Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bookie Brunch: with vvb32 reads

Welcome to Bookie Brunch
Founder: Sasha Soren
(Random Magic)
Come join the discussion!
* Every Sunday*

Today’s host: vvb32 reads - me-me-me
Next week’s host: The Fluidity of Time
This week’s discussion open through: Wednesday, August 17

Guests this week:
Guest blogger: Jo of The Fluidity of Time
Guest blogger: Natalie of Songs and Stories
Guest author: Scott Nicholson, author of Liquid Fear
Guest author: Zoe Whitten, author of Peter the Wolf
Guest author: Belinda Boring, author of Without Mercy
Guest author: Louise Bohmer, editor/author of Old School

AND, you’re invited!


QUESTION: Are you likely to read an e-book with an appealing cover or does the description/synopsis of an e-book weigh more heavily?

Related topics to consider: In keeping with my August Thrills-n-Chills event, please show us or link to 2-3 e-book covers that captured your attention recently, and tell us why.


vvb - the host, first in the hot seat

Brunch Beverage pick: Sitting down with a starbuck's mocha coconut frappuccino I lift my frosty drink up with a good morning toast.

Answer: YES, the cover art whether ebook or print is what first draws my attention. So, it must be attended to just as much as for print.

In fact, the cover art for steampunk books (only available in ebook format) that came out last year were a major influence in my decision to get a kindle.

In particular, this set created, A Silk, Steel, and Steam Story, by kanaxa first drew my attention...

Bluebeard's Machine
by Mari Fee

Flavia's Flying Corset:
by Sahara Kelly

Stealing Utopia:
by Tilda Booth

Related topics:
I agree with Jo (see below), unfortunately there are a lot of ebooks that do not pay close attention to cover art detail and are off-putting.

For August Thrills-n-Chills, here are my picks...

Old School
edited by Louise Bohmer

I like how this one has an antique-y feel and oozes with horror.

33 A.D.
by David McAfee

Creepy - just creepy!


Guest: Jo of The Fluidity of Time

Brunch Beverage pick: Brunch beverage of choice will be a bellini, please (champagne and peach juice). :)

Answer: When it comes to cover art, the way a cover looks can really influence whether or not someone picks up a physical book. As a reader, and a librarian, I know this to be true. However, e-books are a different matter. If you have a black and white reader, like I do, the cover art really doesn't mean much. So, I tend to go only with the synopsis of the book. If I give an e-book a review on my blog, I still mention what I think of the cover art, because I find it interesting. I will note that I usually do not pick up a physical book based solely on cover art. While a beautiful cover will catch my eye, if I pick it up and the story doesn't sound like my cup of tea, I'll put it back.

What I think is interesting to think about it what the future of cover art will be, with so many e-books being published these days. People don't necessarily browse e-books the way they might browse physical books at a store or library, or do they? When people browse our library's selection of e-books, the books have the same covers as the physical books do, so maybe they do choose things based on cover art. I'm interesting in seeing what others have to say on this topic.

Related topics:
e-book covers that I've seen that have caught my attention (I'm focusing on independent publishers):

by Daniel Coleman

I saw the cover art because I was forwarded a link for the book, and I think it's nice and perfectly suits the story.

Jam Don't Shake
by Nicholas Carter

After browsing covers, I found this one. The title caught my attention because it reminds me of that expression "It must be jelly, 'cause jam don't shake like that." And then, jam..... yummy. No idea if the book is any good, but I like the cover art.

I don't normally browse e-books, I actually had to do some browsing to find covers that caught my attention.

I could have given plenty of examples of unattractive, poorly done cover art, however.


Guest: Natalie of Songs and Stories

Brunch Beverage pick: I am having a homemade caramel frappuccino with a dollop of whipped cream.

Answer: When I am deciding whether or not to read an e-book, I don't usually pick one for its cover. It might be the first thing that catches my attention, but not what makes up my mind. If I see a beautiful cover, I read the description and decide from that. However, if a book has an ugly cover, chances are I won't even bother clicking on it. I would love to be able to say that I never judge a book by its cover, but I have probably missed out on some good ones because of ugly or boring covers. I like covers that are truly representative of the style of the story.

