Monday, April 23, 2012

Covers. How Important Are They?

The cover of a novel is the single most important ingredient in the success or failure of a book.  This isn’t something authors want to hear and it’s not always true.  If the book is special enough and it gets lots of word-of-mouth, even a bad cover can’t stop the book from being a success. 
If the author’s name is well known--and I am speaking of New York Times bestsellers with very large print runs--a bad cover can’t stop the book from being a success.

However most of us fall in the category where a cover can make the difference between success and failure. 

Over the years, I’ve had good covers and bad.  One of the prettiest covers I ever had was on a book called MIDNIGHT RIDER.  The problem was the cover was completely white.  The lovely embossed bird on the front didn’t show up until the reader picked up the book.  Not many did!   
The title may have been another part of the problem.  It was chosen by the publisher and no amount of talking could convince them to change it.  The combination of bad cover and bad title was lethal.   The book was my biggest failure and I think it was one of my better books.

Starting May 1st, my Sinclair Sisters Trilogy is going to be re-issued.  The first in the series is MIDNIGHT SUN, a fish-out of water Romantic Suspense set in Alaska.  The covers on these three books were extremely plain, just colors and the title.  And I have to admit the title, MIDNIGHT SUN, isn’t that exciting.   I’ve never been particularly good at titles, which makes the cover even more important. 

Since changing a book title is very confusing to readers, the publisher is simply changing the cover, putting a guy on the front, which has become sort of a brand for my Romantic Suspense books.   I’m not crazy about the new cover for MIDNIGHT SUN.  For one thing, I just met the cover model, Lynn Gunn and he his absolutely gorgeous--and a terrific guy.  I don’t think the cover does him justice.  Still, it’s interesting, and I’m hoping readers will pick it up and give the book a try.

If you enjoy Romantic Suspense and haven’t read MIDNIGHT SUN, I hope you’ll give it a try.  The other books in the series are DESERT HEAT and DEEP BLUE and they get new covers, as well.  Hope you enjoy them all and that you also watch for my new releases.  

You can reach me on my website  Very best wishes, Kat 

Call Hawkins just wants to be left alone and leave the past where it belongs. The bleak beauty of Dead Horse Creek is a perfect place to get away from the world...a place where nothing exists to remind him of everything he's lost. His isolation is complete--until Charity Sinclair arrives fresh from New York City. Shamefully beautiful and stubbornly independent, she's also shamefully ignorant of the untamed wilderness...and the very real dangers she'll face if Call doesn't teach her a thing or two.

But even with Call's grudging help, Charity's dream of life in the Yukon may have led her into something much more savage than the forest. A menace as endless as the long days that run together without darkness--and a killer who won't let anything come between him and perfect, deadly vengeance...


  1. I must admit that, since I'm now mostly a Kindle reader, I don't pay much attention to covers. Apart from my favourite, auto-buy authors, I tend to use author/book recommendations as my starting point for new reads. Or blogs like this one-- definitely adding the entire trilogy to my TBR queue!

    But I can definitely see the importance of a good cover for a print book, one that tempts a browser to pick up the book, read the back print, peruse the first page-- and ultimately buy the book!

    (P.S. Loved, loved, loved, 'Against the Storm'!)

  2. Just got back from a conference where Mark Coker, the CEO of Smashwords spoke. His research indicated that the most important thing was writing a good book, but second to that was having a good cover, because people browsing the e-book stores are going to see that first. Good luck with your new one.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  3. Kat, I love the title and the cover-and plan to purchase the book.

  4. I may be the odd reader but covers have no influence on me when it comes to buying and reading a book. I am mostly influenced by a short excerpt from the book and who the author is.

  5. Congrats on the reissue. A nice cover is the first thing to catch my eye, but I've never bought a book based on its cover alone.

  6. Congrats on the reissue, and I completely agree. The cover represents the book, and most readers aren't going to take a chance on it if the cover isn't eye-catching. My first book releases in November, and I'm anxiously awaiting my cover.

  7. I do pay attention to covers! I find most of the books I read either via goodreads recommendations or via blogs/twitter posts such as this. I do like to check out the covers, but I always read the summary of the book before purchasing since I don't like to judge the book based on the cover. I have learned from authors that sometimes they have more say than other times in the covers, so I try to be open minded. I haven't read any of your books yet, but plan to check them out now! Thanks for the blog post.

  8. Covers do draw me in. And I agree they ought to reflect the genre.

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