What a difference a cover makes – A reader’s discussion

Every once in a while, a circumstance causes me to pause and wonder… Do other readers feel the same way I do? Yesterday, I encountered just such a circumstance.

I saw this book cover in one of my ‘Kindle Deals’ emails.  I loved the look of it, and the title caused me to click on it to see what it was all about – which is exactly what a book cover and title are meant to do.
I love the colors used on the cover as well as the house. The cover, coupled with the title, gives off a thriller/domestic suspense vibe which greatly appealed to me.

When I visited Goodreads to read the blurb and some of the opinions of other readers, I at once realized that this book has an alternate cover. This alternate cover turned me off completely, and I no longer had any interest in either reading the blurb, or knowing what other readers thought of the book.This cover gives off a vibe of rather cheesy romantic suspense – which, though I realize the genre’s merits, is not one which I tend to enjoy all that much.

The first cover excited me to read more, investigate, and possibly add the book to my TBR.

The second cover completely quelled my interest in reading the book and affirmed that it will NOT be added to my TBR.

What a difference a cover makes!

Have you ever encountered a similar experience?

I love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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49 Responses to What a difference a cover makes – A reader’s discussion

  1. Pingback: Links I’ve Enjoyed This Week – 11/07/2021 #WeeklyRoundUpPost 🔗📆 🔗 #SecretLibraryBookBlog – Secret Library Book Blog

  2. Covers can certainly make me decide not to pick up a book, if I don’t like the aesthetic or what is being depicted. When a cover catches my eye I often have to be taken in by the synopsis as well. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says:

    Cover design is so crucial in communicating with the reader – I definitely don’t think you’re alone in having a different “vibe” (and, thus, a different inclination) from an alternative cover. Sometimes, cover design is used to great effect (e.g., when different covers are used in different regions, respecting the sociocultural climate into which they’re being introduced), but sometimes publishers miss the mark, which is a real shame. Working in a secondhand bookstore, I see a lot of books that are (in my view) totally misrepresented by their cover design, which is a real shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, that alternate book cover would also turn me off completely. I know that there are certain types of covers that just make me scroll away, and others that fascinate me. Mind you, I think the most beautiful covers I’ve seen are in the fantasy genre, but I can tell that they’re fantasy books so I just appreciate the cover and THEN I scroll away!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh, what a difference a cover does make!

    I recall getting a request from an Indie author, trying to get reviews for her first book. I was all set to ignore it for a number of reasons but the first being the dreadful cover. However, she’d had the foresight to attach the first chapter so since it was there, I thought I’d give her at least a one paragraph read. It was SO good I read the entire chapter. I accepted the request and appealed to her to invest in better covers. She did and got a much bigger reception.

    All that to say is I can be swayed to give a book a second look because of a great cover but I’ve been burned enough to know that I need to scrutinize what’s inside. On the flip side, sometimes I’ve got to look beyond a really awful cover when I’ve got more available to decide.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Aidan says:

    Covers are definitely important and I think you make an excellent point that they set the mood. They are really like a visual book talk, highlighting elements that hopefully the book will deliver on.
    I am never going to read a book based solely on the cover but I will certainly pick it up to read the blurb and I have found some books I doubtless would never have thought to try otherwise that way.
    I also have had it work in the opposite direction. A poor cover can really put me off.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. great post!! i’ve read a few books like this! having a good cover really makes the difference.


  8. Carla says:

    That is quite a drastic difference in covers for the same book. You know I am a cover lover, Lynne. I will get attracted to a book based on its cover for sure. If it looks scary and like a horror story, I likely won’t even bother to check out the blurb. I have bypassed books that I later read and loved based on my initial reaction to the cover. I often find that when an author republishes a book, they choose a completely different cover, which might have been the case with this one. I definitely agree, Lynne, those two covers imply two completely different stories. I also dislike when they change the cover and title and I buy the book again by mistake. (Different discussion).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done that too Carla. (As mentioned in my old post ‘Same book different title’) I was excited to learn that there was a new book in a series I was reading only to find that it was the UK title for a book I already bought. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kelly says:

    My reactions were the same as yours 😄 First cover: creepy house check, atmospheric background check, gimme gimme! Second cover: yikes, thanks but no thanks 😳😂 Maybe the second cover is all wrong for this book and they decided to revamp it to attract the right audience. Guess we’ll never know because we’re put off by the second cover 😄 I’m very picky about book covers of physical books, I searched high and low for the “right” cover of Malibu Rising, as I didn’t like the alternative at all.


