Fantasy Scroll a blog for writers

Judging a book by its cover

I passed by a Barnes and Noble bookstore today and I decided to stop in. It’s one of my favorite places, even though I wish they had a standardized system of organizing stuff so I don’t wind up going through the entire store looking for what I want…

Anyway, since I am writing a fantasy YA novel, every time I get to a bookstore I go to the fantasy YA section to check what’s out there. As I was browsing from side to side I noticed a few things: I am really shallow when it comes to books…

I realized that there are things about a book’s appearance that turn me off in a way that prevents me from even attempting to peek at the book’s description. I noticed the following things that turn me off:

  • If the book looks too “girlie”, too much glitter and pink
  • If the book is thicker than 1.5 inches (unless it’s very short)
  • If the book is unusually tall
  • If the cover looks too childish
  • If the book is too black and shiny and covered with vampire-looking youngsters.

I know… the last one is a bit too specific… but probably the truest.

Of course, this only applies to titles that I don’t know, written by authors I never heard of. If it’s a Stephen King book, I don’t care if the cover has a monkey in a tutu, I am buying it…

My point was that I do judge a book by its covers and I don’t think that I’ll ever stop. I think it’s a self-defense mechanism that prevents me from buying every book that exists out there, at least in the genres that I prefer.

So, I was curious, does anyone else feel the same? Do you get turned off by a book’s cover and appearance that you don’t even try to see what it is about?



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Iulian Ionescu

  • Andres

     I tend to avoid novels where the protagonists posterior (or butt if you like) is on prominent display.

    Sadly I see a lot of butts on covers…especially on paranormal or supernatural novels for some strange reason.