You tell us: Have you ever bought based on cover art alone?


Once again, I was late writing this post, and as I was searching my drafts for inspiration on the next topic, this comment came through my inbox… “That is one of those covers that would make me buy the book without even checking the back cover or anything.” The statement was made of the cover of BY ROYAL COMMAND by Laura Navarre on our Facebook page. I know how that commenter feels. The first time I saw that cover in my inbox and gasped. It took my breath away, it was so beautiful and lush and rich. The perfect cover for a sweeping historical romance!

But though I’ve heard people say that cover art is important in drawing them in to find out more about a book, and that sometimes they do judge a book by its cover if the cover is B.A.D., I’m uncertain if I recall anyone ever saying a cover caused them to buy a book, or might cause them to buy a book, without knowing much else about it.

So I’m curious, you tell us…have you ever bought a book based on the cover art alone? What book was it?

And in case you’re wondering, this is the beautiful cover art that prompted this discussion:


17 thoughts on “You tell us: Have you ever bought based on cover art alone?”

  1. Maybe when I was younger and it was a print book that I’d *see* all the time, but not in recent years and not with ebooks (since the cover isn’t always visible).

    On the other hand, with so many books out there, especially with regard to ebooks, the kind of cover art that draws you in and makes you take a closer look is insanely important. There are so many choices that it’s easy for great books to fall between the cracks because they don’t get a second glance due to mediocre (or worse) covers.

    Fantastic covers, IMO, matter more than ever before.

  2. I haven’t bought based on the cover alone–I do check the back cover copy to make sure I have a good chance of enjoying the plot–but I have definitely picked up books by new authors I wouldn’t have discovered without good cover art to draw me in.

    (Love the BY ROYAL COMMAND cover!)

  3. Penny Barber says:

    I can’t say that I have bought base on cover art alone, but that gorgeous cover above definitely caught my attention. I’d say that’s a step in the right direction.

    On the other hand, I have scrolled past hundreds –maybe thousands– of books based on cover art alone. It’s important.

  4. Natasha A. says:

    The cover is what draws my attention (when I’m browsing, not when something has been recommended). BUT I have to read the blurb, and that is what will eventually sell me on the book.
    I should point out though, that I have NOT bought a book because of a cover. They really are important!

    FYI – That one? Up there? Totally gorgeous!

  5. I’ve never *bought* by cover alone…but I have looked closer.

  6. Lori says:

    Yes. Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower Christmas in hardcover. It was so beautiful I couldn’t resist. And I didn’t end up reading the Wallflower series until a few years later.

    And Nora Robert’s Bed of Roses. Not a Nora fangirl but that cover was so perfect I wanted it on my shelf.

    I haven’t bought any ebooks on cover alone but there have been a few I didn’t buy because the cover was so badly done I refused to go further.

  7. Stacy Gail says:

    I don’t know that I’ve ever bought a book SOLELY on the artwork, but I’m always drawn to the good stuff (like BY ROYAL COMMAND — it’s beautiful!). I can tell you the flipside, though. I’ve definitely passed over books with bad or amateurish covers. If the person/people who created it didn’t care enough to put an effort into the cover, I pretty much assume they didn’t care about the rest of the book. Who knows if that’s true or not, but the fact is, bad cover art = no sale from this consumer.

  8. Becky Black says:

    I have, just yesterday in fact, a Carina Book, Asher’s Invention. Okay, it may not be entirely 100% based on it. If I wasn’t remotely interested in the content of the book I probably wouldn’t, but the cover can be the first draw and if it does look like a good book in other ways, the cover might be the final deal maker.

    And I did once buy a rather old romance from a charity stall just because the cover amused me so much. It was in sort of candy pastel colours and the best description of the heroine would be “Regency Barbie”. Maybe I’ll read it one day. It only cost 10 pence!

  9. Rowan says:

    No, I haven’t. It’s always the back copy for me.

    But I have refused to buy a book because the cover was so bad.

  10. No, I haven’t. But cover art is often the reason I decide to read the back cover copy.

  11. No, not on the cover alone. But the cover would make me more likely to pick up the book and read the blurb.

  12. HostyPenn says:

    No, but like several others here it makes me pick up the book and read the blurb. The Carina covers have been excellent after excellent after excellent . . .


  13. I confess that I quite often buy books based solely on cover insta-love :-D Thankfully I was only let down by the story a couple of times. And yes, Laura Navarre’s cover is GORGEOUS!!

  14. infinitieh says:

    Of course I have bought books for the covers alone; I collect books for the cover art (mostly of my favorite cover model, Paul Marron). I often don’t even read the ones I own; I’d read the copies I’d borrow from the library of the same books. But this is for print books, not ebooks.

  15. J.L. Hilton says:

    My first memory of buying a book only for its cover was author Michael Moorcock. The cover artist: Robert Gould. Gould did several covers for Moorcock (about 20 years ago), and they were very stylized, Art Deco/Art Nouveau kind of covers. Loved them, and loved the stories. Moorcock is sometimes called the “grandfather of steampunk,” and the cover art certainly represented that.

    Recently, I bought “19 Dragons” because the cover caught my eye on my Kindle app. But I can’t say I bought it solely based on the cover. The cover might have piqued my interest, but the rating, description and excerpt are what made me buy it.

    I will often pass up books with bad covers. Especially if the covers look like they were thrown together by someone with poor photoshopping skills. But the cover doesn’t necessarily have to be “bad” – it might have great composition or a professional look, but if it projects a mood, subject or style that doesn’t interest me, I move on.

  16. MJ says:

    The book that turned out to be my very favorite romance of all, Winter Roses by Anita Mills, was a book I bought for the cover (very 80ish now but it caught my eye.) She became a favorite author, too, before she stopped writing.

  17. Hey J.L. Me too… Gotta love Gould’s work! Talk about drool-worthy. Man, he’s good.

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