A collection of musings, articles and news about romance fiction.

Sneak Peek at Viper’s Kiss Cover!


Sneak Peak at Viper's Kiss Cover

Judging a Book by its Cover

I recently had a peek at my book cover for Viper’s Kiss, and wanted to share, and it got me thinking – well, after the normal drool, pant, swoon stuff that shouldn’t be repeated here – as a reader, would I buy this?

Go on, admit it. We’ve all done it, otherwise there wouldn’t be the saying – never judge a book by it’s cover. We have picked up a book, or scanned through the e-list and –oh, look, he’s hot. What’s that one about? Or, oh, that’s an awesome dress she’s not wearing! Love those muscles, or that pose, or well, something.  Books make a visual impression. They have to, we read them, after all. We absorb that material through sight. We don’t eat them, and yes, for the right-fighters, we may handle them, and listen to them, but generally we’re looking at them when we buy them. Companies in general spend a lot of money on the cover designs – not the actual COVERS, but the DESIGNS, because it has an impact on the consumer’s buying decisions.

So what makes us pick one book over another? It’s not necessarily the content. I’ve never stood and read a book in a bookstore, and THEN bought it. No. I see a cover. If it interests me, I’ll check the back cover, and then maybe I’ll buy. (Frankly, if I’d read the book in the bookstore, I’d put it back on the shelf and look for another one, and pat myself on the back for scoring a free read. I’m not cheap, I’m frugal.) 

I will admit there are some triggers that will make me pick up a book… (and this is just my opinion, yours may differ, and I’d love to hear from you!)

1)      Gorgeous characters. Any convenient yet tasteful (sexy hot!) display of manly muscle will always get me backtracking for a second look. Drool.

2)      Beautiful gowns. Show me a long frock and I’m mesmerised by the drape of the fabric – and yet I’m woefully unfashionable. Go figure.

3)      Pose. If the characters are in a sexy pose, I’m shameless. I’ll perv.

4)      Mystical, magical, misty or flaming backgrounds. These books must be very good reads, obviously.

5)      Colour – dark reds, blues, purples, etc. Some colours attract my eye, others repel. Orange, or canary yellow, or baby poop brown.

And then there are elements that will make me put the book back and run….

6)      A really, really, really hot steamy clinch – unless it’s ebook, then I can do that. But anything that will make me blush under the censorious stares on a bus is a no-goer…

7)      Blood and gore. Anything violently graphic that may give me nightmares goes back on the shelf. Yes, I’m a wuss. I thought Scream was a scary horror movie.

8)      Women in a demeaning or subjugated pose. No further explanation required.

9)      Crick-in-the-necks. You know, those covers where the character’s heads are twisted at an unnatural angle, almost robotic.

10)      Glowing eyes. Freaky. Told you I was a wuss.

Feel free to let me know what you do/don’t like about book covers – I’d be very interested to hear from you!

And in answer to my earlier question – Hell, yeah! Refer to Point 1. Drool. It’s my cover, I can do it.

Thank you to the talented Carina Press cover art team!




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