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Old 09-07-2009, 08:11 AM   #1
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Don't Judge a Book by its Cover?? Why not?

I am usually very specific in what I read - this is a trait that I personally don't like (and something that I have been trying to avoid recently).

There are however times when I buck the trend and try something different. This is usually because of a cover...

Back in the days of PB, I would frequent charity shops to see whether they had anything interesting. On one such occasion I saw a book that just intrigued me. It was called Nymphomation. It was a very strange book unlike anything I had ever read before. I loved it and quickly discovered that it was the 3rd book of 3 (a prequel). I devoured the other books quite quickly. I wouldn't have read any of these books if the cover hadn't been so intriguing to me!

(I haven't been able to find a copy of the cover that I saw all those years ago, it was a yellowish colour with dominos all over it - no idea what it was that hooked me!)

Some time later, I was reading through a catalogue I had received from a Book Club I was a member of. In here I saw a book that again just hooked me from the cover alone (and perhaps the title!)

Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalyspe by Robert Rankin.

The title and the cover were so obscure that I ordered the book. I had never heard of this author before but I quickly collected every book he had written and continue to buy all his new work. One year I was fortunate enough to meet him at a book signing where I had the new book purchase signed along with my original Rankin book. (I was also sad enough to take the standee advertising the book signing and managed to get that autographed as well). It was also a great pleasure to be able to buy the man a pint in the pub afterwards.

I don't always make such random purchases - I like my money too much. But, I still enjoy the discovery of something new from a random purchase.

Most recently, I was stood at the train station. There is a girl I walk past who is reading everytime I see her. The first time I noticed her, she was reading a book by Tom Holt - one that I had very recently finished. A couple of days later she was reading something else that I had recently read. following that, I had no idea what she was reading. More recently, I saw a book which I thought I recognised so strained to read the title and author.

I had been mistaken - never heard of the author or the book (Jeff Somers - The Digital Plague). Still it intrigued me enough for me to want to read it. But first, I must finish my current book and then I need to find the first 'Avery Cates' book as 'The Digital Plague' is the second in what seems to be a series!)

Have you discovered any new favourite authors just by a chance viewing of a cover? Or any other random readings?
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:14 AM   #2
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Sure... back in the dark ages when I was still reading pbooks I often selected a book by it's cover.

Got some real stinkers as well as some reallt good ones that way though.

But I must say that the title "Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse" sounds really intriguing
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #3
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I actually still buy a lot of books by their covers. But now electronically. I must be able to see a cover when I buy electronically, otherwise chances are I'll never buy it.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
I actually still buy a lot of books by their covers. But now electronically. I must be able to see a cover when I buy electronically, otherwise chances are I'll never buy it.
I don't care much about covers on ebooks (many german ebooks don't have covers at all), but I enjoy nice covers on pbooks. I even bought some pbooks only because I liked their covers.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
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But I must say that the title "Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse" sounds really intriguing
It's a great read. Some compare Robert Rankin to Terry Pratchett, personally I disagree. There is a similarity to their humour, but definately different enough.

Robert has stated on numerous occassions that he thinks he should have his own genre shelf in Waterstones - Far Fetched Fiction. For some reason, it keeps getting shelved under Sci-Fi...

I'd advise giving it a go - then read the sequel - The Toyminator
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
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I don't care much about covers on ebooks (many german ebooks don't have covers at all), but I enjoy nice covers on pbooks. I even bought some pbooks only because I liked their covers.
I don't care once I bought them, but I do care about covers when I buy them
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:52 PM   #7
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Many, many years ago when I was young and newly singled, I ran across a book titled "How to Eat Well and Stay Single". (by Nigel Napier-Andrews, IIRC) I wasn't too sure about the staying single part, but eating well sounded good. And the cover.... A very beautiful, tastefully posed, quite nude young woman!

Of course I bought the book! (And I still use some of the recipes.)
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Old 09-07-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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I frequently judge books by their covers. I have discovered many new authors that way! (well, new to me)

When I hit a bookstore or the library, Iʻll often browse by spine/title and then look at the cover. if I like it, I might check it out or, in the case of a bookstore, see if itʻs available in ebook format from the library. When I do go to the library, first thing I do is check out the new book shelf and check out anything that looks interesting. If I like it, Iʻll check out the rest of that authorʻs work and devour it all at once.

Now, the interesting thing I noticed once I got my sony is that I checked out several books based on description and I found many authors I might never have checked out.

THis is how I choose my books (in equal order):

Familiarity with the author previously
Recommendation (Friend or published critique)
Cover/Title pictures and words (including the blurb)
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:54 PM   #9
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The new term is now....

Don't judge an eBook by it's generic cover.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:52 AM   #10
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Book covers (for pbooks) are very important marketing tools. Every time I looked at a David Weber book in the bookstore, I found te cover to be a turnoff and so never looked further. It wasn't until I got my Sony and downloaded the Honor Harrington books from Baen that I actually read anything buy David Weber. After all, I'm willing to gamble on a free book that has an unenticing cover because there is nothing lost except a little time if I start a book and find I don't like the writing.

(Now I ignore the covers on Weber's books -- good or bad -- and buy hardcover pbooks of whatever he writes because I found that I really like his style.)

Cover art is very important and can be the difference between an OK seller and a good seller.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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Would you be more likely to buy Brave New World with this cover?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/matt_leclair/201776538/
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:42 PM   #12
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BenG, not today but back when that cover would have been released (when paperbacks were 35 cents and censorship was another word for morality), in my long ago youth, I would have.

It's just like Lady Chatterly's Lover. When I was 12 I would have grabbed a copy no matter the cover, if it was uncensored. Today I wouldn't buy it regardless of the cover (excepting a collector's first edition ).
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:44 PM   #13
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Hey! I work hard on my covers! I don't want them to be dismissed just because they're attached to e-books.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:59 PM   #14
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I was always told that one should never be seen reading a paperback with an embossed cover, because only proles read such things. Fortunately, this is not an issue with ebooks.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:41 PM   #15
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Hmm... I guess the equivalent with e-books would be animated covers...
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