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...

The French Gardener
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

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu