Judging a Genre by its Cover

Many people have written posts about judging books by their covers, a lot of them saying that they do actually sometimes judge a book by its cover. I’ll admit that I do so too, occasionally. A while back, however, I realised that I don’t just judge books by their covers, I also judge entire genres by book covers.

Whoops. That seems a bit excessive, doesn’t it?

Montana-ActuallyI didn’t even know I was doing this either until I read a review by Jess on Gone with the Words. It was a review of a book called Montana Actually by Fiona Lowe, and the way Jess described it made it seem like exactly the kind of fluffy story I like to read (once in a while). I never would have picked up the book myself, though, because of the cover. I don’t mean to hate, but look at it. It’s so cheesy and just looks as if the story is going to be one big cliché.

In fact, it’s quite a miracle I even read the review in the first place, because I mostly just click “mark as read” on Bloglovin for reviews of books with covers like these. I mean, the review itself might be top notch, but I just wouldn’t be interested in reading the novel — this is what I tell myself anyway, because of the cover. Most of the times I don’t even read the blurbs.

I reject these romance novels out of hand, because in my mind, a cheesy cover equals a cheesy story, apparently.

throneofglassIt goes a bit further than that even with fantasy novels. I realised a while back that the main reason why I haven’t read (m)any fantasy novels is because of their covers. I don’t want to offend anyone, but most of them look quite ridiculous to me.

Take Throne of Glass, for example. After deciding to get out of my reading comfort zone, I read a lot of reviews of Throne of Glass, and I got really excited about reading it (still haven’t, but shush)! That’s when I realised the only reason I’d never read a review of it before was because I didn’t like the cover.

The covers of fantasy novels often look sort of childish to me, which is why I never felt the urge to read any novels from this genre. I just ignored fantasy altogether because of the book covers. I see now that that’s just plain stupid, but I simply didn’t realise it before.

Oh well. I plan on not judging books and genres by their covers anymore, but I expect it’s quite a persistent habit to shake…

What about you? Have you been ‘guilty’ of judging a genre by its cover as well? Let me know!

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Hi! I'm Anne and I love reading, baking and writing about both of those things. Welcome!

10 thoughts on “Judging a Genre by its Cover

  1. I suppose that the covers of my first three self-pubbed books look kind of cheap (smile) and I admit that the covers were. had to be. After all, I don’t make enough to buy pro covers. I made them myself, so they look like something the cat dragged in. My very first books (the uber expensive ones, the ones without e-book versions)) were created by house artists with the vanity I published through. two are lackluster even by my standards. The third (my very first novella) has a half-way decent cover. I wouldn’t even read them based on the cover, even though I have read plain cover books before and found them extremely amazing. I would, however, recommend my two volume set. Kind of hard to make covers for anthologies with more than five stories in them. Especially when there is no set genre.

    If you like horror, I suggest my other novella. the one with more than three reviews. It will definitely keep you up all night wondering. Even if the cover doesn’t. 🙂

    1. I totally understand not having the budget to go for an amazing cover! Perhaps that’s why I don’t really judge self published books by their covers, but by their blurbs. 🙂

  2. First, thanks for the shout out! I hope if you read the book you don’t feel I oversold it, haha. I totally understand this and am at times very guilty of it. It’s probably why I usually buy most romances in ebook format. 🙂

    1. No problem! Your review gave me the idea for this post, so I should be thanking you as well, haha! I probably still won’t read the book (since I’ve got so much more to read), so I guess we’ll never know! Buying them in ebook format seems like a great solution, though! 🙂

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