION would have me checking out the book for sure. Gorgeous!

Patrice Michelle said...

Hi Crystal,

Thanks for the lovely welcome. Yes, I didn't know this either about book covers until I started writing myself.

Hi Dawn,

We authors appreciate our dedicated readers!

Hi Sue A,

This is how I am. I will pick up a book because of an intriguing cover, but only the writing makes me buy it. I'm glad you like the cover for ANTICIPATION. He's such a lickable cowboy, isn't he? And so is Jonas, the hero. *g*

Danielle said...

Patrice, I have most of your books and can't wait to read Anticipation!!!

Phyllis said...

The cover will catch my eye. But I don't buy a book just because of the cover. If the comment on the back blurb is interesting to me - that's what makes me buy the book - unless of course the author is on my autobuy list. LOL Then it really doesn't matter.

Joy said...

I have to say that I have seen covers that have made me shudder in horror, but having given a lot of books chances in spite of that and found some good reads, I have to say i do stop and read a blurb or get more info on a book before i move on. Although a hot cover catches my everytime. FYI - Nalini slays me. Patrice , Congratulations on the Nocturne deal, cant wait to see it on the shelves.

p2000n said...

1 word - YUM!

Leigh said...

A great cover always makes me look twice at a book, butI don't buy the book just for the cover. I read the blurb on the back before making up my mind. If it's a favorite author, I don't even read the blurb; I just buy the book.

Patrice Michelle said...

Danielle, Yey! I'm thrilled you're so excited about Anticipation's release. I hope you lurve Jonas!

Phyllis and Leigh, Autobuy lists! Yeeee, we LIKE autobuy lists. :)

Joy, those authors thank you for reading on despite the shudder. HUGS! Nalini is a very nice woman who sweetly asked if I wanted to guest blog. After proving to her I'm timezone challenged, I think we got this blog post up okay. I hope she still thinks kindly of me--despite my timezone deficiencies. ;o)

P200n! YUM is right! hehe

Jodi said...

I don't buy a book just for a cover, but if it catches my eye, then I'll read the back blurb and go from there. I will admit that some of the cartoony covers turn me off from a book and it seems that a lot of books have used them.

Patrice Michelle said...


Isn't it funny how some people will steer clear of certain style covers? The cartoony ones usually are fun, chick-lit or are more humorous romantic comedys, so the marketing department is trying to draw in a reader that likes those kinds of stories.

Scions:Resurrection's cover very much says it's a romance (which it is!), but I think that's a good thing, because chapter one is all in the hero's POV--sinfully, dark vampire that he is. *g*

stephanieb said...

I feel pretty much like everyone else about covers!!They are what first attracts you to the book in the store but the blurb has to catch my attention also!!And if it's a writer I know and love I will buy it anyway if the cover is horrible!! I know I've said it before to you Patrice but WOW!!!I just love that cover!!

Jaded Bee said...

Honestly, I have to admit, I'm more likely to pick up a book with a nice cover that "pops" at me. But like Dawn, I usually stick with my favorite authors and then go by what they reccomend. But that cowboy on your newest is pretty tempting. lol.


Phyllis said...

Covers do not matter to me. Genre does. I have certain authors who are autobuys and u r one. Pingram

Patrice Michelle said...


Yey, I'm so glad you like it!

Jaded Bee,

Jonas is calling to ya! ;o)


Thank you!! I really appreciate your wonderful support. :)

Patrice Michelle said...

Just had to say to Nalini...

I L O V E the Visions of Heat cover.

*Grrrrowl* Yowsa!!

Joy said...

I hate the cartoon covers - LOL and I have never been a chick lit fan (gasp)

Patrice Michelle said...


It's definitely a preference thing. There are covers for all types of stories, for sure. :o)

lisabea said...

I do buy/not buy books based on the cover. I guess that makes me shallow, but I'm just not courageous enough to buy print versions of the Ellora's Cave books. They are soooo naughty looking and I'm just a big wuss. So it's e-books for me....

Patsie said...

I think book covers are a definite
attraction for a book, but I like the excerpts that help me to know what is in the book. Other readers who have read helps me and it could also be the writer. If I like the writer alot , I'll buy all the books, even if the cover is not to my liking. But this cover is soooooooo hot!!!!

Patrice Michelle said...


