Book Covers

I’m curious about the kinds of assumptions readers make about books based on their covers. So, with the following samples:

(1) Who do you think is the target audience?
(2) What genre or subgenre do you think the book belongs to?
(3) Would you be comfortable being seen reading this book in the subway, in terms of what you think it tells people about your reading tastes?

Yep, this is totally unscientific. You can also comment anonymously if that helps you be more frank. Remember, we’re saying nothing about the quality of the book in question, and no cheating by looking these titles up on the intertubes!

Jeff

Cover #1

Cover #2

Cover #3

Cover #4

Cover #5

Cover #6

Cover #7 (okay, so now I’m just teasing a friend)

Comments

  1. says

    My, that’s a good one. I’ll give it a shot:

    Cover #1: goth girls, supernatural chick lit, no
    Cover #2: boys in mom’s basement, military SF, no
    Cover #3: girls who believe in fairies, high fantasy, probably
    Cover #4: Hell’s Angels, biker lit, maybe
    Cover #5: people who are color-blind, no one, maybe
    Cover #6: lonely women, soft porn, no
    Cover #7: sad folk like us, New Weird, yes

    (By the way, I make a habit of reading books with embarrassing covers on the subway. Also I recognize most of these books and I know I’m miles off on one or two.)

  2. says

    This is a very interesting topic

    Cover #1 – target audience – (younger) women (which I find ironic with a scantily clad woman on the cover), supernatural romance (based on the title as much as cover art), uncomfortable
    Cover #2 – SF target audience (a male one at that), miliatry sci-fi, uncomfortable
    Cover #3 – women, altnerate history fantasy, mildly uncomfortable
    Cover #4 – anyone under 28 or so, urban fantasy?, not uncomfortable
    Cover #5 – computer geeks (as much due to the title as the art), cyberpunk (again with the title), not uncomfortable
    Cover #6 – southern women, romance, somewhat uncomfortable
    Cover #7 – teenage boys and girls, epic fantasy, uncomfortable

    This was very fun, of course I wonder if the influence of cover art is declining as the internet becomes the dominate place to browse for books. I know that I’m much more influenced by title, description, and blurb (I guess I’ve grown used to hating much of the cover art on books that I read).

  3. Oliver Kotowski says

    My take on it:

    Cover1: adolescent males; action thriller or cyberpunk without punk; no
    Cover2: teenage boys; pc-game tie-in space opera; no
    Cover3: young adult, probably females; contemporary/urban fantasy; okay
    Cover4: this ist some music-cd cover, isn’t it?; stylish & cool young adults with way too much money; no
    Cover5: open-minded people; experimental sf; yes
    Cover6: historic romance; frustrated wives; no
    Cover7: people that read high fantasy; high fantasy; okay

    Oliver

  4. Spencer says

    This exercise brings up an example that has haunted me for a couple of years: The cover art on the US Hardcover of Steven Erikson’s “Gardens of the Moon.” As per usual, the UK covers were just plain cool, yet that one particular jacket was made fun of perpetually in the bookstore where I work, mainly by our genre readers.

    Most of the covers above would drive me toward buying a Kindle ;)

    #1 – Female audience, Paranormal Romance or Young Adult Series, Uncomfortable (‘Cause I’m macho)
    #2 – Male audience, Military SF, Uncomfortable (Unless I’m showing off my support for a self-published friend)
    #3 – Both sexes, Epic Fantasy, Not Uncomfortable (I really like the background, yet the dagger-clutching image in the middle is a bit much)
    #4 – Both sexes, Urban Fantasy, Uncomfortable (The design is fine, I just don’t care for it)
    #5 – Male audience, Cyberpunk, Meh (I’d be uncomfortable due to the choice in font, but the rest is fine)
    #6 – Female audience, Erotica or Paranormal Romance, Uncomfortable (Again, macho)
    #7 – Both sexes, New Weird, Comfortable (The detail is aesthetically pleasing)

    That was fun, and I’d love to know what kind of focus groups the big publishers use to pick cover art.

