Monday, November 14, 2005

Covers & Voodoo

Let's talk covers. Why? Because they're endlessly fascinating. Some are so beautiful as to be artworks in themselves, while others...well, you know the author is out there somewhere sticking pins into a voodoo doll to avenge themselves.

As a reader, I know that a cover makes no difference in my buying habits if the author is already on my autobuy list. I might wince at an unfortunate cover but I'll buy it nonetheless. And okay, if you splash a half-naked hunk on the front of a book, I'll probably be enticed to pick it up.

I'll also go for evocative covers, like my own stunningly gorgeous *g* cover for Craving Beauty, that give me a sense of time and place about the book. Deserts? Yup. Wild jungle? Oooh yeah. Moonscape? I'm there.

What don't usually catch my interest are the historical covers with "things" on them. I'm talking about the elegant, sometimes embossed covers with a hairbrush, a mirror, flowers or a ribbon or three. I don't know why, but my eyes just pass right over these covers. Maybe because I'm too much of peon to appreciate them, or maybe because they're too subtle for my blunt sensibilities. This doesn't mean I don't read these books - one of my favorite authors has "things" covers. It just means it's going to take something else to attract me to that author and their work.

So the question is, how much do covers affect your buying choices? A lot? Not at all? (And as an aside, how many of you have voodoo dolls?)


Laura said...

Great topic Nalini. And I'm with you. Covers don't sway me, especially if the author is one of my faves. But I must admit, I like covers that show me something new each time I look at them. The new cover for Matthew Reilly's book, "Seven Ancient Wonders" is like that.

The first time I saw it, I saw some guy (presumably the hero) rapelling down a shaft. Reading the first few pages, I find out the hero's got an eagle with him all the time - Horus (cool name for a bird I think). I flick back to the cover and sure enough, Horus is there on the cover. I'm like, how did I miss that?

I like the cover of Alison Kent's latest Blaze book too. It's just a martini glass all glitzed up. But when the heroine is a bartender and the hero a classy guy - it fits.

And no, I don't have a voodoo doll, but with a cover coming, I may need to get one *g*

Anonymous said...

I think covers have a lot to do with impulse buys. If I've read the author before, it really doesn' affect my purchase. I'll buy it whether or not I like the cover.

Titles also influence my purchase. :)

Gorgeous cover, btw.

Nalini Singh said...

Hi Laura,

That's a good point about covers that show you something new each time. I've seen a few of those, too and they're fantastic (but so rare).

Good luck with your own cover! :)

Nalini Singh said...

Kendra, I totally agree with you re titles. I can't say how many times I've looked up a book just because I heard someone mention an intriguing title.

I like your cover, too btw. Very evocative. :)

Diana Peterfreund said...

I love the Craving Beauty cover. In general, I *am* a cover whore. I'll totally buy a book because of the cover, If I'm excited byt eh book, I'll buy it DESPITE the cover.

The "item" cover doesn't usually do it for me either, with one exception. Robin D Owen's are so gorgeous that they break all the rules.

Nalini Singh said...

Cover whore?! I love that term! *g*