  10. nsfordwriter says:

    They look like they’re for different genres! One looks like a supernatural thriller, the other a romance.


  11. I agree that a cover will initially draw me into a book or make me want to skip it completely but I don’t think I have ever changed my mind about a book because I hated one cover edition and loved another one. Honestly for me while the cover will initially draw me in a base wanting to read the book solely on if I found the synopsis intriguing or not.


  12. That second cover turns me off as well! The cover is very important for me and the first thing that helps me decide if I want to read it or not.


  13. Wow, this is an object lesson for sure!!


  14. WendyW says:

    I am definitely a sucker for a cute cover and have read many bland books because the cover drew me in. And, I’ll admit a terrible cover does turn me off. I agree with you on your examples above, the first cover makes the book seem intriguing, and the second cover turns me off the book completely. But, I suppose some people might prefer the second cover?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Wendy I’m sure you are correct. Readers who enjoy romantic suspense might prefer the second cover. For me, it was eye opening to see how vastly the two different covers were for the same book. Truth be told though, once I read the blurb, I wouldn’t have wanted to read this one anyway.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Shaharee says:

    To be honest: I don’t like both of the covers. And yes: covers are the first thing that captures a reader’s attention. It makes people read the blurb. Then they look at the price. Some people take it still one step further and do the page 69 test. Marshall McLuhan, the guru of The Gutenberg Galaxy(1962), recommends that the browser turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book. It works.


  16. Karen says:

    I’m attracted by a cover too before the blurb and that second one would definitely put me off as that isn’t my reading choice. I think I’d feel a bit cheated as the first over clearly gives off a creepy suspense vibe.


  17. I’m with you on the second cover an instant turn off – suggestive of a genre that just doesn’t appeal. They might sat never judge a book by it’s cover, but in all honesty, unless it’s an author I know, or it’s a recommendation, it’s the cover that initially draw me to a book. After that I read the blurb and make a decision. With so many books being published, a book deserves to have a decent cover to give it a fighting chance.


    • Agreed Jill. The blurb is the second point of reference for me as well. After reading the blurb for this book, I would have been unlikely to pursue reading it whatever the cover.


  18. Martie says:

    Happy Fourth to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: What a difference a cover makes – A reader’s discussion – Book Library

  20. That second cover is a real turn off for me too Lynne! I totally understand why you decided not to add it to your tbr. I’m sure this has happened to me as well, but can’t think of any recent examples.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Calmgrove says:

    I absolutely agree. I only buy paper books as I can’t cope with ebooks, but unless there’s absolutely no choice I prefer to seek out an edition with a decent cover. That’s easier with titles published some time ago, less easy with books which have just appeared, but often (if the books have had a good reception) I’m prepared to wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Pingback: What a difference a cover makes – A reader’s discussion | Imobiliare 24

  23. mrbooks15 says:

    I agree on covers attracting me to pick or not a book; when I browse on NetGalley for instance, it’s the cover that first draws me in, then I read the description and decide whether I’d like to read it or not. I do realise there could be good ones with bad covers that one ends up missing this way. On the contrary, the one time I requested/read a book which had no cover at that point, based on the description alone – I ended up with a cheesy romance which I somehow made it through. The description had me expecting a novel of village society and related dramas and such.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! I think that in a perfect world, whoever designs the cover and writes the blurb should be required to read the book first. I know that time constraints make that impossible though… Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 2 people

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