Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Book and Its Judged Cover

Make You Sweat received two great reviews last week. Whipped Cream Reviews gave it four cherries, and TRR gave it five stars, labeling it a Top Pick. Yay, and thank you!

Both reviewers commented on the cover, and it got me thinking. (Yes, that was the funny smell…)

When I filled out my cover art paperwork for Make You Sweat I mentioned that I loved PL Nunn’s covers, and then held my breath for several weeks. When I found out she’d been assigned to my book, it made my day. No, my week.

But I wasn’t always a fangirl.

Both of the reviewers for Make You Sweat mentioned the “cartoon” cover and said they might’ve passed it up because they didn’t like that style. Honestly, while I’m a fan of Nunn, I understand their reactions. I really do. The first time I saw one of Nunn’s covers, I thought the same thing. I didn’t know what Yaoi was at the time, and I’d only purchased books at the bookstores… you know, with photos, not drawings, as their covers. It was only after I read reviews and received several recommendations for the Heaven Sent series by Jet Mykles that I moved past my doubt and bought a book with Nunn’s art. She captured the Heaven Sent boys and their lovers perfectly, and from there, also capture me as a fan of her artwork.

Once I moved away from the initial doubt, I developed a habit of buying books with her covers without always reading the blurb. She has that effect on me. I broke out of my comfort zone and tried BDSM when I fell in love with Blue from fellow Slash & Burner Katrina Strauss’s Blue Ruin series. It turned out to be a good temptation, and the cover made me do it.

So what have I learned from this? Don’t judge a book by its cover? Heck, I hope we all know that already, but as I said, I still buy books with Nunn’s covers as if by rote. I enjoy most of them, but I have found myself tempted to purchase a book by an author I don’t enjoy when I see her art advertising it. On the flip side, as I draft this blog post, I think of a few books I’ve turned up my nose at because the cover was awful. I haven’t purchased a single ebook with a Poser designed cover, for example. The Poser men look creepy and unprofessional to me. (Yes, I’ve been told that sometimes they can look very real at the hands of someone who excels with the program, but alas, I don’t have an example for that.)

Will I read one now? It’s a habit I must break. After all, the reviewers at Whipped Cream and TRR took a chance on Make You Sweat, and loved it, so certainly I can pay that forward. I do like to challenge myself, stepping out of my personal comfort zone in so many ways. Yet this one simple challenge... 

Okay, dear Readers, leave me links for your favorite books with awful art. Help me to stop judging a book by its cover.

Pia Veleno

PS Speaking of judging covers, don't forget to vote in the Rainbow Awards poll for cover art. If you vote for Fallen, even better, but I promise to forgive you if you don't. ;-)

1 comment:

Katrina Strauss said...

Pia ~ Congrats on the awesome reviews! And thanks for the mention. PL Nunn's lovely art work is definitely a feather in our caps.

I also get the "cartoon covers" comments at times. I find them a bit dismaying, but remind myself it just means more people to convert to the yummy yaoi side. :D

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