  5. Jesse B says

    I only read hardcovers on the subway to hide the dustjacket along with my shame, but assuming I didn’t…

    Cover 1. William Gibson fans looking for something a little more sexy, cyberpunk, no sir–pretty uncomfortable
    Cover 2. Gamers, soft SF/action/sexy time, Oh lord no–this cover is the definition of embarassing subway reading
    Cover 3. The Wee Folk and their kin, young adult fantasy (cause grown-up fantasy would have a sexier cover), I’d be fine with this
    Cover 4. People who only buy their books at the mall, hipster romance, not really
    Cover 5. Bored Douglas Adams and Red Dwarf fans, SF comedy, I’d be more worried about causing seizures every time I turned the page or scratched my nose
    Cover 6. The ghosts of D.H. Lawrence and Henry James, erotic horror, sure– although it depends if it’s the Sexy Subway or not…and what the hell is that cat doing on the front?
    Cover 7. people browsing the fantasy section at the bookstore, swashbuckling steampunk, I see no problem with this sort of thing–all my favorite books have beared men dangling from airships on them

  6. says

    Cover #1:

    1. Women
    2. Urban fantasy romance or edgier non-spec romance

    Cover #2:

    1. Women
    2. SF romance

    Cover #3:

    1. Either gender, with a bit of a bias for XX
    2. Fantasy, medieval European flavor

    Cover #4:

    1. Either gender
    2. I’d default to SF/F/H, but it could be anything

    Cover #5:

    1. YA or women; despite the primaries I can’t imagine it being chosen for broad XY appeal
    2. Coming of age story; SF possibly implied by “quantum”

    Cover #6:

    1. Women
    2. Fantasy romance or erotica

    Cover #7:

    1. SF’s young male target demographic, plus all the other SF fans who are conditioned to look for things marketed to that demographic
    2. SF/F

    No particular embarrassment attaches to #3, #4, and #7. I’d probably be fine reading the others in public, too. I’ve been reading books with awful covers long enough to develop a thick skin.

  7. says

    1) Urban fantasy aimed at horny young males who might otherwise dare read it. The red is a hint to some violence behind. Probably wouldn’t read it on a subway, since I suspect it’d be a tradeback release.

    2) Umm….wow. Maybe this is directed more to those curious about furries but haven’t released it yet? I think it’s SF, but wow, what a hideous cover. Again, a no on the hypothetical public read.

    3) Aimed at more “traditional” secondary-world fantasy lovers, I’d have to say this is a bit flowery and tame. Not my style of book, but the cover is so bland that it wouldn’t stick out on the subway.

    4) Seems to be aimed more at a younger, hip audience. Likely dark gothic or urban fantasy. Garish, but I could tolerate it being seen in public.

    5) Aimed at those who dream of combining Dalí’s work with a kaleidoscope. Probably something a bit more surrealistic, with a “hard” SF twist. My eyes are hurting looking at that, so no on the public read.

    6) Umm…poor kitty, having to see that floating towards it. Audience probably is the more “artsy” crowd, so those above the age of 25 who dig garden sculpture porn. Umm…a no on the subway read.

    7) This last cover is obviously at that those who like their pirates to have a “softer” side and who like to commune with nature. Probably a “high concept” secondary-world fantasy that appeals most strongly to those who have tastes for the odd, especially for squid-like forms. I’d read it on the subway, I suppose…

  8. says

    Cover 1: Target audience would be fans of Laurell K. Hamilton’s work and the like. Looks like urban fantasy/horror to me. Probably a little too cheap looking to me to feel comfortable reading it at, say, the workplace.

    Cover 2: Target audience would be fans of LKH’s work who want some sci fi thrown in! ;) I would guess sci fi as a genre, not sure of a subgenre within sci fi. Oddly enough I should feel the same way about this one as I do the first cover but I don’t. I’d be quasi-okay with reading this in public.

