Covers. They have a lot more influence over your book selections than you probably realise. I know that I for one blatantly disregard a book if I don’t strike up any immediate appeal with the cover.
It could be a brilliant story sprawled out across the pages inside, but I’ll never get to experience it because of my closed-off mind when it comes to the acceptance of covers that don’t call out to me. If the cover doesn’t grab me then the book never makes it to my shelf basically.
It’s not a great approach because it is narrow-minded and I am missing out. But it’s the truth in my book selection process and it probably applies to most of us.
With my own covers (see the gallery here) that I have designed for my short stories, I have tried to put as much into them as I can, to make them as sleek, as professional looking and as cool as I can.
The advice that I read in a Smashwords guide somewhere about taking off the title text and still being able to get a grasp of the emotion and genre of the book simply through the cover picture, has really stuck with me.
It’s an ethos that I’ve tried to work with. Anyway, here is a great post about a unique approach to actually judging a book by its cover.