Today’s Armchair BEA prompt is about aesthetics in books and blogs. In other words, I’m getting ready to judge books by their covers! I’d like to say that never happens, but if I’m honest, a poorly designed cover (or an overly simple one) will definitely keep me from picking up a book. Fortunately, I pick most books based on reviews from other bloggers, so I’ll often request a book from the library or buy it for my Kindle before I ever see the cover.
Part of this prompt asks, “How often are you surprised by what you find?” and I have to say, for the most part, covers are a decent indicator of the quality of the book. I read and review a lot of ARCs and books by self-publishing authors, and I’ve found that if time and effort (and probably money) has been put into the cover design, the same can probably be said for the book itself. If the cover is gimmicky or just has the title and author’s name, there are likely to be some serious flaws inside. (That said, I have been surprised in the past by books with terrible graphics on the cover that were actually well written and entertaining.)
Really though, when it comes down to it, I don’t much care if the cover art matches the story inside perfectly. It’s nice when it does, but as long as the cover looks pretty and the story is well written, I’ll be happy.
In terms of my own blog branding, I have to admit I’ve been a little haphazard. (Long-time readers will remember the various styles of photos I’ve used over the past few years!) I’m not much of a photographer, so I’ve finally settled on trying to take pictures of the physical books I read and review and buying a bundle of stock photos that I love. I try for simple, clear, well-lit photos (generally nature-themed) with typewriter-esque text on top. I know my blog itself could use an update, but I’ve yet to make the leap to a specialized theme. One day! In terms of my reviews, I’ve been a little more consistent. I tend to write the same way I talk, so sometimes that means using long, college-y words and sometimes that means incoherent fangirling. (I try to keep it real.)
Do you judge books by their covers? What’s your take on blog branding? Leave your thoughts or a link to your post in the comments!