    Cover 3: Target audience would be the kind of fantasy that have Tom Canty’s artwork on them. That is what this reminds me of. Looks like fantasy. No, wouldn’t be embarrassed.

    Cover 4: I would think adult reader’s of LKH-type fiction again, but I think I’ve seen this in the YA or Teen section of the store so that is the target audience. Wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with this one.

    Cover 5: Kids? Young adults? I have no idea what age the target audience with this one would be. The title makes me assume sci fi as a genre. Nothing embarrassing about this cover other than I think it is poorly done.

    Cover 6: Target audience: those who like paranormal romance? And cats? I would think this would be in the romance or contemporary fiction section of the bookstore. I actually do like the cover so I wouldn’t mind reading this in public despite its slight naughtiness. It has a bit of a sophisticated naughtiness to the look.

    Cover 7: Fantasy readers. Fantasy genre. I have actually heard some stuff about this one and it sounds interesting. Even though the cover art is nicely done, the main character just looks too gay. And I mean that in the flamboyant sense, not as a knock against anyone’s sexuality. It is more in the way his stance is portrayed or something. I would probably leave this dustjacket at home.

  9. says

    #1: (1) teenage girls (2) mystery/thriller, urban romance, or neo-post-cyberpunk (3) not very

    #2: (1) british males age 15-25 (2) space opera and/or ecothriller (3) marginally

    #3: (1) traditional fantasy readers age 15-50, skewing female (2) fantasy in the arty/fairy-tale retelling/”interstitial” mode (3) somewhat

    #4: (1) Storm Constantine fans (2) urban fantasy (3) up to a point

    #5: (1) college educated bourgeoisie, or high school English classes (2) literary fiction, possibly YA (3) probably

    #6: (1) upper-middle-class white women age 20-40 (2) literary fiction, memoir, or erotica (3) more or less

    #7: (1) traditional fantasy readers age 15-50, skewing male (2) fantasy in the “secondary creation”, good vs. evil, quest mode (3) not especially

  10. Peggy says

    (1) Who do you think is the target audience?
    (2) What genre or subgenre do you think the book belongs to?
    (3) Would you be comfortable being seen reading this book in the subway, in terms of what you think it tells people about your reading tastes?

    1. goth chicks/Laurell K. Hamilton readers, fantasy/supernatural romance, eh (if I were interested in reading the book, I wouldn’t mind if someone saw me reading it.
    2. geekboys, SF, no
    3. Lady SCA folk, high fantasy, sure, why not
    4. YA, YA Fantasy, yep
    5. SF fans looking for the odd or surreal, SF (collection, maybe), no
    6. women (the cat gives it away) 25 and up, fantasy (the cat gives it away), no
    7. new weird/steampunk fans, new weird, yes

  11. says

    (1) Who do you think is the target audience?
    (2) What genre or subgenre do you think the book belongs to?
    (3) Would you be comfortable being seen reading this book in the subway, in terms of what you think it tells people about your reading tastes?

    FIRST
    1) guys who want to read about hot girls kicking arse, or girls looking for more Laurell K Hamilton.
    2) action driven cyberpunk that’s heavily Matrix influenced, possibly even with vampires and werewolves involved, because they’re the only people in the world who walk around in that get up and still take themselves seriously.
    3) not really, because going on the cover alone, i wouldn’t pick that up.

    SECOND
    1) ….people with a thing for bad body paint? Is she a tiger? I HAVE IT. FURRIES.
    2) SF. With animal people.
    3) same as before.

    THIRD
    1) people who want softer stories, fairy tale-ish stories, bit of romance.
    2) fairy taleish stuff. with young girls who are very unremarkable but nevertheless the fate of the world is in their hands.
    3) yeah, it’s a good cover, that.