The Dark Rising
by Lacey Weatherford

Recently I have purchased a couple of e-books where I really liked the covers, but that isn't what made up my mind. For example, I bought The Dark Rising by Lacey Weatherford because I enjoyed her other books, the cool cover was just a bonus. I like the shades of gray and the way her eyes are closed as if anticipating something she doesn't want to see, which I think suits both the cover and the title.
by Lisa T. Bergren

I got Waterfall by Lisa Bergen because the description sounded lovely and the cover is really pretty. (Plus it was free, always an added incentive.) I really like the blues, the use of light and the castle in the background. (I have a thing for castles.)


Guest: Scott Nicholson, author of Liquid Fear

Brunch Beverage pick: Coffee. I'm hopelessly addicted. (Is there any other way to be addicted besides "hopelessly"?)

Answer: I am more likely to take a second look at a book with an evocative cover, but if the book description isn't well written, I avoid it. There are some indie books with great covers that look professional, but the books themselves are full or errors and bad writing--and I think that is going the market in the short term as people shy away from authors they don't know. However, the market will sort itself out over time.

Related topics:
Covers I like...
Mile 81
by Stephen King

Stephen King's Mile 81 is simple and provocative, though his name is a little lost in the darkness at small size.

by Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch's Run is simple and conveys mood and vital information.

American Vampire
(Vampire for Hire #3)
by J.R. Rain

I like the way J.R. Rain's Vampire for Hire covers get away from the "rectangle look" and make use of the fact that an ebook cover is a digital button, not a book cover.

Liquid Fear
by Scott Nicholson

FYI: Liquid Fear is a cover I did myself that a lot of people seem to like--I think it is the unusual use of the lettering and the creation of tension that appeals to people.


Guest: Zoe Whitten, author of Peter the Wolf

Brunch Beverage pick: Oh, I'd have to go with a dark and stormy. Rum and ginger beer for the win. (^_^)

Answer:: If I'm shopping in a bookstore, often the cover will alert me to the genre. But beyond that, most print covers these days are dull stock photos with some artfully arranged text. Half the time, the person on the front won't even look like anyone in the book.

So for me, the blurb carries a lot more power than a cover. Online this is even more true because almost all covers are turned into postage stamps online, or their crunched for smaller size and made ugly by the vendors. So again, the blurb is important. But with online books, I'm also allowed a free preview, and that's often my deal making decision point when I shop online. But the blurb has to be interesting before I'll look at the preview.

Related topics:
On the realted question, I can't really give any cover examples that wowed me. I've spent a lot of time thinking on it, and there were nice covers on some of my ebooks. But none of those covers are what sold me on the books.

I do have a new release I could promote that would fit in with you thriller and chillers them, a lycanthrope fantasy called Peter the Wolf.

Peter the Wolf
by Zoe Whitten

Peter Holmes is a troubled teen still grieving the death of his sister. A victim of long term abuse, he escaped his parents only to find life as a foster child is another form of torture. Now living with his fourth family after a stint in juvenile detention, his view of his future is bleak until he meets Alice Culpepper and learns about the world of competitive gymnastics. But as Peter trains in the Culpepper gym and tries to get his life on track, his growing friendship with Alice threatens his new life, his foster family, and even his freedom. As if things couldn't get any worse, his insane mother just escaped from prison...

FIND out more or read an excerpt here.


Guest: Belinda Boring, author of Without Mercy

Brunch Beverage pick: My favorite beverage of choice: It depends on what I'm in the mood for. I love icy cold water, Coke Zero, chocolate milkshake or the perfect mixture of water and ice cold lemonade. I'm not a "sweet" drink person so people always laugh when I water my juices down. They think I'm a weakling... I'm just protecting my teeth LOL One thing I will add is all my drinks HAVE TO BE cold otherwise I won't touch them. You can always tell where I've been in my house by the trail of half filled cups left because I didn't drink it fast enough. Drives my hubby nuts but I remind him it's one of my "endearing" quirks :)

Answer:: Hahaha! I am a self-proclaimed cover whore so I’m definitely influenced by what I see when I pick up a book. I don’t mean to “judge” but being a visual person, if I’m not drawn or enticed by the cover, I may not take the time to look at the blurb. Having said that though, if the cover is REALLY bad, I’ve read the description just to see what the book is about…and giggle a little. Covers are such a VITAL part in promoting the book and I think it’s important that it not only look good but sends the right message. Nothing makes me more sad than to see a bad cover ☹

It’s kind of dangerous basing whether I’ll buy a book by the cover design because there have been times where I’ve completely dismissed a series based on the covers. I remember first seeing CL Wilson’s Tairen Soul books and thinking “Oh my gosh, so cheesy” and it wasn’t until months later I finally took the plunge and bought them. Honestly… my all-time FAVORITE romance series! It taught me a valuable lesson that sometimes a closer look is needed and I shudder to think of what amazing stories I’ve missed because the cover didn’t appeal.

