CAN You Judge a Book by it’s Cover?

When I go to book signings and conventions, I have the cover of What Zombies Fear printed in poster size in a frame sitting next to me.  The cover is completely custom art. (It’s the only cover in the series that is hand-drawn for me, because it’s crazy expensive.)

It's a little gory.

It’s a little gory.

At my most recent book signing, I was really surprised at the number of people who would look at the cover and grimmace and absolutely refuse to talk to me, even when I engaged them.  Now, to be fair, the book signing was at a local mom-and-pop bookstore and their average clientele is in the 60+ bracket.

Can you judge a book by it’s cover?  The cover art for WZF is kind of gory.  But it’s also clear that it’s a father and son story.  You can see the son holding on to the dad’s jacket, and the father’s posture is protective of the son.

I get that zombies aren’t for everyone.  But completely ignoring me, even when I smiled and said “Hi!  How are you today?” was just rude.  Of course, it’s York, PA, which I believe holds the world record for number of rude people.  There were also many very nice people, and I enjoyed meeting a ton of new readers at the signing.  I don’t mean to downplay the signing at all, it was fantastic.  I’m just always amazed at people.  People I never expected to buy a copy of a zombie book were really excited about it, and some people I thought would be interested ignored me completely.

All of which leads me to the following thought:

judge_shelf

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3 thoughts on “CAN You Judge a Book by it’s Cover?

  1. I think the cover does help to define a book, but if people are passing you by and being rude while doing it, I have to wonder if you’re ultimately getting the better deal… We all want readers, but putting tame artwork on your book is not going to satisfy how you want to represent what you’ve created. Go with your gut!

  2. I’ve noticed the cover illustrations are often not all that indicative of what’s actually inside the book. Murder mysteries may have a drop of blood or a smoking gun but nothing too literal. The York PA crowd may have been too disappointed by the lack of Fabio dressed like a pirate.

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