    FOURTH
    1) people who don’t want to be pegged as reading spec fic, haha! actually it looks like a CD cover. Probably for some emo punk band.
    2) urban dark phaantasy, potentially weird
    3) yup yup, could be interesting.

    FIFTH
    1) older sf fans
    2) whacky sf
    3) yup…got nothing against covers that do not feature any discernable people.

    SIXTH
    ZIS COVER DOES NOT LOAD ALAS ALACK

    SEVENTH
    1) people who still love t heir fantasy but are looking for something a bit different from the norm.
    2) that genre popping up that isn’t actually steampunk, but stems from it
    3) yup yup

  12. Nick C. says

    1. Socially awkward highschool boys who haven’t had real girlfriends yet, vaguely futuristic thriller, no.

    2. Star Trek fans, scifi, no.

    3. Women who frequently drink herbal tea and buy jewelry with crystals in it, fantasy in an alternate world that strongly resembles medieval Europe, yes but I’d sort of hide the cover.

    4. Hipsters, contemporary urban fantasy, yes.

    5. People who already have a basic understanding of what “quantum” means in physics, “literary” scifi and/or fantasy, yes.

    6. Women older than 35 who are trying to come to terms with the fact that they’re no longer in their 20s, family drama meets soft porn, no.

    7. People who rarely venture beyond the scifi/fantasy section in their local bookstore, epic fantasy, only if it turned out to be so good that I couldn’t make myself wait to keep reading.

  13. says

    Keep ‘em coming. I’m going to collate the results in my spare time and post by around Monday, probably. I think I’ll start doing this on a regular basis with forthcoming releases. Some of these have already come out, of course.

    JV

  14. says

    I’d love to see sf/f/h titles trying something different besides the usual sf/fantasy illustration + strips of type. Genre writers frequently complain that their books aren’t bought by general readers yet allow those books to go out looking like a typical genre title which many general readers would be unlikely (or unwilling) to pick up. There are plenty of titles not doing this, of course, but they’re still in the minority. Compare M John Harrison’s recent US covers–especially the great ones for Light and Nova Swing–with their UK equivalents. Or the elegant US edition of The Terror with its UK counterpart which tries to make it seem like a pulpy horror novel.

    That Black Tattoo cover caught my eye when it came out, probably because it’s the kind of thing I’d want to do myself. Contrary to my examples above, that’s the UK edition; the US version is less striking. And since I know what kind of book it is, I won’t say anything. ;)

  15. says

    All of them but 5 seem to belong to the girls, girls and genre nerds category. Cover 4 is the best one, but even that I am not so sure I would want to be seen on the subway reading. Personylly, chicks in tight clothing, naked backs and long knives makes me happy to return to my old leather-bounds which have nothing on the cover.

    Yeah, I am a jerk.

  16. says

    #1 Chasing Silver: Young men (teens), maybe sf, not so much
    #2 Marseguro: Youngish men (teens-20s), definitely sf, maybe
    #3 The Hidden City: Young people (teens), fantasy, sure
    #4 The Black Tattoo: 20-somethings, maybe fantasy (primarily because of the others on the list), sure
    #5 The Quantum July: geeks, sf (possibly “literary sf”), sure
    #6 Intimate Relations With Strangers: 30+ women?, literary, sure
    #7 Thunderer: fantasy fans, fantasy, sure

    I’ve seen none of these books before, and recognized none of the author names, but I’m now interested in #5.