Related topics:
Okay, here’s a classic example of how impulsive I am when it comes to buying books and how strongly I’m swayed by a well-designed cover.

Bunny And The Bear
by Eve Langlais

Aside from the fact, I LOVE Eve and her stories – I knew NOTHING about this book and what it was about. It didn’t stop me from seeing it and buying it based on the cover though. I’m a HUGE fan of Jimmy Thomas (romance cover model) and my first thought was “Wow, if he’s on this book, it must be good!” The whole process took less than a minute and it’s now sitting on my Kindle looking pretty!

My Fair Highlander
by Mary Wine

I recently went to RomCon and Mary was there. I was at one of the events where they were giving out book covers to play parlor games and I got hold of this one. Embarrassing or not, I proceeded to spend that time stroking and gazing at the cover, totally in love with it. Seriously - stroked it with my hand like it was a kitten. I vowed that I would buy the book and I ended up getting a free copy but it once again, it showed how strongly I’m influenced. Never read the blurb. Saw the cover and was HOOKED!

FYI: just released last month...
Without Mercy
by Belinda Boring


Just in...

Guest: Louise Bohmer, editor/author of Old School

Brunch Beverage pick: Coffee on the weak side with a dash of milk.

Answer: The cover is the first aspect to grab my attention, but the description will clinch it. If I don't think the book is something I'll be interested in, or if the back cover description is written poorly, I'll put the book back. However, talking with some publishers recently, I've found some readers will pick up an ebook, or book, based on cover alone. And it does seem we're ever more living in a time of the impulse buy, so an appealing cover is quite important, in my opinion.

Related topics:
A couple covers that have caught my attention recently, and why:

Sea of Serpents
by K.H. Koehler

K.H. Koehler's Sea of Serpents -- I love the clean, simple design and the shade of blue. The lettering is neat and large, making it easy on the eyes. Clean and simple designs grab my attention right away.

Zombie Novels
by David Dunwoody

David Dunwoody's Empire -- Again, I love the clean, simple design. Font is easy to read, nice and large, and the green mist gives it just the right amount of sinister atmosphere.


Please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section, so they can be included in the discussion.

And share what brunch beverage you enjoy.

This is an active discussion though Wednesday, so feel free to stop by again later on.

*-*-* B R U N C H goodies *-*-*

Win this...

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by Santa Montefiore
-a light read
perfect for a day at the beach or a picnic

A neglected garden.

A cottage that holds a secret.

A mysterious Frenchman (handsome, naturally).

A family in need of some love.

It begins as Miranda and David Claybourne move into a country house with a once-beautiful garden. But reality turns out to be very different from their dream.

Then an enigmatic Frenchman arrives on their doorstep. With the wisdom of nature, he slowly begins to heal the past and the present. But who is he? Wise and winsome, The French Gardener is a contemporary story told with an old-fashioned sensibility steeped in the importance of relationships and the magical power of love.

Audio clip: Note: This is a paperback edition, but you can listen to a
clip from the book being read right here: Audio clip, The French Gardener

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

signup to win this book
-courtesy of Sasha Soren
author of Random Magic and Bookie Brunch Founder
Thanks Sasha!


* Bookie Brunch is a weekly meet-up, held every Sunday, where book bloggers can have a cup of tea and chat about a particular bookie question of interest. The discussion is open from Sunday through Wednesday, and you’re welcome to drop by any time to add your opinion or read what other people have to say. This discussion is open as well to general readers or bloggers in a different field, authors, publishers and publicists. More details can be found here.

Contact Bookie Brunch
Be a guest at an upcoming brunch: @StoryWings
Bring goodies for a giveaway: @StoryWings
Suggest a question: @LiederMadchen

* Courtesy guidelines: Thank you for coming! All thoughtful comments will be considered and probably get a response from fellow bloggers. In fact, you’re encouraged to talk about it and share viewpoints or include links to relevant materials. We’d like everyone to have a nice time. Differing viewpoints are just fine, even if strongly expressed, but inflammatory or off-topic comments will be removed.

* image source drinks, mocha coconut frappuccino, bellini, caramel frappuccino, horror mug, dark&stormy, ice water, creature of the night mug

* HUGE THANKS to this week's guest bloggers and authors - y'all rock!