I get where you're coming from on some of the naughtier covers. Don't forget you can order EC print books from Amazon,too...oooh, I love anonymity. :)


You hit on a good point...EXCERPTS! I'm really big on reading excerpts from a never before read author. That'll really draw me in. I do the same for my own, offer excerpts for every one of my novels on my website. It's really the best way for readers to decide if they like 1) Your writing style 2) The storyline. I'm soooo glad you all are liking the cover. :)

Pamk said...

There is a certain author that I love but one of her series of books the first one had cover on it that looked like it was fora child. I would have passed on this one. I read ya but sometimes I don't have the time. This one was defnitely an adult book and a great romance. If it hadn't been written by one of my fav authors I wouldn't have bought it.

Allison said...

Covers are important to me in terms of visual appeal. I will admire a gorgeous cover and maybe even take a second look at the book if it's an author new to me but if the storyline doesn't interest me, I'll put the book back. As for authors I enjoy and will still read for the good story I know has been written between the pages, a not-so-appealing cover will bother me a bit but once I get lost in the story, I'll let the author's words speak to me for the description of the characters, setting etc. The cover of Anticipation is DELICIOUS and now I know too it's a story that I would enjoy reading. Thanks Patrice (oh, and the link to the excerpt 1 on your site doesn't seem to be working... )!

Patrice Michelle said...

Pamk, I'm glad you stuck it out for that favorite author.


I think what bothered me a bit in the past was when the hero or heroine doesn't look anything like the H/h on the inside of the book, BUT, that was before I knew authors didn't have any control over their covers. NOW, I'm much more forgiving. LOL! :)

Oh, I'm really glad you like Anticipation. Drat on the link not working...must go fix on the other computer. In the meantime, here's another link. Hopefully this excerpt link will go through.

thewildtwo said...

For me, I generally do not pay attention to the covers, especially since I started reading Ebook form. With Ebooks, I'm reading them because they're from my favorite authors and aren't in print form. And when I go to my friends bookstore, I get my favorite authors in print(then I'll have print and e-form!! OCD I am!! LOL)and any other books she suggests!! So basically, I don't pay attention to the covers of books.
But........I do find myself looking at a print cover I'm reading to "visualize" the hero and heroine. If they're off from the author's description, bugs me and I'm disappointed.
And, now that you've pointed out your cover of Anticipation........yowzzzzzer!! I'll take him,!!!

Christina said...

Covers are a good way for me to find new authors. I love browsing in bookstores and picking up books with covers that catch my eye. It's the blurb on the back that usually determines if I buy it, but the cover is definitely what attracks me to books on shelves.

Judy F said...

Hey Patrice. I have bought several books when the cover caught my eye. Usually I read the back blurb to make sure its something I like. Now if its an author I normally buy it could be in a plain wraper and I would still buy it.

Miki S said...

Hi, Patrice! Congratulations on the Nocturne book deal, by the way!

Covers do affect my book buying. I picked up one of Marianne Stilling's books because of the cover. I'd never heard of her before, but the cover caught my eye and made me read the blurb. The blurb made me buy the book, but I wouldn't have read the blurb without the cover.

I bought all her backlist, too, even though they had the cartoony book covers I normally avoid like a plague! So a bad (or good) cover for an author I know won't affect me at all.

And we all use book covers, along with the titles and blurbs, to make quick choices. I see fangs and I know it's another vampire book. I usually pass those by (but I really did like yours!) I see cartoony covers, I think "chick lit" and also usually pass those by.

So I guess I'd say, I pass unknown authors' books by because of bad covers, pass up certain genres based on whatever kind of covers, but consider new authors because of good covers!

Renee said...

I have to admit that I never buy a book for a cover. I always buy based on the author or people that I trust opinions. I don't know how many times that I have read a book and then noticed the cover and decided if I liked the cover or not. LOL Don't get me wrong, I love covers just as much as the next person, but it doesn't cause me to buy or not buy a book.

Tracy said...

Hi Patrice! I guess I'm pretty much like everyone else here in the fact that a cover might catch my eye but it's the blurb on the back and the first couple of paragraphs that will sway me to buy the book one way or the other.

It's horrible that you guys don't get any say in the covers! These are your babies going out in the world!! LOL! Well, hopefully they'll all turn out well!
Have a great day!

Patrice Michelle said...


We love it when readers love our stories so much the have to have them in eBook AND print. Btw, Anticipation will be coming out in print next year around this time in a two book combo called Anticipation and Seduction. If you don't win 'him' on this blog, Jonas will be available in eBook next Tuesday at Samhain. Woot! I can't believe Anticipation's release is almost here. :)


As much as I like the convenience of reading eBooks, NOTHING can replace my trips to the bookstore where I browse the shelves and hold the books.