  17. says

    I think the only book I’ll be ashamed to be reading is cover #2. As for my answers…

    Cover #1 – Young Adult/Teens; Cyberpunk
    Cover #2 – Trekkies; Sci-Fi
    Cover #3 – Adults; High Fantasy
    Cover #4 – Young Adults/Teens; Urban Fantasy
    Cover #5 – Dr. Who fans; Sci-Fi
    Cover #6 – Female; Supernatural Romance
    Cover #7 – Adults; Epic Fantasy

  18. GlenH says

    #1. (1) Paranormal romance fans (while I’ve never met said fans I’ve always assumed their middle aged women and furtive young men).(2) light Cyberpunk/romance. (3) no (I vaguely recall seeing this one before on a review site)
    #2. (1) 20 yo men. (2) military SF. (3) I probably wouldn’t pick it up but I wouldn’t mind being seen with it.
    #3. (1) Anyone who likes Hobb’s stuff (see 2). (2) Court intrigue – similar to Hobb’s assassins trilogy. (3) Same as above
    #4. I know this one so no comment.
    #5. (1) 8-12. (2) YA SF. (3) no
    #6. (1) People who like victoriana/romance. (2) Fantasy short stories – maybe romance flavoured though not necessarily. (3) While I’m not terribly keen on romance I’d consider it if there was a recommendation from someone who’s work I like because I’m always keen on new short story writers. I would take it out in public but not without a vague sense of embarrassment.
    #7. (1) Any fantasy fans. (2) Fantasy adventure possibly YA though probably not. (3) yes

  19. Zach H. says

    1. Buffy fans, chickpunk
    2. Halo fans, sci-fi
    3. older fans of Henson’s Labyrinth, quest fantasy
    4. tattoo fans, tatoopunk
    5. the surrealist crowd, sf
    6. women aged 40-50, erotic fiction
    7. airship crowd, strange fiction

    The third question would be a yes to all. None of those covers strike me as representing anything I’d fear being associated with.

  20. says

    1. 20-something females primarily; urban paranormal/thriller; maybe–I don’t worry too much about what others think of what I read, but at the same time it doesn’t look like something I’d read

    2. testosterone-driven SF readers; hard, military SF; probably not–I’m vaguely curious, but it’s so garish

    3. I like this one. My initial guess would be that its target is more female than male…but really general fantasy fans; fantasy (vague fairy-tale vibe here–it reminds me of a style I remember from a decade ago or so, but with a darker undertone than those books had); sure

    4. Young, hip readers; urban fantasy; sure

    5. Looks like it was designed by someone overly excited to use all the features on their design program. Computer geeks, probably on the younger end though I’m not sure YA; cyber-thriller; probably not

    6. Mainstream readers who might be willing to try something fantastic/paranormal, likely more female than male; contemporary setting fantasy, probably with ghosts; probably wouldn’t bother me

    7. I’ve seen enough info about this one that my reaction is certainly influenced by that. I don’t think I’d have guessed new weird without knowing that, but certainly looks like secondary-world fantasy of some sort, possibly with hints of SF–makes me think of the one Silverburg book I read years ago, Lord Valentine’s Castle. And sure, I wouldn’t might being seen with it.

  21. says

    With the caveat that I probably already know too much about books like these (without having looked at them yet), but may be bending over backward the other way to compensate:

    #1: youngish women
    urban fantasy, probably from a smaller house (you can see the woman’s face, and she’s not tattooed)
    not overly embarrassed

    #2: men in their 20s and 30s
    small-press SF, probably a fix-up, not as adventure-y as it’s trying to look
    only mildly

    #3: female fantasy readers and whatever men stumble in
    epic fantasy, possibly the first in a series
    no

    #4: (I already knew this was YA)
    teenagers who wear a lot of black and their older sisters
    moderately dark YA secondary-world fantasy
    no problem

    #5: If I didn’t know already, I’d say:
    nobody
    some very tiny press where the owner is acting as his own art director (with as much success as he does as his own lawyer)
    only from an aesthetic standpoint

    #6: MFA candidates at the same school as the author, reviewers, ten people from the Upper West Side who smoke above eye level
    something terribly literary — possibly with a fantastic element, but not necessarily (if I couldn’t read “A Novel,” I’d have bet it was poetry or short stories)
    not all that comfortable, no

