I have a question for all authors and potential authors this morning: HOW MUCH IMPACT DOES A BOOK'S COVER HAVE ON SALES?
I'll cast my vote by saying, NOT VERY MUCH and I offer up covers of some very successful novels to make my point.
Saving Rachel by John Locke has sold millions of copies. Its cover is not unattractive; however, does the cover give you even the tiniest clue as to what's inside? Put another way, is this cover outstanding enough to have been responsible for sales in the millions?
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins ranks #3 on Amazon. Do you think the cover had anything to do with its sales? Are you kidding me? Looking at this cover, do you know what the book's about?
Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris ranks #13 on the Amazon bestsellers list, but what's wonderful about this cover?
Yet, first-time authors continue to argue that what's on the cover helps make the book. They also say if the cover is not outstanding, they will be ashamed of the book and not promote it. Are they correct? Will a cover alone make a novel a bestseller? Again, I defer to the above novels. Would you be ashamed to have written any of them? Isn't it what comes after the cover that really counts? Sour apples sometimes have wonderfully shiny skins.