Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Cover Question

This is a question that I spend a lot of time thinking about...covers.
Do books sell more when there is a person on the cover, a bare chest? A couple embracing? A sexy pose? Or do they sell more when there is an abstract cover? Color splashes? Blurry city scapes?
These questions confuse me because there is a rush of cover models and photographers that are selling their wares for what an indie author would consider a pretty penny.  Then you add in the cost of a cover designer and WOW that cover is mint. But will I make my money back?  Will I sell more books? If a model is standing beside me will it entice someone to pick up my book?
I read Entertainment weekly and I get that it isn't on the cusp of literature but in the back of the magazine they always put books that are on the top sellers list.  None of those books have people on them.  They are primarily abstract. 
Then today I went to a book store and I see that a book that had previously had two people on the cover now has been rebranded with an abstract cover.
Covers are driven by genre.  Romance is expected to have a Fabio figure on the cover.  But the intent of the cover is becoming muddled to me.  Is it for the reader or is it for the author to become involved in this world of author signings with a cover model at their side?  Is it for the reader to meet the character?  Or is an abstract cover better?  Letting the reader develop the picture in their head? What do you think?