    #7: the general fantasy audience
    possibly fantasy, but I’ll guess SF — from a house whose art director is being “encouraged” to ape books that sold well (such as… Crystal Rain)
    except for the fact that it’s mass-market, no

  22. Dave says

    1- Young adults or teen girls who think they’re tough/ urban spec fic/ A little bit embarrassed
    2- The author’s relatives and the guy who did the cover / sci-fi / Would rather be seen getting a spanking from Rosie O’Donnell
    3- Adult female fantasy readers- fans of Jennifer Roberson/ fantasy / Not embarrassed.
    4- Punk rock fans/ genre? looks like an album cover, so I’ll say punk rock/ Would feel as if my IQ had dropped twenty points
    5- I don’t know what the hell this is or who the hell would read it
    6- Pretentious women who know a lot about sex, but not from experience / erotica with a snooty twist / Wouldn’t be seen with this one
    7- Targeting the audience who enjoyed Crystal Rain but longed for a more effeminate main character/ Sci Fi with fantasy elements / Not embarrassed, but I don’t like the cover.

  23. says

    1. Lesbians and adolescent boys / near-future SF / not a freakin chance! / sure, if I’m killing time
    2. Adolescent boys and men who aren’t getting any anymore / action SF / I’d wrap the cover from War and Rememberance around it if I was really jonesing for something to read; nice knife! / probably not
    3. No freakin clue whatsoever / bone-weary fantasy / no freakin way / no freakin way
    4. Body modders / ? / naw / naw
    5. Scientists / New Wave SF with a twist of hip post-singularity / possible, depending on how the first page reads / yes, I guess I would
    6. People who aren’t getting any anymore / soft erotic romance with ghosts / are you kidding? / can I hide behind the stacks?
    7. Former D&D addicts / fantasy on alien worlds / I’d wrap the cover from The Terror around it if I was really jonesing for something to read; I’m not though / yeah, sure, maybe, if my wife is dithering about what she wants to buy and I’m waiting to go with all my other loot

    For what this is worth, book covers do have an impact on whether I’ll open a book to read the first paragraph or the first page, hense the fourth, non-requested data point. A cover that sucked me into a book that changed my life was on Courtship Rite – an adolescent fist-fest if there ever was one! But I still love that book.

    Okay, so now it’s time for a survey of how far off book covers can lead me…

  24. Timblynod says

    Well if you’re smart, you’ll ignore that ridiculous maxim of not judging a book by its cover. It’s poppycock. Otherwise I’d never have known the beauties of Vance’s Dying Earth books, or the marvels of C.L. Moore (especially Jirel of Joiry)–or the joy of reading ‘Lud-in-the-Mist,’ or the breathtaking “Gloriana” by Moorcock–or many many many untold others–including–gasp!–Veniss Underground and City of Saints and Madmen. (which I discovered at the Book People here in Austin one day a few years back. I was first drawn to the interesting cover illustrations, then the blurbs solidified my interest. But after reading the first few pages of ‘Dradin, in Love,’ I was lost. But had I not allowed myself to be ‘foolishly’ swayed by the cover illustration I’d never have read any of those books.) Remember ‘Dragonworld’? One of the first fantasy books I read as a child, but the illustrations are the only thing I remember. Illustrations are powerful.

    I wonder if I’m verging on an essay here. Just need 2 more points and a reinforcing conclusion. =D

  25. Very Anonymous says

    I didn’t look up any of these covers on Amazon – this is all off the top of my head, and my reactions & assumptions are based only on the covers and my own tastes:

    1. Chick-lit paranormal romance crap that calls itself “urban fantasy”, which it isn’t. Someone’s gonna fuck a werewolf and like it.

    2. My self-publishing cover skilz, let me show you them!

    3. Somber literary fantasy, probably from a large genre house. I may not like it, but it will be well-written and well-edited.