* also part of August Thrills-n-Chills event


  1. I would have to say that the covers still entice me on ebooks just like real books. I do get drawn into books by their cover though I don't mean to judge them that way. I have however been asked to read many self pub ebooks lately and only been given the synopsis and said yes. And later when I've seen the cover thought, hmmm if I had seen this cover on the shelf I probably wouldn't have picked it up. So I suppose it can go either way. I still think covers can make a huge difference for marketing books since it's the very FIRST thing we learn about a book - title, author and cover image are what draw me in and then synopsis can make or break the deal. I've put many a pretty cover down as well because the story didn't do anything for me.

  2. Really interesting to see all the book covers and read what people think about them. Velvet, those first 3 that you put up definitely caught me eye -- they make the books look very cool!

    I was thinking some more about book covers in general, and how it can be a real shame when a great book has an ugly cover. As a librarian, I see it happen all the time, and it can be frustrating, especially for books aimed at teens. I can think of one that was a really good story, but the cover art is so ugly that no one ever picks up the book.

    But, cover art is important. It's like that saying that you eat with your eyes first (at least, I hear that on Top Chef all the time). I guess we sometimes "read with our eyes first", too!

  3. @ chrystal - the synopsis is the tie-breaker for me too.

    @ jo - curious about the teen book you mention, care to divulge the title? love that Top Chef quote "read with our eyes first" -may have to create a meme with it

    funny to note: there are some readers who like to collect books with gorgeous cover and never end up reading them

  4. I think the cover has to be decent, it is the first thing you see and has to lure you to want to read the synopsis. The synopsis is the reason for reading the book though, along with word-of-mouth. But still the cover HAS to appeal to get you to read the back or flap.

  5. Always the summary is more important but cover is the first idea you get from a book. Personally, no matter what book is if i see a cover which doesn't seem well done to me or it's not appealing i'm having seconds thoughts. Especially at e-books. When i see a well cared cover i feel like the inside will be more like it too.

  6. @ freda - yup, covers definitely must pique the interest

    @ yiota - yes, always the hope -that the innards match a great cover

  7. I agree with the majority. I don't read e-books, but I think I would react the same way as with the print copies. The cover is what grabs my attention but it depends on book description whether I decide to read it or not.

    I do thinks that cover are very important though. A book may be great, but I would probably never pick it up if the cover does not appeal to me. For me it's the colors, the elements on the cover, then the title and what decides is the content description. There are just too many books, so I think people's mind have to work through some quick pre-selection process, and vision is our primary sense. Hence, the cover is crucial to capture a potential reader's attention. The final choice, naturally, depends on the content.

  8. Whether they are eBooks or Paperbacks, covers do play a big role! Andthe synopsis comes a close second.

    Great discussion and some really lovely covers. But the 2nd set was REALLY creepy!

  9. Such good looking I want starbucks. Since it's not an option at this moment will have to satisfy myself with tea.

    I have to say that if I'm shopping for books the cover is the first thing to get me to pick up a book. If the cover doesn't catch my eye, then I'm probably not even going to look at the blurb. The few occasions when I don't care about a cover are if I recognize the authors name or the title of the book. If it's someone I have read before who's work I like, or if it is a book I've heard good things about, then I will pick it up.
    I think this opinion has also carried over into how I pick out books for my Kindle.
    I admit that for the first few weeks if it said "free" I was downloading it. Cover art be damned it was getting put in my reader. Now that I've gotten over the idea that I can get tons of books and not take up any more shelf space.(always a plus) I've gotten pickier. (although I still have to stay away from some of the free book places or I'll start downloading everything I
    If the cover looks terrible, and the author or publisher didn't put enough thought or time into it, then I just automatically assume they didn't put too much time into editing or the story itself, and I get annoyed if there are obvious typos and stuff in a book or plot holes etc.
    I have to say though that thanks to blogs a lot more books get looked at dispite their covers if only because the blurb is usually right below the picture. So it's a little easier to scroll down and check it out, no extra clicking involved.

  10. First off, let me say thank you for having gotten snared by my newest cover for Bunny And The Bear. Amanda Kelsey of Razzdazz design does an awesome job when it comes to covers and of course you can never go wrong with Jimmy ;) As a reader, covers definitely grab my attention first, but it's the blurb that decides if I'm shelling out money to own it. I am especially partial to naked chests lol

  11. E-books are my last choice so I would only read an e-book if a physical copy is not available and even then, I would probably not and wait until it is. That said, I am one pulled in easily by aesthetic appeal so I have tried out books based on the cover alone. Some of them have been horrible surprises and others have just reaffirmed the awesomeness.

