Submitted by Unifish1 t3_yfhwg3 in books

I won't lie, beautiful book covers capture my attention. I am definitely guilty of judging a book by its cover. But I've noticed that publishers seem to put more effort in the way a book looks rather than the quality of the writing. For this reason, I am no longer swayed by pretty book covers, I make sure to read a review before picking up the book.



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jefrye t1_iu3kjwl wrote

They're unrelated.

There are a lot of terrible (but publishable) books because writing well is a very very difficult skill that most authors haven't mastered, and a large portion of readers just don't care about whether a book is well-written as long as it "does what it says on the tin," so to speak, so those books still have an audience and still get published.

There are a lot of beautiful book covers because it is probably the single most important element when it comes to marketing (read: selling) books, so publishers invest in high-quality cover art that communicates to readers what the book is and grabs their attention.


PizzamanCJ t1_iu4n7mm wrote

^ can confirm the first paragraph. I'm appalled every time I find errors in my books and then I comb them expecting to find one or two, and find DOZENS. But all the readers give me mostly positive feedback and never even mention that a word was misspelled or missing. Readers enjoy the ride it seems, or maybe thier brains just repair the grammatical errors if theyre simple and not excessive.


SeeingclearlyOrg t1_iu6g6fs wrote

Wait! Do you mean traditionally published books? Only if yes, can you give an example?


PizzamanCJ t1_iu6jrlz wrote

Sadly I wasn't, but any book can have typos and any book can fix them so future copies don't. Editors are human and publishing houses have deadlines.

But the reason I backed the other comment is because it wasn't just friends and relatives I was talking about (as they don't read anything I write) but when I convince someone I barely know to read my work and am able to ask them about it they "don't recall seeing that many errors" for me to go back and try to locate them and find an amount I personally consider appalling

So people get lost in a book and either don't notice or don't care, but since someone WILL care.. gotta get those typos


thisizmypornburner t1_iu3pq41 wrote

Might as well ask why there’s so many terrible wines with Beautiful labels or so many bad restaurants with beautiful names and aesthetics

It’s marketing. It’s specifically created to pull you in regardless of the quality of content inside

Never judge a book by its cover is really apt here


lucia-pacciola t1_iu4fq9m wrote

> Might as well ask why there’s so many terrible wines with Beautiful labels

I would be living a life of wonder and magic every day if wines tasted like their labels look.


thisizmypornburner t1_iu4fwks wrote

For real labels make me real ass suspicious now.

I’m like you’re too pretty someone put way too much time into this marketing. And then I get worried. If you taste good then why did someone pour this much time in the marketing you?


series_hybrid t1_iu5175z wrote

An illustration art student would do well to study wine labels. A lot of money is spent on very good artists to create those.

Publishers do put some resources into book covers, but I'd wager that wine labels outdo them.


walk_with_curiosity t1_iu3olil wrote

>I am definitely guilty of judging a book by its cover.

I mean, that's what they are designed for! Covers are usually pretty good for assessing stuff like the genre of the book, the age group, the overall 'tone' of the book, the sort of authors they're trying to align the book with, etc.

But they can't tell you much about the quality of the writing or if you'll connect with the story.

Reviews are good. I personally have found it helpful to read a few paragraphs. But we're all going to end up picking up bad books now and again.


Nonaaa323 t1_iu5xakf wrote

This so so true! The sad thing is I know that I will value my bookshelf more than my experience reading a book sometimes😂


aligador t1_iu3im80 wrote

They're counting on people judging books by covers. In that case, once the sale is made, they got what they needed out of you.

I don't base my decisions off of reviews- especially after seeing that greater than half the reviews for Mother! were 5/5- but I do read the synopsis. If it sounds interesting, I give it a shot.


GESNodoon t1_iu3i05w wrote

The author and the artist who creates the book cover are almost always different artists.


WordsOnYouScreen t1_iu4t87h wrote

Why are there so many terrible personalities with beautiful faces?


termsofsurrender t1_iu3i2cb wrote

Generally, because people see much easier than they can read.


little_carmine_ t1_iu3o7cs wrote

And it’s easier to design a nice cover than to write a great novel.


shillyshally t1_iu3j3tm wrote

Tell me about it. I started my career in book printing and I love me a well designed cover but, like you, I read the reviews first. Because of that background, I read the professional reviews but I also read the regular folk Amazon reviews.


icarusrising9 t1_iu44kiw wrote

They are done by different people.


LeodFitz t1_iu6f4tr wrote

As a writer, I was stunned to discover that becoming a good writer requires a very different skill set than becoming a successful writer. Success in writing is generally more about being good at sales and marketing.


BlacknWhiteMoose t1_iu6u16y wrote

Because it’s easier to draw a decent picture than to write a book


fatherjohnmilfy t1_iu4w47o wrote

Because they want you to think their book is worth reading


Calo_Callas t1_iu6hp6r wrote

Because quality illustrators are much more common than quality authors.


macaronipickle t1_iu4e0jt wrote

It's a lot easier to pay someone to design a great cover than to write a great book.


Mr_Tulkinghorn t1_iu4j8m8 wrote

As the old saying goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover."

As far as I'm aware, the cover selection for books during the publishing process is entirely independent from the choice to buy / publish the book and it will be a whole different team working on it.

The converse also applies, where good books are given bad covers and so don't capture the interest they deserve, sometimes leading to the author being dropped by the publisher because the book didn't generate the sales they were expecting.


Mr_Tulkinghorn t1_iu4jpzs wrote

OP, I'm more intersted in which books you think have beautiful covers. I'm sure a lot of publishers would also like to know that because if they knew then they'd just make sure all of their books had attractive covers, yet they somehow miss the mark quite frequently.


SpectralMagic t1_iu59h0k wrote

This is Roblox in a nutshell. This is pretty much irl clickbait, something to make you intrigued


DarthDregan t1_iu6c330 wrote

I don't think I've seen a truly amazing cover in actual years...

Oh no, wait. B&N did a Lovecraft faux leather collection with prism binding and edging. That's a good one.


nef36 t1_iu6yicl wrote

The author and the cover artist are not the same person (usually). It just means the artist is that much better at their job than the author.

Judging books by their covers is a bit of an art unto itself, though. You have to use a combination of the book's title, the actual content of the beautifully drawn cover, and the back blurb to judge a book by it's cover(s).


LateShopping1238 t1_iuhsw9g wrote

So has anyone read a book that had a beautiful cover and content worthy of it? I'm a sucker for beautiful covers but this problem always makes it hard


Midnight_Sun_1776 t1_iu3n78u wrote

More talented artist than there are talented authors.


PhasmaFelis t1_iu4jam2 wrote

I don't think that's it, really. More that a single cover piece is much quicker to create, and much easier to judge the quality of at a glance, than an entire novel.