Judging a Book by it’s Cover

Sherry James

Sherry James is a country girl to the bone and loves to write about sexy contemporary and historical cowboys. When she's not writing, she's riding one of her six horses, wrangling two kids, or laboring in the hayfield on the hottest dang days of the year with her hubby. You can find Sherry here every 2nd Friday of the month. Visit her web site www.sherryjames.com


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Whether you’re Irish or not, I hope you have a fun and safe one. And with St. Patrick’s Day almost here, that means spring is just around the corner. Yew-Haw! That also means I have a new book coming out soon!

Right now we’re in the middle of designing the cover for COWBOY AFFAIR, and I thought it’d be fun to get some input from you all as to what you like, and don’t like, to see on book covers. These days most covers are done utilizing photographs. Years ago each cover was designed and hand painted by an artist and some were absolutely breathtaking works of art. Thanks to technology it seems as though those covers are mainly a thing of the past, with a few exceptions, of course.

My newest book is a contemporary cowboy and for those of you who’ve read COWBOY FLING and have been wondering if Paige’s sister, Dorie, gets her chance to fulfill her side of the sexual fantasy bet, I can promise she’s getting her chance. I’ll keep you posted as to an exact release date set for this spring.

In the meantime, the cover has to be decided upon. Although we’ve always been told not to judge a book by its cover we do anyway, and it’s the cover which helps nudge a reader to give a book a second look, or to pass it by. That means the cover can be crucial to a book’s success, or lack of.

I think most of us will agree we’re counting on the cover to give us a sense of the tone/style of the book. If the cover is dark, mysterious and conveys a sense a danger, we expect the book to follow suit and give us a scary, suspenseful read. If the cover is light, has a tranquil feel to it, or features small town USA, we probably expect a down home type of read. If the cover is kind of quirky, we expect the book to have a humorous tone. If the cover shows us lots of skin and the hero and heroine in a steamy embrace we expect a steamy, hot read. And of course, if the cover features a cowboy, we expect the hero to be a cowboy.

So, my dear readers, what do you like to see on a book cover?

*The bare chested hero?

*The headless hero?

*The hero with a face?

*Both the hero and heroine on the cover, and we see their faces? Or no faces?

*Only the heroine on the cover?

*No people, just a landscape scene, or objects that convey the type of the story.


Share your likes and dislikes and Sunday evening I’ll choose one winner to win your choice of one of my books in digital format!

Thanks for reading! Thanks for sharing! And Thanks for following Authors By Moonlight. See you back here on April 11th.

Sherry James



11 Responses to “Judging a Book by it’s Cover”

  • Quilt Lady [ 14Mar14]

    I love the cowboy on a book cover but like to see his face, bare chest is good also. Love the cowboy hat on.

  • Sherry James [ 14Mar14]

    Thanks for your input, Quilt Lady! I like a goodlookin’ bare chested cowboy on the cover as well. Love seeing a hat, too. But, I’m picky when it comes to hats. It has to be a REAL cowboy hat. Some hats they show on book covers a true cowboy would never wear!
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Sherry James

  • bn100 [ 15Mar14]

    like all kinds of covers; don’t like to see the same cover used by different authors

  • Mary Preston [ 15Mar14]

    I do judge books by their covers. My daughter keeps telling me off for this.

    I like covers that stand out. I often prefer covers that do not have models on them., because rarely do they match how I see the characters.

  • Debra St. Johm [ 17Mar14]

    I prefer people on covers, the couple of possible. As for shirts off/on for the hero, it all depends on the type of story. If it’s a really sexy story, by all means, go with skin!

    It’s hard not to judge a book by its over, and I think the cover is an important marketing piece and needs to be right: convey the mood, tone, etc. of the story.

  • Sherry James [ 17Mar14]

    I agree bn100. I don’t like to see cover reused. Takes away from the uniqueness of the book.

    Thanks for stopping!

  • Sherry James [ 17Mar14]

    Hi, Mary. I have to confess I’m guilty of judging a book by it’s cover, too. I think I do because I’m very artistic, I was an art major in college and still paint and draw these the days so, I not only look at the cover as a window into the story, but I study the artistic detail.

    Thanks for sharing your input!

  • Sherry James [ 17Mar14]

    Hey, Debra! I agree, the cover is a crucial part of the marketing a book. A lot rides upon it. But everyone likes different things, and that makes it such a challenge. When it comes to cover design, one just has to go with the gut, I guess, and hope for the best. Thanks for your input!

  • Sherry James [ 17Mar14]

    Congratulations to bn100! She is the winner of the book of her choice of my books! My thanks to all who left comments. I’ll see you back in April!

  • Best Fiverr Alternative [ 09May14]

    What’s up, attractive post, truly thanks for your insight

  • Best Fiverr Alternative [ 10May14]

    you have brought up a very fantastic details , appreciate it for the post.

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