    4. Freaky dark fantasy sex stuff – not for mainstream genre readers. Maybe a smaller press, but it doesn’t matter.

    5. Humorous SF? Slipstream? New weird? I have no idea WTF this fugliness is about, which is bothersome. Pass!

    6. “Oh hai, I haz a seven-figure advance for pretending my speculative fikshun is serius litrachure.” This author will never step foot inside a genre convention, but they’ll be able to pay off their college loans.

    7. Science-fantasy with steampunk elements? Not sure. Beautiful cover, but I’ll wait for the paperback.

  26. says

    1. Tight clothes, trying too hard for gothy Laurel K. Hamilton fans or horny dorks. No.
    2. Onesy body suit? Tights without superheroes? No.
    3. Loose fitting clothes. Standard fantasy, maybe chick-ish. Mushrooms in background though. Maybe.
    4. Shirtless dude showin off tats? Nope. Maybe if it skewed more metal-ish instead of neu-metal.
    5. No people? No tights? Sure.
    6. Classy nudity? Horny cat ladies? Nope.
    7. Aw, are those tights again? Of the renaissance faire variety? Luckily I’ve heard enough about this to really want to read it, otherwise I’d see the clothes and ponytail and move on.

  27. says

    (1) Who do you think is the target audience?
    (2) What genre or subgenre do you think the book belongs to?
    (3) Would you be comfortable being seen reading this book in the subway, in terms of what you think it tells people about your reading tastes?

    Cover 1:
    1) women
    2) paranormal romance
    3) they’d be wrong if they thought it was what I read primarily, but I don’t care, so sure, I’d be comfortable

    Cover 2:
    1) science fiction readers
    2) science fiction
    3) yes, would be comfortable
    4) (comment) I wouldn’t be tempted to buy this book based on the cover (and I acknowledge that I AM very much influenced by covers) because it looks amateurish

    Cover 3:
    1) Patricia McKillip fans
    2) fantasy
    3) yes, would be comfortable

    Cover 4:
    1) Jacqueline Carey fans
    2) fantasy erotica
    3) yes, would be comfortable
    4) comment: assume the artist is John Jude Palencar? Also, wonder how long until people show up with that tattoo?

    Cover 5:
    1) ???
    2) science fiction (based on book’s title)
    3) yes, would be comfortable
    4) (comment) I wouldn’t be tempted to buy this book based on the cover (and I acknowledge that I AM very much influenced by covers) because it looks amateurish — and, in this case, as though the publisher wasn’t willing to put $ into cover art

    Cover 6:
    1) cat lovers?
    2) fantasy
    3) yes, would be comfortable

    Cover 7:
    1) genre readers who love airships!
    2) fantasy
    3) yes, would be comfortable
    4) from this cover, I would at least read the publishers blurb on back or inside, because, well, airships!

  28. says

    what all u dorks r forggetin is that all books r for dorks, no exeptions

    1. dorks
    2. dorks
    3. dorks
    4. dorks
    5. dorks
    6. dorks
    7. f’n dorks, man

    if i saw some dork readin a book on the subway i wuld say ‘hey dork’ and maybe hit him or somethin

  29. says

    I’m sorry, I fell asleep last night reading semiliterate Youtube comments by testosterone-addled 13 year olds and I woke up this afternoon hunched over a strange computer with my fingers cramped from typing I don’t even remember doing. Oh god what might I have done?

  30. says

    For a moment there, I thought I was getting to read a draft of the first full-length SF novel written in 1337 speech. That would have been…interesting.

  31. says

    #1 women in 20’s & 30’s. Seems like urban fantasy with strong female protag. Probably sexy, too. I’d rather not read this in public, cause cover looks a bit on the “women as sex objects” thing.

    #2 sci-fi. Aimed at both women and men (action scene in back and skin-tight outfit makes me think “catch the male eye”, while the strong female with weapon makes me think “Buffy” tough). I’d rather not read this in public, but I wouldn’t cover it up. The outfit is odd enough and the weapon clear enough that she looks tough rather than cheesecakey.