Remember when I sent you a hunky male calendar in a brown paper wrapper. LOL! Talk about a wolves in sheep's clothing. *g*

Miki S,

I'm SO glad you loved my vampires. Yes, I write alpha males but I do try to temper them with a tenderness toward their heroines. :) And to your point, re: passing over unknown authors if the book cover doesn't strike you. That's the part I was getting at that makes us authors sweat! That's what I meant by "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."


Your "Read the book THEN look at the cover" philosophy is a great idea! I'm such a visual person though...I admit it...I'd cheat and look at the cover to see if it fit the book. LOL! :)

Patrice Michelle said...


I'm not a first chapter reader when I'm browsing in a book store either. It's the blurb and the first few paragraphs that make me decide on a book. (On line, I'm all over excerpts though. LOL!)

And no, we don't really get much say...though, in all fairness, I'm not a marketing department with tons of research as to what sells either. I just know what I personally like which may not translate to the broadest population segment. :)

Laurie D. said...

I don't buy books because of the cover, but sometimes the covers catch my eye and make me want to read the back blurb. Hmmm, does that contradict what I just said, if I do end up buying it??

Patrice Michelle said...

Laurie D,

No that doesn't contradict your statement. The cover doesn't make you buy the book. The cover makes you read the blurb. The blurb makes you buy the book.

We're all right there with you! :)

Angie-la said...

I am excited about your Nocturne release. I LOVE that line!
I admit an eye-catching cover may make me pick up a book, but if the premise of the story doesn't grab me, I put it right back down again.
I think it's a shame that authors don't have more input into the cover selection process. It just pains me to see a cover with a picture that in no way resembles any character in the book!

kaisquared said...

I enjoy a hot cover but I never make my purchase decision based on cover alone. I read the blurbs, unless it is an autobuy author. I have never not bought a book because of a cover....even if it had Fabio on it!

Pam said...

Hi Patrice, have most of your books, too. That is one hot cowboy, want to read it.

Great cover will get me to look but then I have to like the blurb and read a bit of an excerpt in the book before buying - don't buy on cover alone.

When it comes to bad covers, that's when name recognition or a catchy title helps, lol. I won't pass up a story just because of an awful cover if I like what I read about it.

Patty said...

I once bought a book because I had met the author and liked her. I did not like the cover on the book and wouldn't have bought it, if I had just been browsing in a book store. Covers do catch my eye. If I like the cover, I read the back. If I like the back, I read some inside the book. So for me, covers count. Patty

Patrice Michelle said...


Yey! I'm glad to hear you're looking forward to Scions: Resurrection's release. Just three more months! :)

Technically there is some input from the authors at least how Silhouette works. It's just whether or not they decide to use your ideas. The way the cover art works for Silhouette is...I fill out a cover art form with three different cover ideas/scenarios. I have to provide details about the hero and heroine. Thankfully, they did get my hero and heroine's hair, and the cave, right. It turned out to be a very nice cover with colors that really pop. :)


This is true for me, too. I have never NOT bought a book because of the cover, even before I knew authors have little control over them.


Thank you for your compliments on my books. And yes, I think this cowboy on Anticipation is really HOT! I haven't thought about catchy titles being something that might sway me, but I know catchy titles do stick in my mind. I think Dakota Cassidy has some of the most memorable/catchiest titles I've ever heard.


You didn't say...did you end up liking the book?

acdaisy95 said...

Sometimes the book covers does catch my eye at first but I like to read the book blurb to see if the book is interesting or not.

Jennifer K. said...

I don't know that I've ever bought a book soley because of its cover, but I have bought books from favorite authors that I looked at the cover and wondered, "What were the cover people THINKING?"

Usually, if it's an author I know and like, I'll buy the book no matter what the cover looks like. If it's someone I'm not familiar with and it's got a horrible cover, I'm likely to give it a pass unless I hear from others that it's a great read.

So, yes, sometimes I DO judge a book by its cover. I'm shallow.

nanadeb said...

With a favorite author, a good/hot cover is just an added bonus but not a determining factor. If it's an unknown author on the net it's the promo, genre, and excerpt that sells it. But if it's an unknown author in a store- it's definitely the cover &/or title 1st, that will have to grab me or I'll skip right by it, and then the back blurb and genre that will sell it.

DawnM said...

The Cover might make me pick up a book, but I've never bought one just on the cover alone, I always go by whether the blurb attracts me or not. That said an awful cover probably has made me completely walk past and never even pick up a book that I might possibly have been otherwise attracted to.
But I actually like both those covers you got there

Judith said...

