On Buying Books

The more I read and learn about self-publishing, the more I realize just how weird I seem to be. The importance of covers is one of the things the community at large agrees on. Yet, I can’t say that, as a reader, I’ve ever  bought or even looked at a book because of its cover.

A lot of this may be due to living in a small town and reading only English rather than the local language. My bookstore has one narrow shelf of English books with the spines facing the front. Only what they consider sensational gets a top row cover display. As these are almost always romance novels–a genre which bores me to tears–I’m used to ignoring whatever is flashing its cover at me. So, unless a title catches my attention, I’ll never even see the cover and even then I tend not to see” the cover until I get around to reading the book in question.

Worse yet: I don’t sample pages either. I’ll skim the blurb on the back and sometimes sniff the pages because if I have to choose I’ll always buy the book that smells newer. New book smell is too awesome to pass up. But by the time I finish my skimming, my decision’s already made and, no matter how pretty or ugly the cover, it won’t sway me.

I do the same with ebooks. Minus the sniffing, of course.And while I’ll definitely do my best to adhere to the majority here–most if not all of these people have a lot more experience than me–I carry a tiny shred of hope that I’m not the only cover ignorer out there. At least, until I can afford to buy awesome covers.


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