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Discussion: Judging a Book By Its Cover

MM cover

Turns out, you really can judge a book by its cover.

Or you should be able to. Covers are generally the first thing we notice about a book, and while they may have taken on slightly less importance in the digital world, they still can convey a lot about a book.

When I used to go to book sales at the library, I could generally tell immediately when a given book was sci fi, or fantasy, or paranormal. How?

Each genre has its own style – images we’re likely t see. Font choice. Even the title. Each of these elements can help convey what we’re going to get if we pick up the book.

Of course, these conventions can be broken. For instance, MM romance books don’t have to have two guys on the cover. But throwing away the usual cover conventions can also mean you lose readers who don’t clue into what the book is supposed to be about.

So what do you look for in a sci fi cover? A fantasy cover? A paranormal cover? An MM romance or FF romance cover? Or LGBT fiction in general? And is the cover the deciding factor for you when picking up a new book, in paperback or e format?

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