A book cover can attract me but not sell me. I have to pick it up, read the blurb and then delve in a little even if it is just to read the first 2 pages.
Book cover styles, for me, recently have been "off". Too many quirky cartoon types, and not just for the chick lit genre.
Some covers are just down right awful and embarrassing to be seen with, I own one of those and have read it numerous times but each time I think about covering it in plain brown paper(!) because it throws me off what a great book it really is.

Laurie said...

The cover does not influence my decision to buy the book. I'm more influenced by the back synopsis, excerpts on websites and past enjoyment of books by that author. Other reader recommendations may come into play if I've noticed that their tastes run similar to mine.

Earlene said...

I usually buy a book because the
author is a favorite of mine. It doesn't matter what cover is on there. When I'm looking for new author's to try, I look at the cover, but what sells the book to
me is the blurb on the back. If it sounds interesting i'll buy it.
I also listen to the buzz about a
book on my author groups.

Joan said...

I read a great deal but don't buy a book by it's cover. I read the back of the book and then decide on whether or not to buy it.

Shari C said...

I love to read and I must admit I do have favorite authors I usually always buy plus I always purchase the Silhouette Nocturne books each month as I truly enjoy them and have not been disappointed in any author's contribution to this wonderful line of books. They are terrific and I am certainly looking forward to the Scions series. A book's cover may draw my attention when I am browsing the shelves searching for additional novels to buy so that I will look further at a book, but it is definitely not a major point in whether I will take it home. Of course, I think whether being a writer or reader we all like to look at an interesting book cover rather than an unappealing one. I may miss reading a book by not taking note of a cover, but hopefully find out about it soon by reading various blogs or newsletters on the internet.

Ashley said...

ooo I love cowboys

Patrice Michelle said...


I'm with you! ;o)

Jennifer K,

LOL! You're not shallow. It's human nature to be drawn to pretty, sparkley things. :)


Good point on web vs in-store decision making when it come to covers. I'm the same way. More information at our fingertips, makes us more willing to 'check out' a new author.


Thanks! I'm so glad you all are liking the covers. :)


LOL on the plain brown paper wrapper comment. I get you.


I know other reader recommendations have made me pick up a book in a store, regardless of the cover.


I've always contended that word of mouth is the BEST advertising an author can have happen to her books, especially if the cover is just so-so. :)


Now I'm curious...have you ever picked up a book because of the cover?

Shari C,

I'm so glad you're enjoying the Nocturne books and that your looking forward to my Scions series. I'm glad that you let word of mouth steer you too books you might otherwise have passed over. Yey, a second chance for authors. :)


I LOVE cowboys, too! Been writing their stories for four years now! :)

Susan said...

Since I don't live more than an hour away from the nearest bookstore I buy all books online. That being the case covers don't make that much impact. What does is the blurbs and reviews by readers. I really like it when the author adds a sample chapter!

LaTanya M. said...

I have to admit that a great cover will catch my eye, but the blurb is really what intrigues me, especially when being introduced to a new author. If it is an author that I already like, I am already hooked no matter what the cover looks like. But the yummy covers definitely don't hurt!!! *g* I also would like to add that your books are on my auto-buy list.

Cindyjean said...

If I am visually grabbed by a cover, I do a quick scan...story, content, style..if the book lives up to its cover, I buy. If it is by an author I know and like I buy. But I don't buy a book just because the cover is hot or beautiful. Books cost too much money these days to just end up not read and off to the used book store for credit. I have passed on books with covers I did not like and then gone back for a buy if I read a good review. Review web sites are sooo valuable, as are review mags.

Patrice Michelle said...


I do think readers pay less attention to book covers if they do most of their purchasing online. BUT, a great cover can't hurt though. ;o)

Latanya M,

Thanks you for putting me on your auto-buy list! I try my best to make sure those covers are just as attention grabbing as I can. :)


Which do you refer to more? Review sites or review magazines like Romantic Times?

Robin said...

I prefer covers that DON'T show the characters faces. My imagination rarely matches the cover characters. But, I'll have to admit, eye candy like the ANTICIPATION cover is wonderful!

Cherie J said...

Great cover on your Scion book. I love a great cover. If it is an author that is new to me a cover will catch my eye first and the the blurb and/ or excerpts has to convince me to purchase it. When I was younger I was fooled into buying books just based on the cover but I have learned to be more cautious with my purchases with age,

dobby said...