    #3 Fantasy. Aimed at women. Very nice cover. I’m female and I’d pick this up and look at it. Has a “fairy tale” feel, this cover, like a reader of McKinley might like it. The “hidden city” title makes me think might be “entrance to other world” type fantasy. Wouldn’t think twice about reading this in public. Might even show off the cool cover on purpose.

    #4 Aimed at young (or hip at heart) men. Dark fantasy. Has a rocker vibe. Kinda sexy, which could also draw in the damsels. No problem reading in public.

    #5 Sci-fi. The artsiness and color makes me think they wanted to go for both men and women (the quantum says “hard” science and may go for the guys; while the “July” with those colors makes me think brightly sunlit festivals). The font is hideous. Makes me think “cheap” or self-pubbed. But I like the colorfulness. I’d look at the blurb out of curiosity to figure out what it all means. No problem reading in public.

    #6. Hmm. Literate erotica? Maybe paranormal sex? Aimed at females? That whole wispy thing and the cat makes me think female audience. But the emphasis on the bosom makes me think male. Hard to say there. A slight qualm about reading in public, especially if there are grannies about or church deacons. I don’t want to have to say, “No, no, it’s not porn, really.”

    #7 adventure fantasy. Aimed more at males, perhaps, but not exclusively. (The warm tones are inviting, but it says ADVENTURE! with that perspective and daring dangling.) The title seems at odds with the scene, so I’d look at the blurb to see what “Thunderer” means. No problem reading in public. Cover that most clearly says, “fantasy.” And when I read fiction in public places, it’s usually fantasy, so there. (In fact, I’m gonna go to amazon right now and find out about it. It’s got me curious. As well as The Hidden City. Those two covers got me interested.)

    Thanks. Fun.

    Mir

  32. says

    Cover #1
    (1) Women 17 to 50s
    (2) It’s urband fantasy (Er, I read that publisher’s blog, so I’ve seen it before)
    (3) I’d be okay with it

    Cover #2
    (1) Women 17-30, Men 15-50
    (2) Scifi
    (3) Nah, it look a little self published though. Something about the cover just fails to come together.

    Cover #3
    (1) Women 18-whatever
    (2) fantasy
    (3) I like that cover.

    Cover #4
    (1) males and females 14-25
    (2) fantasy, maybe urban fantasy, but not the same as most recognizable urban fantasies.
    (3) Yeah, again I like that cover

    Cover #5
    (1) Middle grade or young adult
    (2) science fiction
    (3) Being seen with the book wouldn’t bother me, but I’m not sure I’d pick this one up

    Cover #6
    (1) adults
    (2) romance angled, but not traditional romance
    (3) Yeah, wouldn’t bother me

    Cover #7
    (1) YA/Adults
    (2) Fantasy
    (3) yeah

  33. says

    Cover 1: Audience – Teens especially boys, Genre – Urban SciFi, Wouldn’t Read
    Cover 2: Audience – SciFi/Fantasy Readers, Genre – Futuristic SciFi/Fantasy, Wouldn’t Read
    Cover 3: Audience – Fantasy and Historical Fans especially Women, Genre – Fantasy/Historical Fic, Probably would read
    Cover 4: Audience – New Age, Genre – No Idea, Wouldn’t Read
    Cover 5: Audience – Teens, Genre – SciFi, Might read title is intriguing but graphics are horrid
    Cover 6: Audience – Paranormal and Romance Readers, Genre – Paranormal Romance, Wouldn’t Read
    Cover 7: Audience – SciFi/Fantasy Readers, Genre – Fantasy/Historical, Probably would read

    Melissa

  34. says

    1. urban fantasy (but I already know that)
    2. SF alternate history
    3. fantasy
    4. dark fantasy
    5. introspective coming of psychedelic age
    6. confessional woman’s fiction
    7. sci-fi or fantasy

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