    (I'll have you know that the drinks almost made me weep. I'm fasting (it's Ramadan) so it's a test in endurance. Hehe.)

  12. I find the steampunk and the Eve Langlais covers very eyecatching. The design is simple, the colors are fabulous on the steampunk especially, and the text is clean and easy to read. All a big plus for me.

    Covers draw me in first, but it's the description that clinches it for me. I actually checked out Eve after seeing that cover, and I think I might have to try some of her work.

  13. I honestly prefer to read print copies however, if I do read ebooks, like my print copies, I do get swayed by the cover design. Although pretty covers may entice me to pick it up, I would have to say that the description of the story is what makes my final decision as to which book to pick up.

    great bookie brunch all!!! Have a lovely weekend!

  14. Well, I don't read e-books. I've read a couple in the past because they were not available in paperback format, and in those cases I read them because I had an interest in the author.

    I am definitely lured in by covers when it comes to paper books. And this is another one of the failings of e-books - the cover's importance is kind of lost, since no matter how nice it may look on a screen, it's no substitute for what the cover would look like in real life. Especially for people who only have b&w e-readers - they're not getting the full effect of colored covers anyways.

    So, I have to say that if I was ever an e-reader person, the synopsis of the book would win out.

  15. I'm definitely attracted by book cover design, then title. I like close up and relevant photos that speak volume.

    Every Savage Can Reproduce

  16. @ Pepca - colors do help emit the vibe of the book, black and dark colors for scary, thriller, mystery, etc.

    @ Veens - 33 A.D. is so creepy it got me to read the synopsis and visit the author and then get the book!

    @ AimeeKay - good point regarding the author, if i am already familiar with an author and like the author then it just comes down to the synopsis for me

    @ Eve - hey, thanks for visiting - LOL - there is certainly "something" about naked chests that screams grab ME

    @ thebookwurrm - i've noticed more and more ebooks turning into print after finding a bit of success with their first run of ebook editions, so the wait isn't too long if the story is a good one (i think)

    @ Louise - hey, thanks for visiting too and for your input with your picks added on

    @ Moonlight Gleam - aha, words prevail

    @ sarasaysread - ahh yes, author love prevails ;-D

  17. @ Enid - agreed, relevant pics helps backup the title

  18. ok since we are talking book covers, has anyone seen the little blurb they did in this weeks people about Long Drive Home by Will Allison (amazon link to book: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (amazon link

    Both came out this year, but somehow they both ended up with the same cover. That has to be terrible for the author. Honestly how many times does that happen?

  19. Thank you so much for having me as a guest, Velvet! Those steampunk covers are awesome, I am going to have to look into those... :)

  20. Great post, Velvet, thanks for including me and the other authors and bloggers!

  21. So glad WATERFALL caught your eye! I adore the cover, but I've noticed that when it's in the small Amazon format, the title really gets lost. Glad it didn't lose YOU!

  22. Fabulous topic this week! I too am tipping back a bellini (nice suggestion, Jo!) (why can't I have one now??). I am a total impulse reader, whether ebook or physical book, and it's usual the cover/title/author that grabs me rather than a blurb. (In fact, too often I find blurbs give away more of the story than I'd like!) I mean, who could resist L.A. Noire with a cover like that??

  23. @ aimeekay - sure is distracting and can be confusing when books have the same cover art

    @ lieder - yes, please do

    @ scott - always glad to have you, you rock!

    @ lisa - thanks for visiting, must say i was taken with your cover when i saw it on netgalley

    @ audra - i picked up l.a. noire, too! for the same reason!

  24. Awesome. Thanks for mentioning 33 A.D. on your blog. Glad you like the cover. I wish I could take credit for it, but I paid someone else to do that one. :)

    Came out pretty good, though.

  25. @ mcafeeland - thanks for stopping in. i also like how your latest, 61 a.d. carries on the theme

  26. Author of "Jam Don't Shake" here. I didn't pick the cover art but the jam has a gritty, bloody look which is a nice touch and fully appropriate to the story.

    As to reading E-books based on their covers, I can't say that it's been much of a factor to this point. Then again, most of my online reading tends to be fiction mags. For books, I'm still caught up in the realm of paper.

  27. @ nicholas - thanks for the bit about your ebook cover, it is a comment i hear from authors with books in print too - no control over the image selected


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