I also hate it when the people on the cover look nothing like the characters. I must admit a nice cover helps me buy new authors. But I have also been known to debate for at least half an hour over buying a book because of the awful cover.

Jaded Bee said...

Oh I completely agree with Dobby on that point. I think the models on the covers should at least resemble the character a little bit, maybe just have the same color hair? It bothers me a bit when they don't, but I can look past it. I'm all for the words and just give extra props if the cover makes me stare, lol.

Patty said...

I am so sorry. I loved the book. It was a great story. I was sorry it had such a bad cover. I later found more new copies in a discount book store. It was a monochrome purple cover with a coach on it. Patty PS The cover on your new book is very inviting.

Patrice Michelle said...


Actually, I do prefer covers where we can't see the hero or heroine completely. I feel this way because that means readers can picture them H/H however they want to without any other image getting in their way. And I LOVE the Anticipation cover because all we can see is his jaw and the fact his hair is dark....okaaaaay...and because his body is just HOT!! :)

Cherie J,

I'm thrilled you like the Scions cover! And I've learned my lesson on past purchases too. :)


I wonder if the debate on whether or not to buy a book with a bad cover stems from the fact that some readers really do like to display their books.

Jaded Bee,

I have a girlfriend who has the most beautiful, striking book cover I've ever seen. Truly it's one of my all time favs! Ironically, the female model doesn't resemble the heroine at all.

Patrice Michelle said...


Thanks for answering. Yey, another win for a good story that overcame a bad cover! Maybe the publisher listened to the author and when the book went back for reprint they gave it a new and much better cover.

blessedheart said...

A book covr can definitely catch my eye, but it's not what helps me make the decision to buy a book. The blurb is more likely to influence my buyingdecision, as well as good reviews (to a lesser extent).

Rhonda :-)

Nalini Singh said...

I've run the random numbers and the winner of Patrice's giveaway is acdaisy95.

Please email me at nalinisinghwrites @ (without the spaces.)


Patrice Michelle said...

Hi Ronda! Yep, that's pretty much me.

Congratulations Acdaisy95!

And a big thank you to Nalini for inviting me to play and to the wonderful blog readers who offered up some great discussions!

Thank you all for participating. I hope you'll check out Anticipation when it releases next Tuesday!

All the best,


EdgesAngel23 said...

I must admit, on one or two occasions I have passed on a book because I didn't like the cover, but usually I read the blurb on the back and the inside blurb before I make a judgment.
Ashley A

Cynthya said...

I usually go into a bookstore with a list, so covers don't make much difference to me.

A really interesting cover can catch my attention, though, and I might pick it up and read the blurb. Same thing with an interesting title.

The last book I bought because of the cover was Sorceress by Lisa Jackson. The cover is colorful and unusual so I picked it up, looked through it and bought it.

Like many others, I'm not fond of the cartoonish covers, but I do buy Katie MacAlister and MaryJanice Davidson in spite of their covers.

A sexy guy on the cover, especially if he's in a kilt, carrying a sword or a cowboy (Bad in Boots-yummy!), will always get my attention! :)

I like Nalini's covers, too, but I bought her books because of a review and personal recommendations.

Pat said...

I look at the cover but I also read the back of the book to see the story line

Patrice Michelle said...

Ashley A,

I think we're all guilty of passing on even looking at a book because of the cover at least once. :)


I think we all do go through several steps. Word of mouth, reviews, reading the back cover blurb and even reading a few pages before we purchase a book. Reading time is too precious. :)


A cover will draw my attention but like you it's the storyline and the writing that keeps it.

foxyllady said...

I don't really go by book covers, but do look at some of them. Its not whats on the outside but what is on the inside. I read the back blub and open the book and if there is one on the inside I also read that. I love to go to the authors website and read the excerpts on their books. I do have my favorite authors whose books I buy all the time also. I also love to go to the chat groups and read the excertps that the authors post there to help draw us readers into buying their books. Patrice the book cover on ANTICIPATION is hot and love it.

Patrice Michelle said...

Hi Foxyllady,

Thanks so much for commenting. I thought his was interesting discussion on book covers and how we all approach book buying at different angles. And thanks too on your comment about ANTICIPATION'S cover. I this it's super hot too. :)

KellyGrl said...

If I don't know about the author then I do rely upon the cover. If it looks hot then I'll most likely buy it. It just adds even more to it when I know the author (i.e. I know the level hot to expect) AND the cover is steamy. It makes me want to make up an excuse at work and go home to read.

kim h said...

sounds hot

kim h